Wood cutting boards are one of the most versatile kitchen tools you can have. They are great for chopping meats, fruits, and veggies and they also make beautiful serving platters for cheeses, meats, and breads. A wood cutting board, properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
I’ve been asked about how to take care of wood cutting boards and I honestly didn’t really know, so I called in an expert! My friend and fellow junk lover Robbie. She owns The Birch Tree and makes the most stunning wood cutting boards with her dad from wood off their family farm in Central Texas. She knows a thing or two about wood, so here is what she had to say about taking care of a wood cutting board, old or new! Let me know if you have any questions and I will be sure she chimes in with an answer for you. Please go visit her etsy store The Birch Tree Online. These original, one of a kind pieces would be a great birthday gift, Father’s day present or just to treat yourself to a beautiful kitchen addition! Here is an untreated board:
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Washing a Wood Cutting Board:
NEVER soak a wooden cutting board in water or put it in the dishwasher! This can cause it to warp, split, and/or crack.
After you’re done slicing and dicing, take the cutting board to the sink and wash it down with hot water and soap. Be sure to wash all sides and edges. If you only wash the top of the board you can actually cause damage. Wood soaks up the water when you wash it and swells with the moisture. If you only wash one side, the wood will swell differently and can cause the board to warp. Dry the washed board immediately and stand it up so that air can circulate on all sides. Laying the board flat can trap moisture underneath the board and cause warping due to the uneven swelling of the wood.
With use, your cutting board may obtain some stains. There are a couple of ways to remove stubborn stains. Depending on your preference, sprinkle baking soda or kosher salt on the surface of the cutting board, then work it into the surface stains with a lemon or a gentle sponge or wash cloth. Rinse the board, dry it with a towel and stand it on end to dry completely.
Another blemish due to use are surface cuts in your cutting board. You can sand out deep cuts by taking sand paper to the entire surface of the board. Be sure to sand evenly and work from a lower grit to a higher grit of sandpaper, which takes time, but will give the board a whole new life. Wipe any excess sawdust with a clean white cloth. Make sure to start from the beginning of conditioning process after any sanding.
And always remember: No matter what cleaning method you use, dry the cutting boards with a clean towel and stand them up to dry completely. You don’t want to lay them down right away, as moisture can be trapped underneath.
Conditioning Your Cutting Board:
After your clean cutting board is completely dry, you will need to recondition the board to make it food-use ready. Use a clean white cloth to apply food-grade mineral oil to all surfaces of the cutting board. Allow the mineral oil to soak in. This may take a few applications. When the oil no longer soaks completely in, wipe the excess off with a clean white cloth. Leave the cutting board on its edge to dry completely just like after you wash it.
Once you have applied the mineral oil and it has dried, you will need to apply a conditioner. I use a beeswax and mineral oil combination conditioner. To apply, wipe the conditioner on with a clean white cloth and allow to soak in. Be sure to apply the conditioner to all surfaces of the cutting board. Place the board on its side as before and allow the conditioner to dry. After the conditioner has dried, grab a clean white cloth and buff the board. Buffing the cutting board will give it that gorgeous glassy look.
Theoretically, with the proper care, a wood cutting board could last a lifetime. If your cutting board does ever warp or crack, discontinue use and get a new one. There are so many varieties of wood cutting boards available. They are truly a piece of art and a versatile tool for your kitchen.
Be sure to save these handy tips for later and if you have a board in need you can order the supplies below.
Wood Cutting Board Cleaning Supplies:
The Birch Tree Online
Food Grade Mineral Oil
Butcher Block Conditioner
You can also follow the Birch Tree on Facebook and Instagram to see the latest products she has available, look at the gorgeous raw edge board I have from her…
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