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The home of traditional Italian cookware

Tool care guide: Cleaning and maintaining your kitchen tools

Nearly all our tools are made from natural materials. Each one is unique, with many bearing individual marks of the craftsperson that made them. We love the character these materials collect with use over time. Looking after and caring for your kitchen tools will keep them in great condition for many years to come, and be ready for passing on to the next generation.

Wood is a very resilient and forgiving material that ages beautifully. However it does require special care to keep it in optimal condition, and prevent cracking and warping. Prolonged contact with water, lack of oiling, and poor storage are the enemies of wood! Follow these steps to keep your wooden items in top condition.

General Wood Care:

  1. Before first use, rinse with water or wipe over with a damp cloth and allow to dry naturally.
  2. Use a food grade oil when the wood looks rough and dry (see below).
  3. Make sure the item is completely dry before storing. Allow to air dry naturally; don't 'force dry' e.g. next to a radiator.
  4. Store long items such as chopping boards and rolling pins flat to prevent warping.
  5. Don’t soak or allow to sit in water.
  6. Don’t place in the dishwasher.

Gnocchi & textured boards, corzetti stamps and wooden ravioli moulds

Rinse and allow to air dry before first use.

If the item becomes clogged with pasta dough during cooking:

  1. Leave aside for the dough on the board to dry hard. It’s then easy to remove the dough using a clean toothbrush, or use a cocktail stick to get into the grooves. Wipe over with a clean damp cloth.
  2. For stubborn food particles, hand wash with warm water, brush and dish soap. Avoid washing in the dishwasher, or soaking in water.
  3. Allow to dry thoroughly before storing.
  4. Oil whenever the wood starts to look dry or feel rough.

Utensils, rolling pins and chopping boards

  1. Rinse and allow to air dry before first using. After use, hand wash with a scourer and warm soapy water.
  2. Ensure the item is completely dry before storing.
  3. Nourish with a food grade oil whenever the wood looks rough and dry.
  4. Store chopping boards and rolling pins flat to prevent warping.

Removing stains and odours from wood e.g. Chopping Boards:

  1. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the board.
  2. Sprinkle coarse salt over the surface.
  3. Use the already squeezed lemon half to rub the salt and juice onto the board's surface.
  4. Let the juice and salt mixture sit on the board for 5 minutes.
  5. Rinse with water and wet sponge, and leave to dry.

Pastry boards

  1. Before first use, wipe the board with a damp cloth to remove any fine wood dust.
  2. To clean, scrape any dried dough with a dough scraper and wipe with a damp cloth.
  3. Do not put in the dishwasher and do not allow to stand in water.
  4. From time to time, wipe over with food grade oil e.g. mineral oil to nourish the wood and protect from cracking.



Oiling wood surfaces periodically is essential to nourish the grain and prevent drying and splitting. The wood will also release food more easily and wash up better. Frequent oiling helps keep your tools in top order for many years to come.

When to oil?

It’s a good idea to oil unfinished wood products before their first use. Wipe over with a damp cloth or rinse and allow to dry fully. You can then oil the surface as described below.

After this, any time the wood looks or feels dry or rough is a good time to reapply a coat of oil. You might find initially this occurs every 2-3 washes, but often requires less as the utensil becomes more seasoned with age and previous treatments.


Which oil to use?

Food grade mineral oil is best, as it is odourless, food-safe and won’t turn rancid over time, like many cooking oils. If you don’t have any mineral oil, using standard vegetable oil is fine. You’ll find that it doesn’t soak in or dry quite as quickly, but it is effective and safe. Olive oil is not quite as good to use as vegetable oil, as over time it tends to turn rancid more quickly. This isn’t dangerous but can leave a faint oil smell on the wood.

How to oil?

Oiling your wooden utensils is quick and easy to do, and shouldn’t take more than a minute. Pour a teaspoon’s worth of oil on a piece of kitchen towel, and wipe over the wooden surface, covering all sides. Add more where necessary. If there’s any excess oil, wipe off with a clean piece of kitchen towel. Leave overnight to dry, and you’re ready to store until next use.


The shiny, gold brilliance of brass will fade over time due to oxidation. While some love this 'patina' others may prefer to restore brass back to its original finish. Whichever look you prefer, read on for more on how to care for your brass items.



Hand wash with a brush and warm soapy water. Not dishwasher safe – the harsh detergents will accelerate uneven tarnishing and a blotchy finish. For brass pasta cutting tools, you can leave the bits of pasta dough to dry on the cutter before cleaning the grooves free with a cocktail stick or small brush.



To polish and bring back shine, make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. Apply this to the brass and wait from 5-30 minutes depending on amount of tarnish. Use a clean toothbrush to scrub off the tarnish. Rinse with water and dry.



Aluminium utensils can easily be cleaned by hand washing in warm soapy water. Avoid putting aluminium cookware in the dishwasher, as the high heat and alkaline detergents can discolour and oxidise the metal.

If you find the aluminium has discoloured, natural products such as lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar can be used to restore the finish.

Remember not to store salt, or acidic food items such as tomatoes in aluminium containers, as this can also stain the metal.


Stainless steel

Stainless steel can be hand washed or placed into the dishwasher. However, items with wooden handles must be hand washed and left to dry naturally.


Tin plate, cake pans and cookie cutters

Tin plate is a traditional material where a thin layer of tin plating is used to cover steel. These items should be hand washed with warm soapy water and towel dried straight away to prevent rusting. Don’t stand in water, and avoid drying on the draining board – the droplets of water will start to rust the metal.


Hand wash only with natural soap (Marseille/ Castile). Do not let acidic substances come into contact, such as lemon juice, vinegar and abrasive detergents as these will dissolve the stone. Not suitable for the dishwasher.

Due to the stone's natural porous properties, some staining may occur.

Clean with a brush and soft dry or damp cloth. For stubborn pieces of pasta, allow to air dry and then remove with a clean toothbrush or toothpick. Make sure the pasta machine is completely dry before storing.

Do not put in the dishwasher or wash in the sink. View Marcato manual for full instructions.