How to PROPERLY take care of your wood cutting board
Whether it be a cutting board from us, or from one of our competitors, properly taking care of your cutting board can be the difference between it lasting decades or literally weeks. Improperly taking care of your board can lead to cracks, warps, stains, discoloration and more. And nobody wants there nice new cutting board to have any of that!
So in this article, we are going to go over a list of do's and do not's for your wood cutting boards.
The Do Not's
Never leave your wood cutting board soaking in water or run it through the dishwasher
Now this may seem obvious to some, but to some it may not. But you never and I repeat NEVER, want to leave your wood cutting boards soaking in water or run them through the dishwasher. Properly dried wood can be likened to a sponge, soaking up liquid that lays on it.
When you first purchase a cutting board (I'm speaking for us and cannot guarantee every company does this properly even though it is very important) it has been thoroughly soaked with a food-safe oil finish. Like a sponge when it has soaked up all the liquid it can handle, it no longer soaks up any more. The same is with wood cutting boards. When they have been properly finished, they will not soak up any excess liquids.
Over time, this oil comes out from when it is cleaned, when you place hot food items on the board, or just setting in the sun or open air. When the oil in the wood starts to dissipate, this is when refinishing is required which we will touch on later.
When the cutting board is left to soak up water, the wood swells. Then when you take the cutting board out and leave it on the counter, it drys and shrinks. This expansion and contraction of the wood over time can and WILL cause the wood to develop cracks.
Never leave your cutting board in direct sunlight for an extended period of time
Alright for this one please note I said "extended". A cutting board will always get some direct sunlight unless you live in a dungeon. But leaving your board in the sunlight for an "extended" period of time can cause a list of problems.
The radiant heat from the sunlight can not only cause your board to warp, but it can also speed up the drying out of the oil in the board, which was explained more in the previous section. All in all, try to store your cutting board in a cabinet, or somewhere on the counter where the sun won't beat down on it.
Never place a hot pan, skillet, or baking sheet on your cutting board
Your cutting board is not a hot plate! Do not place extremely hot items on the board. This not only includes the things mentioned, but ANY very hot item. This can cause the board to dry out, and also warp. But not only just warp, this can cause the board to warp at such a fast rate that it can crack! No one wants a cracked cutting board.
Alright now that we have covered the key do not's, let's go over the do's of taking care of your wood cutting board.
Regularly oil your cutting board
Regularly oiling your cutting board is a KEY factor to making it last and keep it looking as good as possible. I personally recommend oiling no less than once a week if you use your cutting board on a regular basis. Oiling fills the woods need for moisture so that it doesn't soak up other liquids like water or the juices from that nice steak.
Opinions on what to oil your boards with vary's pretty greatly. Some recommend using oils like walnut, olive, or vegetable oil. I recommend NOT using oils that has a shelf life such as these and here's why. Oil with a shelf life spoils. So if you oil your cutting board with something that is going to go bad after some time goes by, what are you doing. You're creating a bacteria motel. As the oil spoils, it will begin to grow bacteria which creates an unsafe surface for placing food items on.
So with all that being said, I highly recommend using oils that do not spoil. A common oil for this is mineral oil. This is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless oil that is very cost effective. This is typically what the cutting board will be finished with when you first purchase it. You can reapply mineral oil, but you will have to do it more often.
I highly recommend using an enhanced mineral oil. This allows for not only a longer lasting finish, but only requires one coat. We sell Walrus Oil on our site. They are the leading producers of premium cutting board oil.
If you would like to purchase our recommended cutting board oil, click this link: https://greenridgemillwork.com/collections/cutting-board-care/products/walrus-oil-cutting-board-oil
And lastly, use a beeswax sealer
A beeswax sealer can greatly assist the oil in sealing off water and other liquids from penetrating into the wood. If you purchase the right product, this is very easy to apply, and I recommend doing this once to twice a month. We also sell Walrus Oil Cutting Board Wax. This is an excellent, super easy to apply beeswax sealer.
If you would like to purchase our recommended cutting board beeswax sealer, click this link: https://greenridgemillwork.com/collections/cutting-board-care/products/walrus-oil-cutting-board-wood-wax
We also sale a cutting board oil and wax sealer bundle, if you click this link: https://greenridgemillwork.com/collections/cutting-board-care/products/walrus-oil-cutting-board-oil-wood-wax-combo
So that's it. Follow these simple instructions, and you can make your wood cutting board last for many many years to come.