The Pantry Staple That Can Remove Strong Odors From Wooden Utensils

Baking soda may just be the most versatile item in your kitchen pantry. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this alkaline powder is used for a multitude of purposes — from absorbing odors in the fridge, to cleaning pots and pans, to making chocolate chip cookies (via Everyday Health). According to Healthline, baking soda acts as a leavening agent — causing dough to rise — which is why so many of us have it on hand for baking, but the powder also appears in the results of pretty much any internet search for a DIY solution to cleaning.

Baking soda can clear a clogged drain, clean your coffee maker, wash your hair, brighten your teeth, and even help your stinky feet! All of these tips and more come to us from Reader's Digest, but there's one more that needs to be added to the list, and that's freshening up wooden spoons.

A simple baking soda paste clears off odors from wooden spoons

A staple for most home cooks, wooden spoons, spatulas, and other utensils are extremely versatile, working equally as well with cast iron pans as they do with nonstick, enamel, copper, and other materials (via Southern Living). They don't conduct heat like metal does, so you don't have to worry about burning yourself, and when properly cared for, they are extremely durable. It makes sense that most people who like to cook have more than a few of them around.

And yet, wooden utensils have to be babied a bit. They can't be washed in the dishwasher, lest their natural oils get stripped. They can't be dried lying flat, lest they warp and crack. And since wood is porous, it can also hold onto food stains and smells, making it necessary to carefully clean and even occasionally disinfect. And that's where good ol' baking soda comes in yet again. MasterClass recommends making a simple paste of one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with one teaspoon of water, rubbing it on a stained or smelly wooden spoon, and then rinsing and drying the spoon. If you're one of the only people on earth to not have a box of baking soda around, then simply soak the spoon in lemon juice, MasterClass advises. Either way, your utensil will emerge fresh — and ready for another few rounds of stirring and scraping.