Cleaning a wooden mortar and pestle is as important as using it to grind your spices and ingredients, so it is important that you learn how to clean this mortar and pestle.
The wooden mortar and pestle are an ancient tool that is used for crushing and grinding ingredients. The mortar is a bowl-like tool that is used to hold the substance in place when you are grinding or crushing. The mortar and pestle may be ancient, but it is still used in today’s world and it is still being sold daily.
As things began to advance, blenders came to make the grinding job easier, but it seems that the blender did not completely throw the mortar and pestle out of the market. This is because the blender has blades, when it grinds, it generates heat, and also it slices and does not crush like the mortar and pestle.
When you make use of the mortar and pestle to crush your ingredients, you will be able to crush it to the finest texture and still get the essential oil that you want from it. The blender is not capable of this and that is why even with the presence of the modern blender, the mortar and pestle still shine.
These days you see that the mortar and pestle are not just used in the kitchen alone to crush ingredients, they are also used in the laboratories to crush pills to powder form. The mortar and pestle is a safe way to crush pills to a powder form where it can easily be digested by those who are consuming it.
These days mortar and pestles usually come with different kinds of materials. Some are wooden, some are ceramic, some are made of granite, etc. The material it comes with usually determines how you clean it.
There are certain ways that you clean mortar and pestles with different materials, this is because these materials are not the same so they need to be taken care of differently.
How to clean a wooden mortar and pestle
Wooden mortar and pestle do a good job when it comes to crushing or pulverizing substances or pills in the laboratory. If the head of the pestle is not broad enough, it will not be able to do a good job when you are using it to grind.
That is one of the things that a wooden pestle needs to have for it to function well if it does not have a wide base, it will leave some of the substances without crushing it so fine.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the pestles, wood usually makes very good pestles, but when it comes to the mortar, they are not always effective like other materials like stone and granite.
Cleaning your wooden mortar and pestle is very essential and it is something you need to do regularly so that you will be able to use your mortar and pestle for a very long time and to also preserve the mortar and pestle for the next time you will use it.
If you are not cleaning your mortar and pestle regularly it will begin to deteriorate, dirt will store up in it and it will no longer be hygienic for use, both in the kitchen and in the laboratory.
Here are the steps you need to follow in cleaning a wooden mortar and pestle:
Remove the debris
When you are done grinding with the wooden mortar and pestle, whether you are grinding ingredients, or you are grinding pills in the laboratory, there is a possibility that some of those particles with get stuck inside the mortar and on the body of the pestle. This is the very first thing that you need to do when you are cleaning your wooden mortar and pestle.
This will help you to remove all the debris and those small particles that may have stuck to the surface of the mortar and pestle. When you are removing the debris and those small particles of substances from the mortar and pestle, it is usually best that you do it with a cloth, preferably a dry cloth so that you will be able to reach all the particles that your hands will not reach normally.
The aim of doing this is so that when you are ready to do the proper cleaning of the mortar and pestle you do not have those particles interrupting your cleaning.
Clean the mortar and pestle with a wet towel
This should be done immediately after you have removed the debris and the small particles of substances from the mortar and pestle. When you wet the towel, make sure you make use of warm water to wet it, so that it will easily dissolve and remove all the dirt completely.
If at all you want to use detergent to add to the cleaning, make sure you make use of a detergent that does not have fragrance. Because if you use a detergent that has a fragrance to rinse the mortar and pestle it will leave a perfume residue on the mortar and pestle and it will not be healthy for use in the kitchen or laboratory.
If you do not want to clean it that way, you can make use of a sponge to wash the mortar and pestle thoroughly but gently, and also make use of warm water, warm water will help to soften the dirt and make it very easy to remove. The aim is to completely remove all the traces and all the particles that have been stuck in the mortar and pestle.
Let the mortar and pestle air dry
This method is important also; you should let it air dry and not use something else to dry it. This is a good way to dry your mortar and pestle in order to leave it in perfect condition.
