One of the most used items in any kitchen is a wooden cutting board. You chop onions, pound meat, and slice fruit on it. Wood is a natural product and, over time, the wear and tear of normal use will affect its structure and beauty. So knowing how to take care of a wooden cutting board should be any home cooks priority if they want a long-lasting and good-looking kitchen tool.
Clean Your Wooden Cutting Board After Every Use
You do not need to do a deep cleaning every time after you use your wooden cutting board but boards should be washed immediately after use. Do not set them aside to clean later. Setting them aside allows food remnants and germs to soak into the wood. That is also why you do not soak your wooden cutting board in the water. You also do not put them in the dishwasher because it can crack from the rapid heat and cooling.
In order to clean your wooden cutting board, you need to rinse it with hot water, wipe it down with hot soapy water, and then rinse it again. After washing, wipe it dry with a clean cloth or dishtowel and then set it upright in a dry, open area. Do not put it away in a drawer or cabinet until it is fully dry.
Deep Clean Your Board Regularly
If you want to clean your wooden cutting board more thoroughly, use sea salt and lemon for a good scrub and a natural antibacterial. Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle coarse sea salt onto your board, and then use the halved lemon to scrub the board while slightly squeezing so the juice spreads around. Once you are done scrubbing the board, let it sit and soak the lemon juice for 10-15 minutes and then rinse the cutting board with hot water. Then dry it as you would after washing your board. This process does not need to be done very often, maybe every 2-3 months, depending on how frequently your board is used.
Oil Your Board For Protection
Knowing how to take care of a wooden cutting board is understanding that as important as it is to clean your cutting board, it is also important to keep the wood in great condition. That is why you should oil your cutting board at least once a month, or when the wood is starting to feel dry. As a routine, it may be best to oil your board after doing the deep lemon scrub.
To add a protective layer, to avoid the wood from cracking, and to prevent stains, use food-grade mineral oil. Avoid vegetable or nut-based oils. And stay away from oils with odor or flavor. Once you make sure your cutting board is dry and debris free, apply oil to a paper towel or clean cloth and spread the oil evenly over your wooden cutting board. Let the oil settle in for a few hours, or overnight, and then wipe off the excess oil with a clean and dry cloth.
Deodorize and Disinfect Your Cutting Board
Wooden cutting boards can become gross and smelly from food that has been absorbed or stuck in nicks. You can remove odor with white vinegar. White vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a great disinfectant for E. coli, salmonella, and common household bacteria. If the odor is moderate, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, spray your cutting board, let it sit for a while, rinse it off with water, and then let it dry. If the smell is truly offensive, then you should soak your cutting board in white vinegar for a couple of minutes, rinse it off, and then let it dry.
Remove Stains On Your Board
Some foods can leave stains on your wooden cutting board. Those stains can sometimes remain even after a deep clean. If the look of your board matters to you, then you can remove stains by creating a cleaning agent paste by mixing 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and 3 tablespoons of water. Scrub the entire board with the paste, wipe it with a warm wet dishtowel or cloth, and then dry it as you would after washing.
How To Take Care Of A Wooden Cutting Board With Lots of Knife Marks
It is difficult to avoid a collection of nicks and scratches on your cutting board caused by your knives. But since your board is made of wood, it can be treated like any other wooden piece and be refurbished with some sanding. You need 100, 180, and 240 grit sandpaper. Use the 100 grit first to sand your board, then use the 180, and finally use the 240 for a fine grit that will smooth out the wood. After sanding your board, wash it, let it dry, and then oil it to add a protective layer.
Cut and Chop with Sharp Knives
Sharp knives know how to take care of a wooden cutting board. A dull knife makes cutting anything more difficult and you can cause more abuse to your board with every slam of the knife. A sharp knife makes slicing and chopping much easier since you are not using as much pressure as you would if the knife was dull. Keep your knives sharp and maintained for ease of use but, also, to avoid gashes on your wooden cutting board.
Cutting boards have long been used as reliable support when you need to slice, dice, chop, pound, or, even, organize. It is one of the tools most often used in the kitchen. It deals with a lot of wear and tear and, if you know how to take care of a wooden cutting board, it will continue to do so and look good while doing it.