How To Clean A Wood Bowl

Wood bowls are the perfect substitute for ceramic or glassware in a home. Used extensively by many cultures and countries for traditional food making, gifting and dining; today, wood bowls are exquisite and much coveted by the those who know the benefits and longevity of using them.

In this article, we will be giving you simple practical tips for how to clean your wood bowl, keeping it sparkling clean and well preserved. If you own wooden bowls in your home today, or you just purchased a beautiful wooden bowl then you would benefit from bookmarking this article so that you can get the absolute best out of your wood bowl for many years.

How Often Can You Use Wooden Bowls?

You can use wood bowls daily with food! The key is to keep a solid cleaning regimen in place so it prolongs the life of the bowl. The more often you use the bowl the less you will also need to season the bowl. If you are using for decor purposes, not a problem, just keep an eye on the bowl when it starts to look dull and dry it’s time to freshen up with some conditioner.

Uses For Wood Bowls In Home

There are many ways to use your wood bowls in your home, not always just for food!. Here is a list of some of the many uses:

  • To season and dress a salad
  • As a fruit bowl
  • As an ornamental piece of art
  • To store small valuable items, like jewelry
  • A catch-all to hold extra cash and coins
  • To make bread
  • To serve popcorn or snacks
  • To serve soups and chillis
  • To use as a centerpiece on a table

Benefits Of Using A Wood Bowl

Asides from the exceptional uses of wood bowls, they also pose some helpful benefits to their users such as;

  1. They are strong, durable, and lightweight and don’t get broken easily.
  2. Wood bowls don’t retain odor
  3. They keep the original taste of the food
  4. They have good insulation
  5. They have a natural texture with less pollution
  6. Made by hand, can be seen as crafts
  7. They are ergonomic
  8. Their inert material guarantees pure food, without seeping any dangerous chemical into your food.
  9. They are natural and non-reactive to acid substances from food
  10. They are anti-rust and non-corrosive, unlike iron or plastic cookware

Can You Wash Wooden Bowls?

But of course - you can wash your wood bowls only by a good old-fashioned hand wash! You never ever want to put your wooden bowl in a dishwasher or let water soak in for long periods of time. 

Best Ways To Clean A Wood Bowl

Let’s get down to it. Wood bowls are high quality, but you need to know how to clean them properly if you want them to last for years. Follow these 3 easy steps when cleaning your wood bowl after use.

Step 1: Prep The Bowl

If you have used it with food or have been using it for decor, make sure to empty out any extra food or wipe off dust.

Step 2: Wash

Liquid is one of the enemies of a wood bowl, so let’s make this wash quick! Use a mild soap with water and use a sponge or soft cloth to wash the wood bowl thoroughly. Make note to not use the abrasive side of a sponge, this will scratch up and damage any finish already on the wood bowl.
After washing, rinse the bowl with cold water and make sure all suds are gone.

Step 3: Dry Completely

You don’t want to let the bowl sit soaking wet on a rack. Take a tea towel and dry the wood bowl as much as you can immediately, then you can put it on a dish rack to finalize drying. Skipping this step and letting it stay moist could cause mold build-up, which you would not enjoy.

And there you have it - an easy, simple, 3 step cleaning method for wood bowls and wood products!


How Do You Clean A Wood Bowl That Is Sticky?

Years of exposure to oily salad dressing can have your wood salad bowl tacky, smelly, with rancid residue if not cleaned properly.

If your salad wood bowl is sticky, you will also need to follow the steps above first to see if most residue comes off with gentle soap. If still sticky, take fine-grit sandpaper and rub around the bowl lightly to help get all the residue off the bowl. Wash, dry, then season following our wood bowl care guide.

If we’re talking “sticky” from glue residue or a sticker you want to get off the wood bowl, there are a few things to try. First, use a plastic scraper to try to get off the sticker or residue. Then, try the method above and wet a cloth with mineral oil to rub over the bowl. If that doesn’t work, look into a commercial adhesive-removal specifically for wood. Keep in mind this is unfinished wood and the materials you use to clean must be food safe.


Disinfecting Wood Bowls

Use a 1:5 ratio good mix of vinegar and water to fill your wood bowl to the brim. This is useful as it helps to kill any bacteria that have managed to survive on the porous surface of the wood. The vinegar’s anti-fungal and antibacterial properties do this easily. After the vinegar and water mix has been allowed to soak into the wood bowl for 10 minutes, proceed to step 1 with washing and immediate drying.


Dangers Of Not Cleaning Wood Bowl Properly

This is a gentle reminder that wood bowls do need some extra care, but it’s worth it in the long run!

While wood bowls have a lot of creative uses, there are some instances where they should never be used, or else, you risk damaging them. Here is a list of Don’ts you must observe with your wooden bowl.

  • Do not soak your wood bowl in water for a long period of time as this can cause it to become damp and smelly
  • Do not use abrasive sponges to wash your wood bowl to avoid visible scratches and marks
  • Do not place your wood bowl in a microwave or dishwasher as this can cause it to warp and split
  • Do not expose wood bowls to direct sunlight for a long time as it will age the bowl prematurely, discolor it, and dry up its natural oils.
  • By following the cleaning instructions and keeping in mind these “Don’ts” you’ll be totally prepared.

Wood Bowls Storage In Home

Where you store your bowl does matter! Wood bowls thrive in cool, dark places. If you want to leave on a shelf or coffee table, just remember not to leave it in a place with prolonged exposure to sunlight. And if it has some exposure, keep an eye out for drying of the bowl and remember to condition the bowl more often. And just say no to leaving the bowl in the bathroom since it will not thrive in areas with lots of humidity and moisture.

Keep in mind when leaving out in the open in your home if you do not use the bowl often it will collect dust so try to still clean every so often!

How To Care For Your Wood Bowl

We’ve written an entire guide on how to care for your wood bowl. This includes how to season and condition your wood bowls. We know wood bowls are not exempt from occasional damage and wear. There may be small scratches, superficial stains, and small dents along the way, giving your bowl its own character! Check out our complete guide on wood bowl care for more helpful bits on how to care for your wood bowl. 

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