Mildew out of wooden spatula handle?

Holly R
by Holly R
I have a really nice rubber spatula with a wooden handle from Williams Sonoma that says "removable head is dishwasher-safe." However I was always nervous about taking the head off because I thought it might make it too loose and it would eventually start falling off. Well it turns out that I should have been doing that because now I have discovered that there is mildew on the handle underneath the rubber head. Ewww! Is there a good way to get the mildew out of the wood and still keep it food safe? I've sprayed some "Clorox Anywhere hard surface spray" on it b/c that's just concentrated chlorine that's otherwise safe, but that didn't get it all off.
  6 answers
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Jul 26, 2013
    I take the handle and spatula apart and use a very thin brush like the kind you clean baby bottle nipples with, put some bleach/water solution in and get that little brush in there to swish the bleach around. I would try putting a bleach/water solution in an old container and soak the end of the wooden handle for a while. My handle is plastic so it cleans easily
  • If the stain is in the handle, all you can do is sand it with very fine sandpaper. Once moisture gets into the wood of the handle, there is little you can do other then if its not in too deep, sand it away. I have several wooden spoons that have darkened handles as a result. We have used bleach in the past to lighten up them when they began to get dark from to many washes in the dishwasher. Let it soak for about 10 min or so perhaps longer. The bleach will lighten up the wood.
  • Holly R Holly R on Jul 28, 2013
    So I guess my real question is, will using bleach on the wooden handle make it unsafe to use with food? Or does it eventually all soak back out (if I soak it in plain water after the mildew is gone?)
  • It will be safe. You need rinse it and let it dry. The only thing the bleach will do is kill any bacteria and lighten the stain. No different then using bleach products on counter etc. A light sanding on the wood will also do a lot to make it look better. Once sanded using a food safe oil will keep it looking its best.
  • Holly R Holly R on Jul 29, 2013
    sounds like a perfect plan!! thank you so much!! :)
  • Holly R Holly R on Aug 12, 2013
    I soaked it in the bleach water and at first thought it was still stained, but rinsed and left it to dry overnight. By the next morning, it was completely clean! Excellent!! Thank you!! :)