We've all been there: we get a new kitchen implement, and we vow to take good care of it. Then life gets in the way, and our best intentions are left far behind. But caring for your wooden cutting boards properly is surprisingly simple. And the rewards are enormous:
- Your family stays safe from food-borne illness.
- The board stays looking sleek.
- It lasts for many years to come.
- A mild dish soap.
- A board brush or scraper – to gently scrape food remains.
- Dish towels or paper towels – to try the board.
- Food-grade mineral oil or conditioner mix. Both are fine.
- Coarse salt, one lemon or distilled white vinegar (Optional)
- Baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. (Optional)
- Bleach (Optional)
HOW TO WASH A WOOD CUTTING BOARD
- Scrape off any leftover food debris with a brush or scraper.
- Use water and mild dish soap to wash the board and scrub all surfaces.
- Rinse the board thoroughly with warm water on both sides.
- Dry it with a towel and let it air dry upright before storing away.
You may be tempted to soak the board, thinking it will help loosen food particles or remove stains and odors. But soaking doesn't work for wood and is especially bad for cutting boards as it makes them warp and crack.
CAN YOU PUT A WOOD CUTTING BOARD IN THE DISHWASHER?
Many people wonder if it's safe to put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. The short answer is no; it is highly not recommended.
The high heat and strong detergents used in the dishwasher can cause the wood to warp, crack, or split. Additionally, constant exposure to water can lead to the wood becoming saturated, which can cause it to expand and become misshapen.
Hand washing with mild soap and warm water is the best method for cleaning a wooden cutting board to prolong its life. This method allows you to thoroughly clean the board and control the amount of water that comes into contact with it, helping to prevent warping or cracking.
HOW TO DISINFECT A WOOD CUTTING BOARD AFTER RAW MEAT OR FISH
When preparing raw meat or fish, it is best practice to use separate cutting boards - one for fruits, vegetables and bread, and another designated board for meat. This is because the porous nature of the wood and the potential for hidden nicks or crevices can trap juices and particles of meat. Which can cause serious illness if not properly cleaned and maintained. However, if you only have one wooden cutting board. In that case, it is essential to exercise caution and clean it immediately after use, using the steps for cleaning and disinfection outlined below. This will help protect you and your family from food-borne illnesses and prolong the life of your cutting board.
Here are your options; pick the one that fits you best.
- Mix equal parts vinegar and water.
- Spread the solution on the board and scrub all surfaces, including the sides and corners.
- Allow the solution to sit on the board for a few minutes to allow it to work.
- Rinse the board thoroughly with warm water and dry it with a clean towel.
- After cleaning and drying, store it upright to prevent warping.
- Repeat the process every time you use the board to cut raw meat or fish.
- Mix baking soda with water to form a paste.
- Spread the paste on the board and scrub all over.
- Allow the paste to sit on the board for 2-5 minutes to allow it to work.
- Rinse and dry with a towel.
- Mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- Spread the solution on the board and scrub, don't oversaturate.
- Allow the solution to disinfect the board for at least 5 minutes.
- Rinse well and dry.
- It's important to note that when using bleach, you should always use gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Never mix bleach with other cleaning products.
- Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide evenly on the board and scrub all surfaces with a brush.
- Allow the solution to disinfect the board for at least 5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly, followed by a dry cloth.
And remember to apply food-safe mineral oil to the board regularly to keep it well-conditioned and prevent warping or cracking.
HOW TO REMOVE STAINS, SMELLS AND DEODORIZE
Garlic adds a delicious zing to shrimp, chicken and skillet potatoes. Still, its powerful aroma can linger on your cutting board long after the meal is over. But don't let that stop you from enjoying your favorite dishes. We have the perfect solution for eliminating those stubborn smells and restoring your cutting board to its original freshness. This method is not only effective for garlic but also for fish and onion odors. So, say goodbye to unpleasant smells and hello to a fresh and clean cutting board, ready for your next culinary masterpiece.
All you need is a lemon and some salt.
- Wash the board with hot water and dish soap.
- Sprinkle coarse salt on the board, then use a cut lemon to scrub the board and cover all surfaces, including the sides and corners.
- Leave the salt and lemon juice on the board for a few minutes to allow it to work.
- Rinse the board thoroughly and dry it with a clean towel.
- Let air dry on the side before storing away.
NEVER SKIP THE AIR DRYING
The key to a long-lasting cutting board is proper drying. Never cut corners when drying your cutting board after each wash. A quick hand dry with a clean cloth will ensure that no water is left behind, and placing it upright to air dry ensures that it dries evenly. This extra step in the drying process may seem insignificant. Still, it is a wise investment in the longevity of your cutting board. It guarantees that your cutting board remains flat, stable, and ready for action every time.
Along with proper washing and drying, if you season and condition your board regularly, you'll keep the board safe and beautiful while prolonging its life and enjoyment. We advise to oil once a month.
Seasoning a board will:
- Protect it from water and mildew.
- Give it a seal to resist absorbing smells and bacteria.
- Help it resist stains.
- Prevent cracking.
Mineral oil is the most popular choice for cutting board seasoning because it won't go bad like cooking oils.
An alternative to mineral oil would be fractionated coconut oil (not to be mistaken with coconut oil)
Use Mevell Cutting Board Oil and apply a coat with a dry cloth or our oil applicator that leaves no mess and is super handy. Let it sit for an hour until the oil has soaked into the wood. Then, continue applying coats as necessary, allowing for drying in between. Usually, one good coating is enough, but another coat might be a good idea if you skipped a few good months.
Once the oil has soaked in, apply a coat of conditioner. (optional step) This provides an extra seal for the board's surface, giving it maximum protection and lustre.
WHEN MORE IS NEEDED – HOW TO REFINISH A CUTTING BOARD
Cooking is an art and a passion, but wooden cutting boards can be the unsung heroes in the kitchen, standing up to the rigors of daily use. One of the best things about wooden cutting boards is their forgiving nature. If your board has deep cuts and hard-to-reach crevices, all you need is a bit of sandpaper and some elbow grease to restore it to its original glory. With the right grit of sandpaper, 150/180/220, you can level out the surface and create a smooth, even finish.
And after all that hard work, treat your cutting board with a food grain oil and conditioner to bring out its natural beauty and ensure it lasts for years to come.
In conclusion, keeping your wooden cutting board clean and properly maintained is essential for safety and longevity. By following the simple steps we've outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your cutting board stays in good condition for many years to come. From scraping off food debris and washing with mild soap and warm water to disinfecting with vinegar, baking soda, or bleach, you can keep your cutting board safe for your family and prolong its life. It's also essential to use separate cutting boards for raw meats and fish to avoid cross-contamination and prolong the life of your cutting boards. So remember, a little effort goes a long way in keeping your wooden cutting board in top condition.
If your board is past its glory days, take a look at our collection of handcrafted wood cutting boards.