How to Properly Clean a Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and pestle is an ancient kitchen tool used to craft healthy recipes in an organic manner. No matter if made of marble or granite, after use it should be thoroughly cleansed in order to avoid any possible flavors or scents being absorbed (via MasterClass).

Do not use soap on stone mortar and pestle, as this could contaminate it with soap molecules, potentially ruining it forever. Instead, rinse thoroughly after every use using warm water.

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Your mortar and pestle should undergo regular, careful maintenance depending on its material composition. Stone models like granite or marble may hold flavors and scents which transfer into ingredients as you grind. This may alter flavor while making cleaning harder because bits of food become trapped between its grooves. It is therefore vital that a mortar and pestle be washed thoroughly after each use and properly season its prior to using again.

To properly clean a mortar and pestle, start by using warm water and carefully scrubbing both inside and outside of its bowl, especially any hard to reach spots with soft sponge or brush and mild dish soap – scent-free products are best as their scent can transfer onto food! Rinse well afterwards and allow the mortar and pestle to air dry completely before using again.

Wooden mortar and pestles, however, are more sensitive to detergents and may become damaged as a result. When cleaning them with detergents, first rinse with warm water to get rid of any grit or rock before grinding some white rice in it until no grit or rock remains – this will both remove food traces as well as any potential odors left behind in your mortar!

If your mortar and pestle remain dirty, repeat this step or find another means of cleaning them. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or steel wool on it as this could damage its surface; additionally abrasive cleaners leave residue that interferes with how well it absorbs oils and ingredients; using steel wool may scratch surfaces of both items and cause permanent damage to them both.


Before using your mortar and pestle, it is crucial that it is cleaned. This will ensure that any leftover grit or seeds don’t end up in your food and cause an unpleasant texture. Typically rinsing in warm water is enough, although more thorough cleaning may be required for certain mortar and pestles – wooden mortars should never be cleaned using soap, as the soap could transfer onto its surfaces and into its preparation process.

Before starting the cleaning process, it is crucial that you safeguard the counter or table where you will use your mortar and pestle. A wooden mortar and pestle’s rough surface can scratch surfaces; to prevent this, place a kitchen towel beneath the molcajete. Furthermore, ensure it dries completely prior to storage as any moisture can lead to mold growth.

Stone mortar and pestles (commonly referred to as molcajete) can be easily cleaned using warm water and rice, and is recommended over using harsh detergents like soap which could damage their natural material. Always read your product manual regarding care and cleaning instructions prior to beginning cleaning sessions.

Stainless steel and ceramic mortar and pestles can usually be put through the dishwasher, though for added safety it is wiser to wash them by hand. If using wood or bamboo pieces beware that no soap reaches into the grooves or crevices as this could transfer onto foods when used.

If your mortar and pestle are constructed of wood, it’s advisable to regularly season them. This will restore its natural hue while protecting it from water damage or stains. To season a wooden mortar and pestle properly, pour some uncooked rice into its bowl before grinding it against all inner surfaces with your pestle – this may take some time and wrist strength, but will ensure any remaining dust particles have been eliminated from its surfaces.


A mortar and pestle is a kitchen tool consisting of a heavy bowl with either rounded or flat ends that is used to grind ingredients. While not an intricate contraption, proper care must be taken in maintaining its quality and longevity. They come in various materials from marble and granite slabs to glass and ceramic; all should be handled with respect; the primary difference being wood mortars needing conditioning with oil (as they’re porous) while glass and ceramic models may require gentle handling as they’re more delicate than their wood counterparts counterparts – wood mortars need conditioning with oil (as they’re porous) while glass/ceramic ones require handling with less force (due to being delicate).

First, wash a mortar and pestle thoroughly with warm water to remove any food debris or residue. Rinse again carefully, leaving them to air-dry before using them – moisture can lead to irreparable material degradation which reduces their durability over time.

At first, use a paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol solution to wipe down the mortar and pestle and remove any food debris left behind, as this will also sanitize them for reuse. Finally, if they still look dirty after that step, give a light scrub with mild dish soap until all crevices have been thoroughly scrubbed; be sure not to miss any parts that need attention; once scrubbed off be sure to rinse well afterwards so the mortar and pestle can dry fully before use again.

As opposed to using metal pestles or grinders, stone mortar and pestles should never be cleaned with soap as this will leave behind residue on their surfaces that will transfer onto any food you put through it in future uses. Furthermore, soap may damage certain materials, making their texture duller or more slippery; so for best results stone mortars and pestles should always be seasoned before being put back into service – seasoning requires simply placing a handful of rice in your mortar before grinding against all interior surfaces with the pestle until it all shatters leaving you a well seasoned tool every time!


Home chefs cherish mortar and pestles as indispensable kitchen tools, and owning or planning to buy one is no exception. Proper care must be taken in order to extend its usefulness for many years ahead. Proper cleaning procedures will help to avoid damage as well as ensure continued performance from this tool.

First step to clean a mortar and pestle properly is rinsing it thoroughly – either in the sink or bowl of water – but once rinsed it is important to dry completely before storing – leaving even small amounts of moisture can cause the mortar to crack or chip over time.

Many experts advise using a clean, unused dishcloth or paper towel to wipe down their mortar and pestle after each use, to remove any leftover residue left by prior usage and avoid introducing new contaminants into its structure. Following wiping, they should be stored away from direct sunlight in an effort to prolong its condition and use.

If you’re uncertain how to take care of your mortar and pestle, the manufacturer’s instructions should provide guidance. Otherwise, most maintenance tasks require only gentle handwashing with warm water and some mild soap if required.

After your mortar and pestle have been thoroughly cleansed, it is wise to season them again prior to use. This will ensure that both are free from stone grit. To do this easily, place a handful of white rice into the mortar and grind it with your pestle until powdered; this should take only minutes and will clear any leftover grit that might still remain inside your mortar.

Repeated as necessary until the mortar and pestle are completely free from any trace of debris. Not only will this help safeguard your investment, but it’ll make cooking more pleasurable knowing that your tools are performing at optimal performance.