Woods should be washed in salt and water then thoroughly dried before use. Sun dried or stove dried are both good methods (although stove dried is much quicker but you have to be careful that you do not 'overdo' the drying process and either 'burn' the wood or dry it until the bark cracks off - burnt wood is okay for munching little teeth - but not as nice as good dry bark!)
Heat branches in an oven at 300 Fahrenheit (140C) for 30 minutes...this should kill any living 'unsuitables' that may be living inside the wood. 300F is a temperature that’s hot enough to kill microorganisms - but cool enough to avoid combustion. You should stay in the kitchen with the wood during this process if possible to ensure it doesn't burn or start a fire.