Product Care

Wood is safe for use in food preparation

Good-quality woodenware is preferred by many cooks because it doesn't hurt non-stick surfaces, glass or porcelain. For a number of years, wooden cutting boards were banished from restaurants due to fears of bacterial contamination of steak boards assembled with glue. However, recent research has vindicated wooden cutting boards. As early as May 1993, The Wellness Letter published by the University of California at Berkeley, declared "Instead of nurturing bacteria, the wood actually put them out of commission." Although some manufacturers have perpetuated the myth of the inferiority of wood for their own purposes, repeated studies have proven that routine cleanliness in the kitchen is the greatest factor in the safety of either wood or plastic.


  • Keep shellfish refrigerated below 40°F. Stay on the safe side: do not leave raw shellfish at room temperature for more than an hour.
  • Prevent cross-contamination. Bacteria can spread from one food product to another and can get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and countertops. Keep seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling shellfish.
  • Wash utensils and surfaces before and after use with hot, soapy water. Better still, sanitize them with diluted bleach—1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of hot water.
  • Wash sponges and dish towels after contact with raw seafood.  Use the hot cycle of the washing machine; remove items promptly, and dry in the dryer.


Choose left- or right-handed utensils

Mapleware® instruments are meant to be extensions of your hand: the grips are formed to fit your palm comfortably, while the blades are shaped to work efficiently inside pots, pans and bowls. Mapleware® cooking paddles come left-handed and right-handed, in a variety of sizes, so you can maximize both your strength and your dexterity.

Maintain your Mapleware

With a little care, your wooden cooking utensils should last a lifetime.
Simply wash the utensils with warm, soapy water, rinse, and dry with a linen tea towel.
Using the dishwasher is strongly discouraged as the drying cycle of a dishwasher is very hard on wood and could contribute to the cracking of utensils.
To help prevent staining and keep it beautiful, smooth with fine steel wool, and rub with a bit of Mapleware Polish®.

Old-time cabinet-makers used to polish new boards:
Once a day for a week,
Once a week for a month,
Once a month for a year,
Once a year for a lifetime.

We recommend polishing utensils when they start to feel a little rough in the hand.
You may, if you wish, maintain the edge of your Mapleware® by sharpening along the grain with a small kitchen knife.

We dip each paddle in our own beeswax and food-grade mineral oil polish. The polish has been formulated to season the Mapleware® properly. It penetrates deep into the wood, displacing moisture to help prevent cracking and reduce staining. Some residue of surface polish remains on the utensils until first washed at home.

Some natural discoloration of the wood is to be expected when cooking foods like tomatoes, curry, or berries. This does not harm the beneficial properties of the maple or transfer flavors to other foods. Most stains go away with repeated washings, but paddles tend to average out at a certain colour. Pre-treating the utensils with the polish before using can help prevent staining, but many people prefer to dedicate a paddle to a favorite recipe like raspberry jam.

Tines and Sprongs

Both the Tines and Sprongs are made of a single piece of wood, which acts like a spring. Tines were designed to combine the functions of a fork and a chopstick, as well as for handling more delicate food items (such as pickles and olives), while Sprongs perform more like traditional tongs.

Handled with care, they can last for years.

However, there are few precautions that you should take in order to ensure the longevity of these tools:

  • Be sure to order the right size so that you can squeeze them in the middle, never at the closed end.
  • Hand wash and dry after each use; do not let them sit in water for too long.
  • Treat them regularly with Mapleware Polish®.

If they become inadvertently misshapen, soak them in warm water for half an hour, then stretch them gently over a glass or box (approx. 2.5" in diameter) with the blades evenly spaced. Allow them to dry in this position in order to restore the spring. Apply some Mapleware Polish®.

All Tines and Sprongs are tested before leaving our shop. However, on rare occasions, a hairline crack may escape our scrutiny. It is therefore our policy to provide a replacement pair within the first 6 months of purchase upon presentation of a sales receipt.

If your question or concern was not addressed here, try our FAQs page.