A great wooden cutting board doesn't come cheap. Made of quality oak or other solid wood, one could cost hundreds of dollars. So, taking adequate care of your wooden board is very important. Regular maintenance can protect your board from cracking, warping, mold, and naturally-occurring bacteria, which can seep into the material and make you ill. In this article, we will summarize simple and easy steps you can do to take better care of your precious wooden cutting board.
1. Hand Wash Only If Needed.
Sometimes, we use the cutting board to crack some nuts or slice a loaf of bread. In this instance, the cutting board could be easily clean by wiping or brushing away crumbs. You do not need to wash your cutting board with water after use.
2. Scrap and Scrub with Soapy Water.
If you use your wooden cutting board to cut vegetables or meat, you may want to clean it immediately to avoid any prolonged oder. First, try scraping any leftovers. Then, apply some soapy water and scrub it until it is clean.
3. Remove the Lingering Food Odor Easily with Lemon or Vinegar.
Bad food odors tend to occur later if you do not clean the board right away after cutting food like garlic or fish. If you experience a lingering odor on your board, try scrubbing it with lemon juice and salt. You can also use vinegar to substitute lemon juice as well. Both of them have an anti-bacterial property and will reduce any lingering food smells like onion or fish.
4. Do Not Sink Your Board Into Water.
Sinking the complete board into water is not recommended as the excess water would encourage cracking and warping.
5. Always Wash Both Sides of the Board.
To prevent the board from drying unevenly, which may lead to warping and cracking, wash both sides of the board and dry it thoroughly with a cloth or towel.
6. Air Dry by Standing it Upright in an Open Space.
The quickest way to dry a cutting board is to stand it upright on a rack or against a wall. This method would prevent any residual water from pooling, which could lead to warping or cracking. It is important to dry your wooden board in an open space until it is completely dry. Inadequate drying could lead to mildew, which is a cluster of black spots growing on the cutting board. They cause cosmetic damage and possibly various health issues.
7. Give Your Wooden Board a Spa.
Every season of the year, I recommend applying mineral oil or coconut oil to the surface of your dry cutting board to treat the wood and prevent any cracking. Leave it on overnight. Then remove any excess oils with a cloth. As you may know, wood is a natural material that will dry out after so much contact with water. So, oiling the surface of the wood will help create a protective barrier against moisture and prevent it from becoming brittle and cracking.
You could also choose to oil it more often if needed. Usually, if the cutting board absorbs a few drops of water very quickly, it is a sign that the board could use some oil rubbing.
Following these simple steps will help prolong the life of your precious cutting board. If you are looking to start your cooking journey with a new cutting board, we recommend these boards.