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How to Clean and Care for a Wooden Salad Bowl

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2018

Is your wooden salad bowl still sticky even after you've cleaned it? Here's how to make it new again—and keep it that way.

Years of exposure to oily salad dressings can leave a wooden salad bowl with tacky, rancid residue. Here's how to make it new again—and keep it that way.

To Remove Sticky Buildup: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set wire rack in sheet. Place bowl upside down on rack. Turn off oven (don't forget this step or bowl might burn) and place sheet in oven. Within minutes, oils will start to bead on surface of bowl. After 1 to 2 hours, oils will run off bowl and onto sheet. Once bowl appears dry, remove sheet from oven and wipe down bowl with paper towels to remove any residue. (If bowl is still sticky, repeat baking process.)

To Reseason: Whenever bowl becomes dry or dull-looking, reseason it: Use paper towel to liberally apply mineral oil, which won't turn rancid like oils used in salad dressings, to all surfaces of bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then wipe away residue with clean paper towel.

To Clean and Maintain: Use mild dish soap and warm water to clean well-seasoned wooden bowl. Always dry bowl thoroughly after cleaning. Never put bowl in dishwasher or let it soak in water, as it will warp and crack.