Care for Cutting Boards

1. Use:

- Wooden cutting boards are the most used type of cutting board because they are visually appealing and very practical. A quality cutting board is an essential and beautiful centerpiece for your kitchen or table.

- A cutting board is where your cooking experience begins so taking care of it is vitally important.

- Do not use a razor edge scraper or cleaver.

- Do not cut fresh poultry, fish, or meat unless you have thoroughly treated the surface with Cutting Board Conditioner to provide a moisture barrier on the surface. Immediately wash and disinfect the board. If your board has several knife marks, it may be better to dedicate a board for meat and one for everything else.

2. Clean:

- Cutting boards must always be washed by hand and never in the dishwasher. Exposure to water and heat can cause the wood fibers to expand causing the surface to crack and fail.

- Rinse the board and clean by hand every time you use the board.

- Properly drying your board is equally as important as cleaning. The best way is to wipe dry then let the board air dry on its edge. This will permit each side to be exposed to air and allow any retained water to escape from the board.

- Do not soak the cutting board in the sink.

- Do not allow liquids to stand on board for an extended time.

- Do not use baking soda to clean as it will interact with the oil to permanently stain your board.

- Do not scrub with abrasive or chemical cleaners.

- Do not use bleach as it will dry out the wood and probably change the color of the wood.

3. Sanitize:

- Occasionally sanitize your board by spraying with a mixture of 4-parts water to 1-part white vinegar. The vinegar is acidic and will disinfect the board by killing bacteria. Thoroughly wipe down the board and rinse. Then let the board air dry out of direct sunlight.

- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide is also an effective agent in killing bacteria. Simply pour some hydrogen peroxide on the surface of your board and let it stand for 10 – 15 minutes then wipe off and dry.

- Salt and lemon juice is acidic and can be used to clean the board. Mix some salt with lemon juice to make a paste then rub on the board to clean. Gently rinse off with running water then dry.

- If you cut raw meat on your board, the board will need more care to help fight bacterial contamination. Use a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach to one gallon of water. Cover the board (remember not to soak in the bleach) for a few minutes. Then flush, hand dry, and then air dry on edge.

4. Maintain:

- Failing to maintain your board will result in a shorter life. Fortunately, it does not take a lot of effort to maintain.

- Cutting Board Conditioner made from food-grade mineral oil and beeswax mixture works best to maintain the surface. This keeps the wood from drying which could result in cracking and/or warping. Also, it prevents water from contaminating your board and it keeps the board looking new.

- Rehab the board when required by applying Cutting Board Conditioner to all the surfaces and letting it soak into the wood. Let it soak for a couple of hours and when it looks dry, add more Cutting Board Conditioner to the board, then wipe off.

- Keep the board dry when not in use.

- Do not use vegetable oils such as olive, canola, or sunflower as they will turn rancid over time.

5. Rehab:

After a lot of use, sometimes your board will need to have some tender loving care due to the many knife marks. Knife marks will not cause a functional problem with the cutting board if it is properly maintained with regular Cutting Board Conditioner treatments. Since the board is wood it can always be re-sanded to create a “new” surface.

A random orbital sander or hand block with 220 Grit sandpaper will work. If the surface is rough use a lower grit sandpaper like 150 or 180 grit. Then finish with the 220 grit to remove all the sanding marks from the course paper. After sanding with 220 grit, clean the dust off the board and reapply food-grade mineral oil and let it sit overnight. Keep the surface wet with mineral oil so it will soak into the wood. After this, use Cutting Board Conditioner to put the final moisture protection layer on your board.