Wood cutting boards are durable surfaces used in kitchens to cut up foods while cooking and preparing meals. To maintain a wood cutting board, you should season it first. This will help prevent damage with use. Clean the board regularly and re-season it when the oil surface begins to wear down. Avoid doing certain things, like cutting meat on the board, as this could contaminate it.
Use mineral oil.
It’s best to use mineral oil to season a cutting board. This helps prevent the wood from cracking over time. You can buy mineral oil online or at a local department store or drug store.
Apply the oil.
To apply the oil, make sure your cutting board is free of any dirt and debris. You can wipe off anything with a dry paper towel. Then, apply a generous amount of oil to paper towel. Gently glide the paper towel over the cutting board, adding a thin layer of oil to your board.
Let the oil soak.
Set the board aside somewhere where it will not be disturbed, such as a cabinet. Allow the oil to soak in overnight.
If you need to use the board that same day, at least let the oil soak in for a few hours.
Remove excess oil.
The board may feel oily or sticky after seasoning it. If your board is sticky, use a paper towel to gently buff out any excess oil.
After removing the excess oil, you can safely use your cutting board.
Clean your board after each use.
Wooden cutting boards should never be set aside to clean later. This can allow food and germs to soak into the board. Always clean a wooden cutting board right after use. Always hand wash cutting boards. They should never be washed in a dishwasher.
Use a damp cloth and mild dish detergent to wipe down the board. When you’re done, use another damp cloth to wipe off the detergent.
Some people find dish detergents are harsh on wood. If you’re worried about using chemical cleaners, clean your board by sprinkling salt over the board. Then, use a lemon to rub the board clean. When you’re done, rinse and dry the board.
Dry your board correctly.
Do not place a cutting board in a dish rack on its side to dry. Lay it on a flat surface instead. If a cutting board dries on its side, it will bend in one direction.
Re-season the board regularly.
Every few weeks, drip some water onto the board. If the water remains on the surface, the board does not need to be re-seasoned. If the water soaks in, you should add another layer of mineral oil to the board and let it soak in overnight.
Do not put the board in the dishwasher.
Wooden cutting boards are extremely sensitive to water. Under no circumstances should you put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. Wooden cutting boards should always be hand washed.
Clean the board after cutting raw meat.
Even well seasoned cutting boards absorb food material easily. Meat can easily soak in, which can expose you to dangerous bacteria. Luckily, bacteria can be removed by cleaning the board after each use. You should also never cut vegetables, fruit, or other materials using the board after cutting meat without washing the board first.
Do not place your board in the sink.
Never place a wooden cutting board in the sink with other dishes. You should always wash your cutting board right away. Soaking it in the sink will damage the cutting board and can cause it to rot or bend.