Tuesday’s Tip: Dry Weather Cracks

January 04,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

One of my favorite new kitchen gadgets I received for Christmas this year are these super sassy gloves that help make doing dishes *almost* fun.  They feature a girly-girl cuff at the end in a vibrant yellow, green and pink pattern, along with a faux flower on the cuff.  These are not your grandma’s rubber gloves.

SPH bought these gloves for me because this is the time of the year I have gloves on any time I clean up in the kitchen.  My skin gets dry in the winter and without gloves, they go from dry to cracked and chapped in no time.  I’ve learned that if I wear gloves, I spare myself a lot of drying and discomfort, since the detergents even in “gentle” soaps wreak havoc on my hands.

In the winter, the dry air that causes our skin to trend drier can also affect our wooden kitchen tools.  And while most of our modern kitchen implements aren’t wholly wood, if you look around your kitchen, my guess is you would be surprised with how much wood you might find:

cutting boards
spatula handles
wooden spoons
steak knives
salad tongs
wooden bowls

I noticed a cutting board I received last year was beginning to crack, despite my hand washing it (it is recommended that wooden kitchen tools not go in the dishwasher, as this only exacerbates drying) with natural gentle soap.  Since SPH and I have already lost two wooden cutting boards to splitting, I began to research ways to prevent cracking in wooden tools.  Turns out it is similar to the advice we would follow for our own skin!

Today’s Tuesday’s Tip is to prevent cracking in wooden kitchen tools, simply use olive or canola or another similarly neutral vegetable-based oil, and rub it on the cracked wood.  The oil does what lotion does for our skin; it restores moisture and helps prevent further drying.


Once you apply oil to a cutting board or wooden spoon, allow it to dry fully before using.