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The Easy DIY That Will Make Your Wooden Spoons Last Forever

spoon butter

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!”

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)

spoon butter

Ingredients:

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.

spoon butter

Directions:

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.

spoon butter

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!

spoon butter

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.

spoon butter

Repeat about once a month, or whenever the wood starts to look or feel dry. Use your spoon butter to moisturize and protect your:

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?


Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Wow, Jillee, good idea. I oil my teak salad bowl set but somehow never thought about my spoons and other wooden pieces. I will try this today. Your suggestion of the butter and a spoon for a gift is a good one. Thanks!

  • I’ve always used plain oil or butter on my wood spoons, but it doesn’t seem to last very long. I will make a batch of this and give it a go. Probably the wax will help.

    Thanks for this, and for the gift idea!

  • This is also good for your skin. Add a bit of shea or coconut butter to that mix, whip it up, and viola…BODY butter! =) You don’t even have to add in the extra butters, as coconut oil by itself is a great skin conditioner!

  • I’ll definitely give it a go. I’ve got a Boos Block cutting board and I need to make sure to maintain it which I’m not always great at.

  • What a great idea. I’ve got some spoons that sorely need this treatment. I think it would also be great to include with bridal shower gifts when the bride has wooden items on her registry. The next time I buy a wooden gift I plan to include a jar of this with instructions for use & the recipe – with credit to Jillee, of course.

  • As written, it looks like you are supposed to fill the mason jar with water…”Place a mason jar inside a saucepan on the stove. Fill with water until it reaches halfway up the jar” Might I suggest a small change…Fill saucepan with water…?

    • Whew! I thought, after reading the first few comments, that I was the only one who caught that. I read it about 5 times just to make sure I was seeing the words correctly. Yes, it might be helpful to change the wording to read, “fill the saucepan with water to about halfway up the jar”.

      • Thanks to Sandy for saying it, as I too had to re-read it several times, although I did figure it out.
        I saw you made the change, but you forgot the word ‘with’ – Your post now currently reads:
        “Fill the saucepan water until it reaches halfway up the mason jar.”

        Aren’t you glad you have nit-picky readers? ;)

  • I’ve been using “food grade” mineral oil, but I am going to try this. Also, you are not supposed to use soap on your wooded spoons, because this dries them out also. Once they have been “oiled up” they will repel what you use them for, so hold them under warm running water and use a sponge or dishcloth (no soap) to clean them off, dry and re-apply the oil.

  • What about wooden handled garden tools? My garden rake is cracked and gives me slivers each time I use it… would this go solve that problem? Also, where do you get beeswax?

  • Works on leather purses too. I got a parched looking purse from the thrift store, and I cleaned it as I usually do (baby wash and water on a sponge, towel then air dry). Still looked in need of some TLC, so I used the spoon butter (mine is olive oil and beeswax), since I had little to lose. I rubbed it in with my fingers all over, and was first disappointed because it looked splotchy. However after a few hours it had soaked in and the leather looked great and was slightly waterproof. Now I use it on all my leather purses. Try it on an old purse first so you can see how it works, before you use it on a favorite. I even use it on Coach purses with no problem.

  • Thank you for this! I’ve come across recipes for spoon butter before, and while I hadn’t occurred to me that mineral oil might not be the best, I couldn’t find any where I live so I haven’t been able to make this. But I have coconut oil, beeswax and lemon EO. I’m making this now! And I love the idea of giving it as a gift!

  • HI JILLEE,
    I’M WONDERING IF THIS COULD BE USED ON A WOODEN TABLE-TOP AS POLISH. THE TABLE IS QUITE OLD AND HAS SEVERAL CRACKS. WOULD IT BE OKAY TO ALLOW ANY OF THIS BUTTER INTO THOSE CRACKS??
    JUST WANT SO BADLY TO USE IT!
    THANKS!
    AUDREY

  • I have wooden spoons that I’ve used for more than 30 years, and I have some of my mother’s that are even older. I’ve never had trouble with them splitting. Just remember to never put them in the dishwasher and never leave them soaking in water. I will try this butter to improve the looks though.

    Do you think this would work on leather furniture? Or do you have a DIY recipe for that?

  • Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thanks

  • I have used mineral oil for many many years, on butcher block, cutting board and wooden utensil. It works great. I would not however consider using lemon oil, especially non food grade. Don’t need to add it and you don’t need lemon oil to flavor food that gets hot.
    Thanks for reminder of caring for our kitchen wood items.

  • What’s the consistency once cooled? Would it be soft enough to squeeze from a tube? I’m thinking it would be nice to be able to refill my Boos Block Cream tube with this.

  • I have had wood spoons for many years. I don’t put them in the dishwasher or soak them for a long time. I put veg oil on them every once in a while to restore them . I do let them soak up the oil overnight when I put the veg oil on them. it works great!

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