Maintaining your wooden cutting board.

So you've purchased a wood cooking product and if properly taken care of can last you and your family lifetimes. However, all good things need to have general maintenance in order to get the most longevity out of the product.

The information can be overwhelming at times. And also there are articles that will counter act the other conflicting information so I will try to make a simple how to. This is by no means the be all end all of instructions.

The board should be just cleaned off with warm water.

  • scrub with the grain

  • a bit of soap is not the end of the world, just be sure to rinse thoroughly to wash it all away.

  • The acidity in Lemons or White Vinegar have properties to neutralize garlic and onion type odors and taste out of the board. However Vinegar when added with steel wool will rapidly oxidize the wood. Don't combine the two or let the vinegar sit on the board for an extended period of time.

Once cleaned put it on its edge so that it dries equally on both sides.

  • As a general practice the board should be put up on its edge when you're not using it. It allows air and moisture to move equally in and out of both sides. If your board is cupping or no longer level this is likely why. Sometimes it can be corrected by wetting and letting it dry more uniformly.

Oil board to prevent cracking and sanitize.

  • There are many different ways to oil the board and most finishes are homogeneous, so don't worry too much about mixing oils if you don't know.

  • Oils penetrate the wood and do not usually harden. When the board is properly saturated the oil acts like a membrane repelling unwanted juices and bacteria from staying on the board.

  • I will also link a study of the antibacterial properties of wood. Arguing that it may actually be better than plastic when it comes to deterring bacteria. Which was one of my main concerns when making and using wood cutting boards. In the article it states that plastic is susceptible to damage to cuts and that is where the bacteria will hang out.

What oil?

  • Lately, I've been using Top Oil by Osmo. It is a food grade oil that penetrates the wood and also hardens on the outside. any additional coats adhere to the original finish, opposed to other hardened finishes just sitting on top of wood or previously hardened finish.

  • Mineral Oil or a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil is usually the most readily available option. Mineral oil can be found in pharmacies as a laxative. Don't worry you won't consume enough, if any at all for it to serve its intended purpose. Naturalist will avoid this due to the fact it is petroleum based, mind you its original purpose is to be consumed orally.

  • If you go to a general hardware store you can also buy generic food safe oils to keep your board in mint condition. Like this

I think that covers just about everything. If cuts get to be too much you can sand or take it to your local woodworker to resurface the board. Making it virtually brand new again.

If you have any questions send me a message on one my many listed mediums or find me in person.