What you should not do is trying to use a towel to dry it after cleaning it, you should not do that, instead, you should just leave it to air dry. This is when you will have the best results after cleaning.
Store the mortar and pestle safely
When you are done washing the mortar and pestle with the warm water and sponge, and then leaving it to air dry, the next thing you need to do is to store it so well in such a way that it will still be very safe and neat, so that the next time you want to make use of it you will be able to use it with no complains or regrets.
When you are able to store your mortar and pestle well after washing it, it will enable you to be able to use it easily anytime and any day. Storing the mortar and pestle is also an important part of cleaning as it will determine how long it is going to last for you.
Do not think storing your mortar and pestle is not important, it is really important and you should not neglect it.
Wipe it with mineral oil
When everything is done, you can take a dry towel and then apply some mineral oil to the mortar and pestle. What the oil will do is to help preserve the surface of the mortar and pestle and keep it good looking.
Note that that mineral oil is colorless, odorless and also it will not spoil or have any bad effect on the texture of the mortar and pestle, so, you do not need to be scared that the oil will change the texture or color of your mortar and pestle, it will not at all.
These steps we shared are ways that you can clean your wooden mortar and pestle safely and ensure that it is safe and good after cleaning and storing.
These steps may seem a little bit difficult or you may think that the steps are too much, but the thing there is that they are for the betterment and for the safety of your mortar and pestle, the more you take good care of your mortar and pestle, the longer it will last for you and the easier your grinding job will be for you.
When food particles get stuck in your mortar and pestle for a very long time without cleaning, it could cause it to get smelling and could result in something bad. Some may be asking if it is safe to wash your wooden mortar and pestle in the dishwasher. You should be careful about doing this.
Doing this often may put your mortar and pestle in danger. However, take note that you may be able to wash a ceramic or stainless-steel mortar and pestle in the dishwasher as long as you follow the guidelines and the rules.
If you follow them religiously, you will be able to safely wash your ceramic and stainless-steel mortar and pestle and not a wooden one are because the wooden material is not as resistant to damage as the stainless-steel or ceramic mortar and pestle, hence, you should keep it away from the dishwasher.
Another thing that you should not do with your wooden mortar and pestle is soaking it in water for a very long time. Do not forget that the material is wooden and not ceramic or granite, when you soak your wooden mortar and pestle for a very long time it could begin to soften it and make it less durable than it used to.
Final words on how to clean a wooden mortar and pestle
These steps may be a little bit time consuming, but you do not need to look at how much time it cost you to clean it, you should look at the benefits of taking care of your wooden mortar and pestle.
Take note that this is a wooden mortar and pestle and not ceramic or granite, so, how you will clean it will be a little bit different from the rest.
Like we said earlier, when you are cleaning your wooden mortar and pestle, it is not safe to soak it in water for too long. Remember the material is wood, and you should treat it like every other wooden tool in the kitchen.
When you soak it in water for too long, there is a possibility that the water will get soaked in the wood and therefore make it soft and less durable. It will not be able to last for a long as it was built.
Among all the mortar and pestles out there, talking about the wooden, ceramic, and granite, the wooden mortar, and pestle are usually the most affordable, this is because the wooden materials are not as costly as the ceramics and granite.
Scrubbing the wooden mortar and pestle with the detergent is not completely safe, this is because the wooden material is porous and when you use detergent, the fragrance could get stuck in those pores, and when next you want to use the mortar and pestle you may begin to perceive some of those fragrances which are going to be unhealthy for you.
However, whether to use a detergent or not depends on what kind of substance you used the wooden mortar and pestle for, if you used it to grind something that is dry and does not have any oil in it, then it is better to not even make use of the detergent at all, you can just clean it with the towel and water and then leave it to air dry.
All these steps are not as tedious as you think it is if you take your time out to do it religiously, it is only for the safety of your wooden mortar and pestle. Just like every other wooden tool in the kitchen that needs to be taken care of, the same applies to the wooden mortar and pestle, it also needs to be taken care of.