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Homekeeping · The Latest TikTok Cleaning Hack Isn’t Actually A Great Idea
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The Latest TikTok Cleaning Hack Isn’t Actually A Great Idea

Here's why I can't get behind the cleaning hack for wooden spoons that went viral on TikTok recently.

I find myself endlessly curious about the latest cleaning trends circulating on TikTok. If you’re not up to date on what sorts of cleaning tips and tricks are trending on TikTok lately (or if your not familiar with the video sharing app at all), then allow me to explain the latest viral cleaning trend.

The TikTok Wooden Spoon Hack

People have been posting videos showing what happens when they place their wooden spoons in boiling water, along with the unappetizing “spoon soup” that follows.

As the wooden spoons are exposed to the piping hot water, the wood expands and releases a greasy gunk. The gunk floats to the surface of the water and forms a shiny, greasy pool of oil, and to be fair, it does look pretty gross at first glance!

The Problem With Boiling Wooden Spoons

The way the grease and oils rise to the top of the water mades this cleaning hack seem like a real winner, but after watching it, I had a nagging feeling I was missing something important. And then it occurred to me—wooden utensils are supposed to have oil in them, because it conditions the wood and helps prevent it from drying out and splitting.

So the problem with framing this method as a way to clean wooden spoons is that it fails to address the fact that wood needs moisture. The boiling water takes all that moisturizing oil out of the wood, and if you simply dry it off afterward, your wooden spoon is likely to split in the not-so-distant future.

But I wasn’t ready to dismiss the idea that there could be some merit to dislodging oil oil from your wooden spoons. The thought of rancid oils seeping out of my wooden spoons and mixing into my food isn’t exactly appetizing, and after seeing what floated up to the top of the water in those videos, the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing was clearly no longer an option.

Reframing The Wooden Spoon Hack As A Deep Cleaning Method

After some more thinking, the final pieces of the puzzle fell into place—boiling wooden spoons could be a useful way to deep clean them. The hot water could help purge any old, rancid oil from inside the spoon so you can replace it afterward with clean, fresh oil.

Luckily, I already know how to make a great conditioner for wooden utensils: my DIY spoon butter. It’s all-natural, taste-neutral, and super easy to make, so it’s a great option for conditioning your wooden spoons after stripping them of all that old oil.

When Should I Use The Wooden Spoon Hack?

Another thing to note about this cleaning hack is that if your wooden spoons are relatively new and you’ve been taking good care of them, you probably don’t need to do this deep cleaning treatment. But if your wooden spoons happen to be really grimy, or if you just picked one up at a yard sale or thrift store, giving them a deep cleaning by boiling them certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

Just don’t forget to apply generous amounts of spoon butter or another wood conditioner after the old oil has been stripped away in the hot water!

(Oh, and by the way… while I’m not ready to take on TikTok myself just yet, I’m always posting to my Instagram and Facebook pages! Follow me there for more tips and tricks that are sure to make your life easier.)

Where do you like to go to discover new cleaning tips? (Other than this blog, that is!) 😉

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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