Most people don't think about wooden spoons and cutting boards as items that need to be "cared for." Cooks use them, clean them, and put them away. To make them not only last as long as possible but also remain sanitary, you need to take a few extra steps to keep them maintained. This involves oiling them occasionally, not leaving them to soak in water, and storing them in a dry place.
As soon as you unpack your wooden kitchen equipment for the first time, you should oil them to prevent them from cracking. Mineral oil is best for this. Never use olive or vegetable oils because they'll turn rancid as they age, making your wood products unsanitary.
Warm the oil first and then rub into the wood using a cloth. After a couple of hours, wipe off any excess that wasn't absorbed. You may want to apply several coats. You'll need to re-oil the items periodically, depending on their use, and if they're used often, you'll want to oil them every couple of months or so. You'll know it's time to re-oil because the color of the wood gets lighter.
When cleaning wooden spoons and cutting boards, wash them as you would all your other kitchen implements, in some mild dishwashing liquid and water. Don't leave them to soak, however, as this can lead to water damage. It's also not a good idea to wash these items in the dishwasher, as they can incur heat damage. To prevent bacteria from harboring itself into your boards and spoons, dry them as soon as they are washed.
To prevent cross-contamination, it's best if you have at least two different cutting boards — one for cutting raw meat and another for fruits, vegetables and other foods. Once meat is cut, wash the board immediately in warm soapy water. The longer a dirty cutting board sits, the more time bacteria has to embed itself into the wood.
If your wooden board has cracks and scratches, you may want to consider replacing it because germs and bacteria hide in those crevices. If your frugal side won't let you part with your board, don't use it for raw meat and make sure you take extra care to scrub those crevices clean. To remove bacteria from the surface of wooden items, rub a lemon half over them after cleaning.
Wooden kitchen implements should be stored in a dry place. Extreme cold or heat, not to mention humidity, will cause them to crack and warp.
It may sound like a lot of work to care for wooden kitchen items, but it's really not. Following just a few simple tips will keep your family healthy and your wooden implements around a little longer.