Natural Wood Cutting Board Care and Maintenance
What you’ll need to take care of your cutting boards
- Mineral Oil – food grade, FDA approved for food contact
- The “digestive aid” mineral oil found at Walmart or Walgreens works great and is a fraction of the price of mineral oil labeled for cutting boards. (about $1.98 a bottle at Walmart last time I got some) A bottle will probable last at least a year.
- Beeswax – a solid chunk or you can melt some into a little oil
- 1:1 White Vinegar/water (in a spray bottle is easiest)
- New scrubby sponge or cleaning cloth
- Dry, lint free towels
Dry use – breads
- Wipe off with dry cloth
Wet use - veggies, fruit, etc...
- Use a clean scrubby sponge and with a very little bit of soapy water to scrape off any big chunks.
- Rinse and dry immediately and thoroughly
- For deep sanitization cover surface with salt and let sit overnight.
- Next day rub salt in with a 1:1 white vinegar and water solution, let solution sit for a couple minutes
- Wipe off with a dry cloth, dry thoroughly
- Rub in mineral oil, let sit anywhere between 15 minutes and overnight depending on how dry the board is.
* Your board has been fully conditioned, so you should only need to do this about once a month or if board begins to dry out and lighten in color. If you use your board several times a week it would be a good idea to condition weekly instead of monthly. YOU CANNOT OVER-OIL YOUR BOARD so be generous with the oil.
- Wipe off excess
- Buff dry
- Buff in beeswax for greater protection. Beeswax will fill in knife scratches and checks in the wood preventing bacteria from hiding. There is no taste and it’s perfectly safe for food contact. It is not necessary to use the beeswax every time, you can gauge when it’s needed by how “waterproof” the board is. If water starts soaking in instead of beading up and running off it’s time to wax.
- If your board becomes “fuzzy” you can go over it with 220+ sandpaper and it will smooth back down and its ready to be oiled/waxed again.
The things to never do to your board…
- Never use olive oil, fruit oils, vegetable oils or oils derived from animal fats. These types of oils will hide in the scratches and checks and go rancid.
- Never use a scrubby sponge or cloth that has been used to wash dishes that had meat or very oily foods. The bacteria from the foods will grow in the scrubby sponge and transfer to the board. Best to use a new sponge if you have to scrub your board.
- Never put your board in the dishwasher, this will dry the board out and it will warp and crack.
- Try not to use natural wood boards for meat. Plastic types work better because they are easily cleaned. If you must use your wood board for meat, sanitize immediately after use with soapy water, salt and the vinegar/water solution.