How should I care for a rattan (cane) banneton? It would seem that washing it in water would eventually warp or ruin the basket since the wood can easily absorb moisture. I've seen people suggest that a quick washing is OK, but it still feels like the wrong thing to do if I want to prolong the life of the basket.

I usually just tap out any loose flour and store it. Some people are concerned about bacteria, but if used regularly, I don't see it as too much of a concern.

If one makes too wet a dough, it's possible that it could stick to the banneton and make a good mess.

2 Answers 2


A stiff brush and a set out in bright sun is about all I've felt the need to do with mine.

  • Normally I'll just tap out any extra flour.
  • If I've got a dough that sticks (like last night when I didn't flour enough), then I just take a stiff brush and get all the bits off.
  • If they do get a bit wet, dry them with a towel and then in a warm oven.
  • If I think there's been enough moisture to be concerned about something growing, I'll set it in bright sun (or my UV exposure box). Strong UV is a good inhibitor for much of that.
  • if nylon-bristle brush still leaves a bit in the cracks, try a thin plastic dough scraper (old CC in a pinch).
    – Pat Sommer
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 4:40

I keep mine in the freezer when not in use. This would eliminate the concern about bacteria and keeps it dry and handy for use. When you take it out, give it a tap over the sink and most old flour bits fall off as they have been frozen.

  • Now that this answer was edited, it's an interesting approach. Assuming that people have room in their freezers. Thanks for the suggestions.
    – Fauxcuss
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 1:43
  • 1
    Note—Though freezing will stop bacterial growth, it will not kill the bacteria; that’s why bio labs store microorganisms long term in deep freeze (think CDC). Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 13:03

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