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Are You Cleaning Your Cutting Board Properly?

Jul 7, 2023

Are You Cleaning Your Cutting Board Properly?

A wooden cutting board is an excellent surface to cut just about anything due to its flat and sturdy build compared to what you usually get with plastic ones. Plus, they make a great aesthetic addition to your countertop, too!

However, this expensive block of wood requires quite the maintenance—it’s not that tricky, don’t worry. 

How to clean a wooden cutting board

Before we go any further, let us tell you this right off the bat—never, ever, put your cutting board in the dishwashing machine. It’ll be exposed to heat and water at the same time, causing it to warp or crack. 

First, remove food debris from the surface and wash the board with warm water and dish soap. Make sure you wash the bottom, edges, and sides of the board. This step is crucial to avoid ending up with an uneven surface, as the wood will swell when in touch with moisture. 

Now for stubborn stains and odor, sprinkle salt on the surface and add lemon juice. Rub the mixture evenly and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, rinse it clean and wipe it down and let it dry thoroughly by making it stand upright on one edge. Store in a dry area.

Maintaining a wooden cutting board for the long-run

Once your board is thoroughly dry, it’s time to oil and wax it. This should be done if you want to maintain its smooth surface and avoid moisture seeping into its fibers. 

Apply a generous layer of food-grade mineral oil on both sides and edges. Let the board soak in for at least 3 hours before applying wax. Note that using vegetable oils or olive oil instead will result in your board smelling rancid over time.

Cream made from unbleached beeswax or mineral oil wax works best to rehydrate your board by locking in all the moisture from the oil. Using a lint-free cloth, apply the cream directly on the wood and spread it evenly.  Now, let it sit overnight.

For the final step, polish and buff your board using a clean cloth. Rub gently in circular motions and reveal a glossy, beautiful surface. Instead of having moisture absorbed into the wood and damaging it, you’ll have it pool on the surface.

Bottom line

Even with intense upkeep, like most things, your board will deteriorate over time. While cut marks can easily be smoothened out with sandpaper, a warped or cracked board may not be salvageable. In fact, food and bacteria may start to build up and make you sick. When that happens, just get a new piece or a plastic one.