How to Oil and Maintain Wood Cutting Boards

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Applying oil to wooden cutting boards is a way of preserving the material. Not only does the oil refresh and moisturize your wood cutting board, it also keeps the board waterproof to prevent mold and damage from water droplets. Before you seal your cutting board with oil, however, it is a good idea to give it a deep clean to remove dirt and odors.

How to Clean Your Wooden Cutting Board

Clean Cutting Board with Lemon Juice and Salt

Unlike plastic cutting boards, wood cutting boards tend to absorb the smells of cleaning solutions, so using a food-safe solution is a must. Lemon juice and salt works well in removing the grime from deep within the cutting board, particularly within the notches made by your knives over the years.

To clean your cutting board, squeeze the juice of one lemon all over your cutting board. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over your board to act as an abrasive scrubber - we recommend using a mix of fine and coarse salt to get through even the most narrow of nooks! Use the lemon rind to scrub the cutting board until it is clean, and rinse to remove residue.

Cleaning Wood Cutting Boards with Vinegar Solution

Another cleaning solution suitable for cutting boards is vinegar and baking soda. Apply a good amount of vinegar over the wooden board, and sprinkle baking soda all over the surface. Use a brush or lemon rind to scrub the board clean, and the grime should come right out. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.

As the baking soda reacts with the white vinegar, it cleans the board from food residue such as fruit and vegetable juices, and raw meat. The solution also kills mold, and prevents mildew from forming. The same solution can be used to clean wooden kitchen utensils as well!

How to Oil a Cutting Board

What You'll Need

  • Food grade mineral oil or Edible oil OR
  • Beeswax or Board cream
  • Cloth or paper towel

Step 1: Choose Your Cutting Board Oil

Because your cutting board comes in direct contact with food, you will want to use a food grade mineral oil. You can use coconut oil, board cream, or even beeswax, the best cutting board oil is mineral oil. Mineral oil won't leave a sticky residue, and won't alter the flavor of food like coconut or olive oil would. Wooden cutting boards also absorb mineral oil better.

Step 2: Apply Oil to Wooden Cutting Board

Apply a generous amount of mineral oil or any other edible, food-safe oil to your wooden cutting board. Spread the oil all over the wooden cutting board, getting the oil into the nooks and crannies of the cutting board, as well as any handles, notches, or etched designs. You will want the oil to seep into every surface of the cutting board.

Step 3: Let the Board Sit Overnight

Let the wood board rest overnight to absorb the oil. The oil will seep deep into the porous surface of the wood cutting board, softening the wood fibers, and moisturizing the wood. The wood should take on a deeper, more vibrant color, and a softer, smoother finish.

Step 4: Wipe Away Excess Oil

The next day, take a cloth or paper towel and remove as much of the excess oil as you can from the entire board. The end result should be a board that is dry to the touch, but looks supple, clean, and fresh. Keep wiping until the paper towel no longer picks up any oil residue from your wooden board.

Step 5: Repeat Steps Once a Month

Repeat the steps every month or so to replenish the oil layer on top of the wooden cutting board. This routine will restore the shine of your board, and keep it waterproof longer. The oil also prevents the wood from drying out, and this method can be used on other kitchen utensils such as wooden spoons, wooden serving boards, wood salad bowls, and more.

Tips to Maintain Your Wooden Cutting Board

Wooden cutting boards can get notable damage from kitchen knives, and unlike a plastic cutting board, wooden boards tend to dry out over time as well. Maintaining your wooden board helps to keep it fresh and clean for a longer period of time. Here are a few maintenance tips on keeping your wood cutting board pristine:

  • Avoid cutting raw meat on the wood board as it tends to absorb the smell and residue from the meat. Bacteria can also fester in the notches, leading to unsanitary food preparations.
  • Always wipe off excess moisture from the wooden cutting board to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Avoid using heavy chopping methods on the wood board. Wooden utensils are not meant for heavy use, and can get damaged from knife use. Take precautions to avoid creating notches in your wood cutting board.
  • Use a soft cloth when drying or applying oil on your cutting board. Unlike plastic boards that can withstand rough fabric, wood can get damaged from repeated use of abrasive materials such as rough cloth, sponges, or steel wool.

Your Cleaning Solution

Luce Home is your cleaning solution for all your home and kitchen needs. Our experienced cleaners will be sure to remove every speck of dirt and grime from your home, leaving you with a sparkling-clean household. Keep up the home maintenance with scheduled cleaning, and you'll never have to worry about dust bunnies or mold spots!

Give us a call today, and we can schedule your next cleaning session as soon as we can!

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