How To Take Care Of A Wooden Cutting Board

If you’re going to having just one cutting board in your kitchen, almost any professional would recommend a wooden one.

They treat your knives well, can last a long time in the kitchen, and also serve as a great surface for cutting.

But if you have one already, then you have to make sure you’re maintaining it right.

In this article, we’re taking a close look at how to take care of a wooden cutting board so it can last you in the kitchen for years to come.

Read on to learn more.

Maintenance Tips

1. Regular Cleaning

This is the most important step in making sure your board is in tip-top condition.

Leaving it out and not cleaning it right away can result in residue seeping into the fibers of the wood, which is very unsanitary.

On top of that, it can also lead to warping and damage on your board.

To properly clean a wooden board, rinse it with lukewarm water immediately after use.

After rinsing, give it a scrub using a non-abrasive sponge and some dish soap.

Make sure to properly scrub both sides, including the corners before rinsing again.

It’s also important to dry the wooden surface right after washing.

Leaving the surface wet can cause a lot of problems as that is what can lead to it losing some of its durability.

If you want to remove stains and regular dish soap isn’t cutting it, you can also rub some coarse salt onto the board and use half a lemon to scrub it.

Using the fleshy side of the lemon, give the salted surface a good scrub until you can’t see the salt anymore.

After that, apply another layer of salt onto the board, leave it on overnight, then rinse and dry it before storing.

2. Seasoning

While cleaning it after every use is integral in maintenance, there is another thing you have to do on a regular basis and that’s seasoning the surface.

Seasoning simply means oiling the surface with a substance low in unsaturated fat.

Seasoning needs to be done at least once a month or once every two weeks if you use it a lot.

This hydrates the wood and gives it the nourishment it is no longer getting from nature.

There are a couple of materials you can use to do this, but we recommend using coconut oil for this process.

This is because it is an affordable and accessible substance that hydrates your board really well without leaving a rancid odor behind.

You can also use wooden board oil specifically designed for this purpose, but that can be pretty expensive and hard to find, depending on where you are.

Another alternative is using mineral oil and beeswax in a mix, making a solution called spoon butter.

Regardless of what material you choose to season the wood, the process remains the same.

Simply clean the surface and dry it like you usually do, and then use a clean towel to apply a generous and even amount of oil onto the surface.

After that, leave it overnight, or at the very least 2-3 hours to soak and allow the oil to seep into the fibers.

Once soaked, you can use a clean towel to wipe away any of the excess oil before storing your board in a cool and dry place.

3. Annual Sanding And Oiling

Another important step is an annual sanding.

This will need to be done at least once a year, especially if you want to restore the wood to its original state.

For this, you will need coarse, medium, and fine grain sandpaper, along with the oil you use for seasoning.

If you have beeswax on hand, that can also be very useful.

Start by sanding the surface with coarse sandpaper, paying close attention to the troubled areas.

After that, you can move on to the medium sandpaper, making sure to sand it evenly, before finishing it off with the fine-grain sandpaper.

Once you’ve finished sanding the surface, you have to season it like you usually do.

After seasoning, you can further finish it with some beeswax, which will create a seal of sorts and serve as a barrier between the cutting board and your knife.

By doing this at least once a year, you’ll extend its life by a whole lot.

Conclusion

Those are all the key things that you have to do to ensure a long life for your wooden cutting surface.

It isn’t too much work, and it doesn’t require that many materials either.

Wood is by far the best option for cutting boards because of how it treats the edges of your knives as well as how accessible it is.

On top of that, they have a very rustic aesthetic to them.

So if you already have one on hand, then make sure to use these steps in maintaining it and you’ll be using that board for years to come!

Last Updated on February 19, 2021 by Andy Wang

My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.