So, you got a brand new, handmade wooden cutting board. It’s gorgeous, and you can’t wait to use it. The only problem is you don’t want to damage or ruin it. Not to worry, because we are putting together a quick guide on how to maintain your cutting board to keep it looking brand new.
First, it’s important to understand the different types of wood and how they are all affected differently. Most cutting boards are made with hardwoods like Maple, Walnut, and Cherry. You might be thinking that oak should be in this conversation, because it is a hardwood. However, Oak has very large pores compared to other hardwoods. This makes it easier for food and liquid to get into the wood causing bacteria to build up. Denser hardwoods like
walnut and hard maple have smaller pores. This makes them optimal for cutting board use.
Even though some woods have small pores, they still have them. Wooden cutting boards can get waterlogged no matter which wood is used. It doesn’t matter how gentle you are, your cutting board will get scratched. With proper care you can minimize the damage. Here are the steps to keeping your cutting board as good as new.
1. Hand Wash – Do Not Submerge
Bacteria build up is the biggest concern with cutting boards, to minimize the risk you should never put your cutting board in the dishwasher. They can cause immediate damage by warping and splintering the wood. We recommend hand washing after every use. However, you should never submerge under water. Any cuts or abrasions in the wood will immediately fill with water and cause bacteria buildup. Additionally, when washing the board, be sure to clean the whole board, and not just the dirty side. Cleaning one side will cause the wood to warp and eventually split at the seams.
2. Wipe Down and Let Air Dry
Once you’ve finished the wash, wipe down the board with a soft, clean, and dry towel. Stand the board up on its edge and let it air dry for several hours. It’s important not to lay the board flat, because If the wood dries unevenly the wood will warp.
3. Disinfect The Cutting Board with White Vinegar.
White Vinegar is a great disinfectant for bacteria like E. Coli and Salmonella. We recommend damping a soft clean towel with white vinegar. Rub the vinegar into the board and let sit for a few minutes and dry off with a dry towel.
4. Use Baking Soda to Wipe Away Stains
I’ve always noticed that when I cook with buffalo sauce (pretty much every time I cook) my cutting board gets stained to a faint orange. Fortunately, there’s a solution! Mix 2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, and 3 tablespoons water to make a paste. Scrub the paste onto the cutting board and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Dry with a clean towel and the stain is gone.
5. Use Mineral Oil to Maintain The Wood
We suggest keeping a bottle of food safe mineral oil around. We recommend this one which is FDA approved and can be found in your local hardware store. After every couple of uses and you notice some the board starting to wear, rub on some mineral oil and letting it sit overnight. All you have to do is wipe it off with a dry and clean towel, and you are good to go!
6. Cut Softly
Everyone loves a sharp knife. They can be especially useful in maintaining cutting boards. When you don’t have to apply as much pressure to cut your ingredients, you don’t end up chopping the board as hard. As a result, we recommend getting a great knife set, and cutting lightly.
7. Sand Down Larger Cuts.
If you do end find yourself making some deeper cuts into the cutting board, you have nothing to worry about. You can sand the board down by hand to reduce the cut. Just be sure to sand down the whole board evenly and finish it off with some mineral oil.
By maintaining your wooden cutting board with these best practices in mind, your board is sure to last a lifetime. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on the contact page. If you’re interested in purchasing a new cutting board and personalizing it with a laser engraving, you can check them out here!