Restoring Wood Handles on Knives

There’s only been one other DIY recipe solution that I’ve written about three times here on the blog and that’s my homemade stain remover.  After I shared my first stain removal story I received positive feedback on a couple other success stories (Here’s Story #2 and Story #3) that I decided to share because I think it helps all of us get a sense for what a recipe can or cannot do.

And now, just like the homemade stain remover, the homemade wood restore recipe gets the honor of having a third story.  I haven’t heard yet from others how this recipe might be working for them, but I keep finding new little projects around my own home, and trying it again, and getting great results!  The latest project?  My worn out looking wood handled knives.

{ kind of embarrassing }

Homemade solution to restore wood handles on knives

I have no one else to blame for the sorry state of the wood handles on my knives.  I have never babied them along and have always been more focused on saving time by just popping everything (including my knives) in the dishwasher.  But there’s a price to pay.  You get some really dried out looking wooden knife handles as the years go by.

So this week I felt like I had nothing to lose by giving the homemade wood restore recipe another try on my knives.  The recipe is a simple combo of equals parts of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and olive oil.  I usually combine one tablespoon of each in a small bowl.  You then rub and massage the mixture into the piece of wood you want to restore.

Ingredients to make a homemade mixture to restore dry wood

After rubbing the homemade mixture on my knives, they looked great!  It was a wonderful transformation. They truly looked just like new again and I’m so glad I gave this recipe a try on this project too.

Here’s the recipe again if you’ve got some dried out wood handles on your knives that need some perking up too.

Do you have dried out wood handles on your knives? Learn how to revive them again with this homemade solution that costs only pennies!

How To Restore Wood Handles On Knives


  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl.  I usually use one tablespoon of each ingredient, but you can make any size batch you need.  Just remember to use equal parts of each ingredient.

Dip the corner of a rag in the mixture and rub it into the dry wood, massaging it in and wiping it around as you go.

Homemade solution to restore wood handles on knives


When you are done, your wood knife handles should look much revived with darker color again.

Homemade solution to restore wood handles on knives


So there was no doubt for me that this homemade solution to restore wood made a dramatic change for the better on my knives.  But the bigger question is . . . how will they hold up?  Because this is a homemade mixture made of food products, will it just wash off?

I’ve found that so far the knives still look good after hand washing.  But when I did test in the dishwasher, of course, the knife came out looking worse which is to be expected and what got them worn out looking in the first place.  So it looks like with hand washing, this homemade remedy should hold up quite well.

Just as importantly, I now know that anytime I want to give my knives a little reviving again (before company comes or something) all I have to do is combine a bit of mayo, olive oil, and lemon juice and I have the answer to quickly make them look good as new again.

While I was at it, I decided the wood block that my steak knives are in needing some sprucing up as well. It looks much better now too. 🙂 I’m coming to the conclusion that this mixture works great on pretty much any dried out wooden item.

Homemade solution to restore dry wood

You might also like to read:  How To Remove Rust  Spots on Knives
(Once before I had to admit to my habit of throwing all utensils in the dishwasher with bad results.
Will I ever be able to change my ways ?? )


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  1. This works great! I have some very old steak knives that are still perfectly usable and someone put them in the dishwasher a few times and the handles got really dull. After doing your trick, they look like new again.

  2. Thank you am anxious to give this method a try. I have two really, good knives given to me by my late FIL, Had them sharpened by the Butcher and plan on gifting them to family but the handles needed some TLC.

  3. Cooking oils, and mayonnaise will become rancid over time. A better solution for kitchen wood; wooden knife handles, butcher blocks, bowls, etc., is food grade mineral oil, which is inexpensive and widely available. It is not subject to collecting bacteria, and will quench the dried wood…leaving a deep rich appearance. A final coat with food grade beeswax, buffed to a satin finish, is the “bee’s knees”.☺

    1. Fresh lemon works fine for this recipe too. I often just have the bottled stuff in the house so I use that, but if you have some fresh lemons on hand, it’s fine to use the juice from them too.

  4. Thank you for sharing your remedy. Judging from your pictures, it works. I just finished a reviving of my wooden handle knives and some other utensils and let them to dry and see how they look like tomorrow. I have, unlike you someone to blame and that is my wife and her mother. they put everything in dishwasher and do not care whatever I say. Before this, I put oil on knives and it worked good. I have decided to put oil on all of them tomorrow. You may put some wood oil on your knives as well. i use sesame oil. anyhow, we know what destroys our beautiful knife handles: dishwasher. Why shall we try it again. i have said to my wife that she will not be allowed to use those knives unless she wash them by hand or leave them for me to wash.