How to Clean a Mortar and Pestle [Season Mortar and Pestle]

All of us know that a set of mortar and pestle is an indispensable item for grinding spices in a kitchen. Since time immemorial the mortar or bowl and the pestle, a club-shaped object has been in use for grinding materials in the kitchen, pharmacy and laboratory.

But the question is how to clean a mortar and pestle? The makeup of the mortar and pencil is from hardwood, ceramic, metal, stone, and granite. The multipurpose use of mortar and pestle that helps you make your favorite condiments needs proper cleaning and maintenance. In this article, we would like to show you the process of cleaning a mortar and pestle.

Seasoning of a New Mortar and Pestle

Before you use the new mortar and pestle, it needs to be seasoned. Here “seasoning” refers to preparing or conditioning the new mortar and pestle. This is true especially of stone/granite mortars, which are porous when new.

Unseasoned ones release fine pieces of stones and mix them with the food. By seasoning or curing the particles inside the surface of the mortar and cleans the mortar. The seasoning process is the following.

How to Clean a Mortar and Pestle

  • Use a scrubbing brush to scrub. Wash and air dry. Do not use soap.
  • Season by crushing rice into a powder.
  • Season by grinding spices into a paste.
  • Wash, scrub and wash. Air dry. It is ready to use for grinding the desired seasonings.

How to Clean Mortar and Pestle?

The rules of cleaning a mortar and pestle depend on the makeup material. There are 3 types based on the construction material. (1) Mortar and pestle made of marble, lava stone, or granite. (2) mortar and pestle made of metal (brass. alloy, iron), and (3) mortar and pestle made of wood. Let us see how to clean each type. Let us see how we can clean each type.

Type 1: Cleaning Marble Mortar and Pestle

(i) First use water to wash the mortar and pestle. Remove the debris from the ground material from both parts. Add running warm water to clean to cleanse. After washing and rinsing, place them on a drying rack or use a towel to dry.

how to clean a new granite mortar and pestle

(ii) Place two tbsp. of uncooked, white rice in the mortar. Grind it roughly with the pestle until it turns dark. Discard this ground rice. Add the second batch of two tbsp. of the same white rice until it the ground rice is white. Discard and repeat the process until the ground rice is completely white.

(iii) Wash the mortar and pestle with turbid water thoroughly. Allow no debris to remain. Place it on a rack to dry in the air.

Store the mortar and pestle when it is completely dry.

Type 2: Cleaning Metal, Glass, and Ceramic Mortar and Pestle

(i) Wash with slightly warm water. Keep the mortar and pestle under warm running water. Wash until there is no debris from the previous use.

how to clean a ceramic mortar and pestle

(ii) Scour the mortar and pestle with a new scrubbing brush. Wash, scrub and wash a few times until all the debris is gone. Set it in a rack to dry.

(iii) Keep this away for only cleaning your mortar and pestle.

Type 3: Cleaning a Bamboo or Wooden Mortar and Pestle

(i) Wash the debris from the previous work. Wipe off the mortar and pestle with a brush or paper towel.

(ii) Rinse a clean piece of cloth in warm water. Squeeze off the water and use it to wipe off the wooden or bamboo mortar and pestle. Repeat rinsing and wiping, until it is free of any debris.

How to Clean a Wooden Mortar and Pestle

(iii) Let the tool dry by placing it in a rack. Turn around to see if it is dry before you store it in a cabinet.

(iv) Application of mineral oil keeps the quality of the mortar and pestle intact. Take a few drops of mineral oil in a paper towel and wipe them. Then wipe off the oil with a cloth.

Some tips for cleaning mortar and pestle

  • Never use soap or detergent to clean the mortar and pestle.
  • The dishwasher may be useful in cleaning ceramic and stainless steel mortar and pestle. However, before you use your dishwasher, see the manual for the instruction on using such tools.

Other Tips on Mortar and Pestle

How to Deal with Sticky, Smelly Mortar and Pestle

When you are using a stone mortar and pestle to grind a certain ingredient, you will find that it will absorb a flavor just like the iron skillets used for frying. This is acceptable if you are using the tool to grind the same stuff and do not want separate flavors for each ingredient. The smell of the seasonings may be too strong and stick even after cleaning.

how to clean mortar and pestle in laboratory

The good news is that problem is solvable Grind white rice a few rounds, wash, and clean. The smell of the seasoning will be gone.

Handling the Mortar and Pestle and Protecting the Countertop

While grinding with the mortar and pestle, the countertop or the table on which you are may scratch. All you need to do is place a kitchen towel at the bottom while grinding. This will prevent damage to your countertop.

pre seasoned mortar and pestle

Keep Away from the Stove

If the wooden or bamboo mortar and pestle are close to your stove, the heat of the fire is likely to burn the tool. Keep the mortar and pestle away at a safe distance from an oven or stove to protect it from burning.

Also Read:

  1. Heavy Duty Melon Baller
  2. Best Food Dehydrator Reviews


Without the invention of the mortar and pestle, the use of seasoning to give a distinctive sharp taste.

A mortar and pestle is an essential tool of the kitchen. It is a perfect traditional tool to get the right emulsion of spices to prepare the dish of your favorite recipe.

Washing the mortar and pestle after grinding for a particular meal is important as the residue and debris remaining will not allow perfect grinding next time.

Following the guideline on cleaning and maintaining, your mortar and pestle will last a long time.

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