My taste in home decor definitely leans a bit “country chic” (living in a mountain valley will do that to you!) This means that when I’m shopping for home goods and have to choose between something plastic versus something made of wood, I usually end up choosing the wood option.
This is particularly true when it comes to kitchen items, so wood is very well represented in both my own kitchen and the kitchen at the OGT Studio. For everything from cooking utensils to cutting boards, I find that the wooden ones are a bit more expensive, but usually last a lot longer than their plastic counterparts.
However, wooden kitchen items aren’t maintenance-free, and their lifespan will largely depend on how well you take care of them. And that’s where today’s blog post comes in, because today I’ll be sharing my DIY approach to keeping my wooden spoons and other kitchen items in tip-top shape: homemade “spoon butter!”
What Is Spoon Butter?
Spoon butter (also called “butcher block cream” or “cutting board cream”) is a homemade concoction used to moisturize, condition, and protect untreated wood. If left to their own devices, wood items cutting boards and wooden spoons can dry out and even split over time, but regular applications of spoon butter can help keep them properly moisturized and in good working order.
Most store-bought wood conditioning products are either oils or creams/waxes, and there are pros and cons to both types. Liquid oils tend to penetrate more deeply into the grain, while waxes and creams (like my homemade spoon butter) can form a protective layer across the surface of the wood.
Some brands that make wood conditioners offer both oils and creams and recommend using them one after the other. But the way I see it, applying any type of wood conditioner is better than not doing it at all, so I decided that using my spoon butter alone was “good enough,” and it’s been good enough for me ever since! 🙂
So now that you know what spoon butter is and how it can help you keep your wood kitchen tools in great shape, let’s dive right into making it! Here’s how you can whip up your own batch of spoon butter at home:
How To Make Spoon Butter (AKA Cutting Board Cream)
1 part beeswax
3 parts oil*
*Note: Food-grade mineral oil is an ideal choice here because it’s one of the only oils you won’t have to worry about going rancid over time. If you’re avoiding petroleum byproducts, you could use coconut oil (shown here), sunflower oil, soybean oil, or flaxseed oil instead, but these are less stable options.
Place a mason jar inside a saucepan, then pour water into the saucepan until it reaches halfway up the side of the jar. Set the pan on your stovetop over medium-low heat.
Add the beeswax and oil to the jar and allow them to melt together. Once melted, stir the mixture thoroughly and then carefully remove the jar from the pan.
Set the jar aside and allow it to cool completely before covering with a tight-fitting lid.
Optional: Once the mixture has cooled a bit (but before it gets too thick), stir in a few drops of lemon essential oil. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and lends the cream a nice, clean scent!
How To Use Your Spoon Butter
Scoop out a small amount of the spoon butter, slather it onto the wooden surface you want to treat, and allow the cream to soak into the wood overnight. In the morning, wipe off the excess cream and then use a soft, clean cloth to buff the treated areas.
Repeat about once a month, or whenever the wood starts to look or feel dry. Use your spoon butter to moisturize and protect your:
- Wood cutting boards
- Butcher blocks
- Salad bowls
- Wood spoons
- Utensils with wood handles
The measurements in the recipe are based on ratios rather than specific amounts, which means you can make as much or as little as you want at once. I think next time I’ll make a big batch and divide it into a few smaller jars, then pair each one with a nice wooden spoon and give them away as gifts! 🙂
Are there any wood items in your kitchen that could use some TLC?