Spoon Oil


I mentioned spoon oil previously in my Things to Do with Beeswax post, giving the recipe, and also noted in my Fun with Spice Jars post that I restored the vintage spice rack with it. I have a gorgeous set of antique wooden spoons, and spoon oil is so fabulous that I’m going to preach the spoon oil gospel here again with a little before and after to convince you if you haven’t tried it yet. Because you need to try it!

There are five wooden spoons in the set. They hang on a wall rack with a rolling pin. This spoon rack hung in my mother’s kitchen as long as I can remember. Four of the spoons have writing on the back to say whose spoon was whose, and dates when the spoons were known to be used by them.

Norma Prescott Dye–my mother. Katie Woodall Prescott–my grandmother. Jessie Massengale Woodall–my great-grandmother. Katie Massengale–my great-great-grandmother.

The fifth spoon has no writing on the back and I’m not sure if it was anything special or just another one of my mother’s.

Jessie Massengale Woodall, by the way, is the one who crossed the prairie with the curtain rods.

I thought the spoons were looking a little thirsty, so I gave them some spoon oil love. This recipe was originally posted on the CITR forum by Buckeye Girl. Aside from polishing and restoring wood, beeswax is a great protectant and waterproofing agent for wood. Combined here with mineral oil, it is a divine spa treatment for wooden spoons, cutting boards, and just about anything else made of wood. Here’s the recipe again.

Spoon Oil:

16 ounces mineral oil
4 ounces beeswax, cut in chunks

Warm the mineral oil by placing the container in a pot of warm water. Place beeswax in a wide-mouth jar and melt in a double boiler. Remove from heat and slowly pour the mineral oil into the melted beeswax.

I keep my spoon oil in a quart jar. It solidifies when cool, so you have to heat it up for each use. I use a simple makeshift double boiler using a small pot with some canning rings inside to hold the jar.

Once it’s melted, place the jar (still in the pot to keep it warm) on a towel or pot holder near where you will be using it. To use, just stick the spoon in there, one end at a time, and rub with a cloth or paper towel, smoothing the oil up the wood where you can’t reach when you stick it in there. Rub it in well and lovingly.

It makes a huge difference.

Before spoon oil:

After spoon oil:

I also rubbed it into the rolling pin and the rack.

If you have something you can’t dip into the spoon oil, you have to spoon some out onto your cloth and rub it in a little at a time to whatever you are restoring. Spoon oil starts solidifying quickly once removed from the warm jar, but it is soft enough to rub in. (If there is some writing, such as on my spoons, be sure you do a test area first. I have no trouble with it making the ink run in the writing on my spoons.)

Much better! My spoons don’t look thirsty anymore. I think they’re drunk!

P.S. Spoon oil isn’t just for wooden spoons on display. Use it on your regular kitchen use wooden spoons. Who knows who may want to jot your name down on the back of them and hang them on the wall in 100 years. Keep them in good shape!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 22, 2011  

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23 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 3-22

    I’ve always used straight mineral oil, but this sounds even better; now I’ve just got to get some beeswax. Can’t wait to try it on my spoons and board. Yours look amazing for their age! Do you use them regularly?

  2. 3-22

    I LOVE the idea of burning the names and dates into wooden spoons! What a wonderful family heirloom/ tradition. I’m so going to do this for my daughters (ages 12 and 10) and me. Thanks for sharing this tradition and oil guidance. Cheers! Teri

  3. 3-22

    Oh My, I have lots of wooden spoons and Many rolling pins…about 20. I wish I had some from my ancestors though; perhaps I should label mine for my kids. What a great idea. Mine..the rolling pins..are hanging in my kitchen, and I’m a little afraid that the oil will really collect the dust. I think I’m going to give it a try though.

  4. 3-22

    Love the idea of signing the wooden spoons to be passed down to the next generation. I love using wooden spoons, but they do get a bit shabby looking. Yours look great! I don’t have spoons from my mother etc, but I do use a huge wooden cutting board that belonged to my hubby’s great grandmother which I will sign and date,as well as treat with some spoon food.

  5. 3-22

    My old biscuit bowl and spoons all need this applied. I had forgot the sheen that beeswax gives after a little TLC! There’s alot of memories in those old spoons and rolling pins Suzanne!

  6. 3-22

    Great idea, Suzanne. Does it leave them a little sticky? Also, a good idea to label the old things that you don’t use anymore.

  7. 3-22

    No, it doesn’t them sticky. They feel nice afterward.

  8. 3-22

    Funny, my MIL labeled everything glass and crystal, but not the spoons. I have to now and spoon oil them.
    Yours look very nice all clean and loved.

  9. 3-22

    Remember all things of the past has a story to tell. Someone needs to take the time to document it.

  10. 3-22

    I simply love that you labeled your wooden spoons. I wish my mother would have done this. I haven’t see a spoon rack either. I like that it can hold a rolling pin as well. Your mineral oil and beeswax treatment is a wonderful idea. Thank you for your time and inspirations.

  11. 3-22

    I can’t believe you have something that your great-great grandmother used. You are SO lucky. wow.

  12. 3-22

    Good thing to know!

  13. 3-22

    Your spoon rack looks awesome. What a special family heirloom! To think that someone even had the forethought to save those spoons is amazing to me. Beeswax is awesome stuff (and the bees that make it are really something wonderful too). I have tons of it lying around, so I will have to mix up some of this; although I don’t have anything nearly as cool as your spoons to use it on. :sheep:

  14. 3-22

    That spoon and rolling pin rack is great. I like the way it looks with all the spoons and pin hanging on it.

  15. 3-22

    question – where might i find a good buy on beeswax? thanks

  16. 3-22

    Jean, you can buy beeswax at some soapmaking and candlemaking suppliers online. I’ve bought mine at Michaels. I don’t know who else carries it.

  17. 3-22

    Thank you, thank you! I have an old wooden bowl of my grandmother’s & this should be very therapeutic for the wood. If you lick these spoons, will you have “tongue” oil? lol

  18. 3-22

    My mother-in-law’s maiden name is Woodall. They’re from Marion, KY. I wonder if there is any relation?

  19. 3-22

    I am able to get bees wax at the local farmer’s market in our area. If you have a farmer’s market in your area, check at the booth(s) where local raw honey is sold. They may have some at a very reasonable price! :happyflower:

  20. 3-22

    Regarding using Canola oil – I checked about using regular oils like canola, olive, etc., and I was told that it will go rancid in the product you put it on by area woodworkers. They’ve been oiling wood products for years so I am guessing they know what they’re talking about. I had preferred one of those oils over mineral oil but decided not to go that way due to the rancid issue.

  21. 3-23

    I am going to see what I can come up with using the idea of naming and dating the spoons, what a wonderfull idea and many thanks for sharing it. My Hubby made me a lovely spice rack and then at my request came up with a similar one for my measuring cups and spoons and odd items I use a lot. They were both made from the best bits of wood from some pallet tops. I didnt want them painted as I love them just the way they are. Now I will be able to treat them with the spoon oil to save them drying out. Thank you again xx

  22. 3-23

    What a great DIY project. Those spoons look lovely.

  23. 3-23

    I was telling my hubs that i needed to oil my cutting boards and wooden spoons the other day – like the day before this post and while this is going to seem like an obvious question – I want to make sure I’m getting the right thing….

    Mineral oil – the stuff found in drugstores? cuz I have a whole bottle of it, but I can’t remember why I bought it…But hubs said he thinks I should get something in the “wood” section.

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