For most people, wooden cutting boards are one of the most used and beloved kitchen tools. In fact, cutting boards are one of the most actively used kitchenware and often the most neglected ones. Even though cutting boards are put to rough use, we fail to give them the care they deserve.
To ensure that our wooden cutting board stays beautiful for years, they need proper care and maintenance. Thus, to keep it looking great and remain a long-lasting accessory in your kitchen, you need to follow some easy maintenance routine. In addition to cleaning the board after every use and disinfecting it timely, it requires oiling. Oiling a cutting board is essential to eliminate lingering odors and stains and keeps it from cracking.
Wood is the most popular choice for cutting boards because it gives a gorgeous rustic look and long-lasting, and maintains the knife edge. However, hardwood cutting boards require a little love and care. Oiling is an essential part of maintaining your board sanitary, looking new, and extending its life. Since most people are not aware of oils and substances appropriate for oiling cutting boards, we have listed here oils that are safe and products that must be avoided. Read further to know how to sanitize and keep your board looking beautiful for years to come.
Properly wash and Dry.
First, you need to wash your cutting board with soap and warm water. Make sure to scrub the surface to remove food particles properly. It is important to note here that wooden cutting boards must never be soaked in water or washed in a dishwasher. The natural wood is porous and can’t put up with heat and water. To disinfect the board and remove stains or smells, you can use lemon juice, white vinegar, or salt. The acid in these liquids will neutralize the organic material. You may also use a weak bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide to clean the boards to protect against bacterial contamination. After washing the cutting board, dry immediately with a towel and let it air dry in a standing up position or on a raised rack with airflow.
Apply Cutting Board Oil and Board Cream
After cleaning and drying the surface of the board, next comes oiling. The purpose of oiling is to prevent any other liquid and moisture from soaking into the board. In addition to this, the oiling dry board helps in maintaining the shape of the boards as it prevents wood fibers from expanding or shrinking.
Start by applying food-grade oil on an arid surface. Make the entire board surface dripping wet using a small towel or new paintbrush to spread the oil. It is important to leave it for some hours in an upright position, preferably overnight, so that the board properly soaks the oil. When the board becomes old or too dry, you may need to repeat this process twice or thrice. Once the surface is dry, apply a small amount of cream onto the board using a soft cloth in a circular pattern.
How often to Oil?
In addition to regularly washing and scrubbing wooden cutting boards with hot soapy water, it also needs timely oiling. This step depends on how often you use your wooden boards and your climatic conditions. Some people do it every week, during others once a month or twice a year.
What products to use?
It is recommended to use food-grade mineral oil, which is non-toxic and non-drying. While purchasing mineral oil, you need to look for the labeled products as “white mineral oil” because these are considered safe for human consumption. Moreover, you can also use Beeswax and Refractionated Coconut oil for maintaining your cutting board. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the beehives of honey bees and has a variety of applications.
What to avoid?
Vegetable oils such as olive oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil should never be used to maintain a cutting board. Also, keep your cutting board away from varnish and alcohol. However, alcohol is a great disinfectant but is extremely drying.