How to Clean Wooden Salad Bowls?

The warmth and subtleness that wooden salad bowls bring to the décor of your dining room sure do make family mealtime cheerful and worth looking forward to.

Wooden bowls make the colors of salads vibrant and appealing to the eyes, and extension, the taste bud!

However, taking care of them is a different ball game entirely, unlike chinaware or stainless steel, as they have become antique items in the homes all on their own.

No wonder you can find them in antique shops, considering that they have been in use for centuries, in all societies you can think of.

Why Does It Seem Difficult to Clean?

Hard to clean

Frequent exposure to oily salad dressings can leave an offensive residue in a wooden salad bowl.

If you don’t know the right way to clean your bowl to keep it smelling nice and fresh, you might lose interest in eating salad due to the unpalatable smell.

What is the Best Way to Clean It?

To make your wooden salad bowl last long and remain protected from cracks and splits, we’ll recommend some unique tried and tested methods of cleaning them.

Let’s teach you how to make your bowl look and feel fresh always, no matter the number of years it has spent in your kitchen.

How to Clean With Soap and Water?

Cleaning soap

For every time you finish eating your salad, kindly follow these steps to retain that fresh look and smell.

  • Quickly take a soft sponge or soft washcloth and apply dish soap to it
  • Soak the sponge in hot water
  • Wipe the bowl thoroughly in and out
  • Rinse the inner and outer part of the bowl in hot water
  • Towel-dry the bowl to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Place the bowl in a drying rack to dry out for a few hours or overnight

Do’s and Don’ts When Using Soap and Water to Clean Your Salad Bowl

  • Considering that wooden bowls readily absorb water, do not submerge or soak them in water
  • Avoid using a ball of steel wool or scrubbing pad on your bowl except it has a buildup that cannot be removed with a soft sponge
  • When rinsing, do not let it linger in running water above 20 seconds
  • Pressing the towel harder into the bowl compared to other items will draw more moisture out of it
  • Ensure it is completely dry before placing in the cabinet to prevent mildew buildup, rancid smell or damaging the bowl entirely

You can try out the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Soap for your kitchen cleaning needs; they are mild and gentle on wooden salad bowls.

How to Treat Stains and Buildup

There are times that your wooden salad bowl needs more than regular cleaning with soap and water.

Whenever you spot stains or buildups that your sponge can’t seem to get rid of, let some salt and lime come to the rescue.

  • Turn a little coarse salt into your wooden bowl
  • Take a piece of lemon and cut into half
  • Squeeze the juicy pulp all over the surface of the bowl
  • Scrub the surface with a soft sponge
  • Wash in hot water mixed with dish soap
  • Dry the bowl appropriately

Another way of getting rid of tough stains and also disinfecting your wooden salad bowl is by using vinegar and water.

  • Scoop three tablespoons (44.4 ml) of vinegar and mix into one cup (240 ml) of hot water
  • Moisten a washcloth with the solution and use it to rub the surface of the bowl
  • Leave the solution in the bowl for five minutes and wash afterward

These tips will help you deal with residue that has stuck to the bowl from constant use over the years:

  • Use fine-grit sandpaper to rub gently on the grain of the wooden bowl; some thin layer of buildup will be removed
  • Do some more sanding on the bad spot so it can blend with the rest of the bowl

Do’s and Don’ts When Treating Stains and Buildup

  • If you don’t have coarse salt or lemon, you can use lime or your regular table salt
  • Never leave out the outside of the bowl when scrubbing
  • Always disinfect your wooden salad bowl after every five use
  • Only sand the part of the bowl that has buildup, except in cases where it is the entire bowl
  • Do not apply too much pressure on the bowl; such pressure will cause a crack or split on it

How Do You Make Your Wooden Salad Bowl Serve You for Long?

There is no better way to make your wooden bowl last long than proper maintenance.

Be that as it may, there is a process that can help ensure you get the best out of your bowl and prevent it from cracking.

Whether you just bought a new bowl, or the old one is becoming dry, you can boost its performance and aesthetic or give it a new lease of life by seasoning and re-seasoning it.

What materials are needed?

  • Food grade mineral oil
  • Paper towel

What is the process of seasoning a wooden salad bowl?

  • Place your bowl on a flat surface
  • Put some of the mineral oil in a container to warm up in medium heat
  • Pour some quantity of the mineral oil unto the paper towel
  • Use the oily paper towel to rub every part of your wooden bowl – don’t miss out on any spot (repeat the process 2-3 times for a thorough application)
  • Allow the bowl to sit on a table for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Use a clean paper towel to clean off the excess oil
  • You can begin to use it or put it away in your cabinet

The re-seasoning process with mineral oil should be applied at least twice a year or depending on how often you use your bowl.

Thirteen Chefs Food Grade Mineral Oil comes highly recommended for use on your bowl.


Do you want to have an antique item among your kitchen wares? Your best bet will be a wooden salad bowl.

With proper care, sanitation, and seasoning, it will continue to look good even as it ages.

No matter the material used, design, shape, size, and price, following the steps above will help you enhance its durability and optimal performance.

A quick secret to keeping your wooden bowls safe from cracks is to remember not to expose them to excessive sunlight or bleach that will dry them out.

The Zassenhaus Salad Bowl is a lovely piece to have on your dining for salad dressing and other meals.

Erika Barajas

My name is Erika Barajas, a chef, writer, and editor at I am interested in food, cooking, and crafts. As a chef, I am very passionate about writing about culinary stuff that helps others in the kitchen. I would like to dedicate my time and effort to helping others make the best choices in kitchen appliances.

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