MAINTAINING YOUR CUTTING BOARD
Wash your cutting board with soap and warm water and scrub well. The volume of water and mechanical scrubbing is more important than soap in flushing
bacteria and other food particles off the board.
IMPORTANT: After washing the cutting board, dry immediately with a towel and let it air dry flat on small surfaced wooden sticks. This will allow board to
completely air dry.
What can't baking soda be used for? You can safely use baking soda to remove stubborn stains from a cutting board or butcher block. Sprinkle baking soda over the offensive spot and rub with a cloth, brush, or sponge dipped in hot water.
If your board begins to smell, one of the easiest tricks is to cut a lemon in half and rub it across the entire surface.The ascorbic acid in the lemon both reacts with and oxidizes organic material (bacteria and fats) that are the cause of smells and stains. The natural lemon oil also forces any soluble materials to be removed as well.
1. Do not put the board in the dishwasher. The heat and water will warp and splinter the wood.
2. Do not dunk or let the board stand in water. The wood will absorb water and potentially warp.
3. Do not use bleach. This will stain the wood and/or excessively dry the wood.
4. Do not put a wet board flat to dry. If the board dries on one side, it may cause the warping.
How to Apply Cutting Board Oil and Board Cream:
Once your cutting board is thoroughly dry, apply the oil directly onto the surface of the board. Be generous with the application, especially if the wood is dry or you just purchased the cutting board or butcher block. You want the surface to be dripping wet on all sides and I recommend using a small bar towel or new paint brush to spread the oil (try not to soak up the oil). Most importantly, let the oil soak into the cutting board for as long as possible; at least a few hours or overnight if possible.
Let your cutting board sit on a wire rack or upright to dry when done. If you are restoring an old dry or seasoning a new cutting board, you may wish to repeat this process two more times, to ensure your cutting board is completely seasoned.
To maintain that new finish look, I recommended you oil your cutting board every month or when dry to the touch. Why Use Cutting Board Oils and Board Creams?
The goal of board oil is to penetrate the wood and saturate the wood fibers, in order to stop any other liquids (blood, bacteria etc.) and moisture from soaking into the board. As well, a well-oiled cutting board will keep the same shape
when the wood fibers are saturated, so it will not expand and shrink compared to a board that is left to completely dry, then exposed to water. This shrinking and expanding effect is the main cause of warped cutting boards.
While board oil penetrates the wood, board cream (wax) acts as a physical barrier on the surface of the wood that protects against stains and liquids. The wax also aids in sanitation, as it fills and seals in knife scars and microscopic
cracks where bacteria would otherwise gather. Used in conjunction, cutting board oil and cream provide an effective combination of protective outer-layer and sealed wood that is sanitary, easier to clean and less likely to warp.
FOOD GRADE MINERAL OIL
Mineral oil (sometimes called liquid paraffin) is a non-toxic, non-drying product derived from petroleum that is colorless, odorless, and flavorless. Its properties prevent water absorption, which makes food-grade mineral oil (as determined by the Federal Drug Administration) a popular choice for wooden kitchen items such as: wooden spoons,bowls, and of course, cutting boards & butcher blocks. The key word here is food-safe.
NOTE: There are types of mineral oils that are not safe for human consumption; these are often used as lubricants for machinery or found in auto or hardware stores. Make sure that the mineral oil you use is labeled (FOOD SAFE) Products labeled as “white mineral oil” are considered food safe, as these are refined to a certain degree past other oils. Always make sure to carefully read
the product's labeling if you are unsure about its proper use.The safest route of course is to buy a mineral oil specifically blended for use in cutting boards.
Beeswax is also a popular choice for cutting board maintenance. It's a natural wax produced in the hives of honey bees and has a variety of applications. Use beeswax to hydrate, shine, and waterproof a cutting board.
-Refractionated Coconut Oil Coconut oils have recently become highly popular for a variety of purposes, especially in beauty, because it is rich is saturated fats that are good for skin health. Unfortunately, all fats exposed to air eventually go rancid and coconut oil is not immune. However, a select group of coconut oils are refined using a refractionation process, which is a fancy way of saying that the oils have been steam distilled. During this distillation process, coconut oil is separated so that the long-chain triglycerides (LCT) are removed and only the
medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are left. This leaves an almost pure oil that will NOT go rancid, is shelf stable and is superior to most other oils for treating not just cutting boards, but all your kitchen utensils, salad bowls, counter tops... you get the idea.
Also known as Brazil wax, this wax is derived from the leaves of a palm tree native to Brazil. Sometimes called “the queen of waxes,” carnauba is prized for its glossy finish and water resistance and is often used in automobile waxes, polishes, cosmetics, and even dental floss. Like beeswax, commercially available cutting board creams and oils often contain a mixture or carnauba, beeswax, and mineral oil.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND NATURAL OILS SUCH AS VEGETABLE, CORN, OLIVE OR PEANUT, as these are rich in fats that will eventually oxidize and go rancid, creating a foul smelling board. Again.., NEVER USE STANDARD MINERAL OIL from a hardware store that is not rated as food safe, as that is meant for machine lubrication and not for contact with food. It is not worth jeopardizing your health for a few Dollars!
Lightly wash top wooden area and dry quickly. DO NOT let bottom side get to wet or absorb Water. If water gets on bottom, wipe dry right away.
Why Wooden Cutting Boards are Best
While it may seem like plastic is non-porous and can't absorb liquids; with use the surface becomes knife-scarred. This rough surface is exceptionally difficult to clean, even with bleach or running through the dishwasher. Wood, by contrast, shows the ability to halt the growth of and kill bacteria applied to its
surface. Both new and used wooden cutting boards maintain this ability equally well.
Wood Versus Salmonella, Listeria and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
In a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Cliver, they tested bacteria known to produce food poisoning Salmonella, Listeria and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.These bacteria were placed on cutting boards made from seven different species of trees and four types of plastic. All the wooden boards consistently outperformed the plastic. The scientists found that three minutes after contaminating a board that 99.9 percent of the bacteria on wooden boards had died, while none of the bacteria died on plastic. Bacterial
numbers actually increased on plastic cutting boards held overnight at room temperature, but the scientists could not recover any bacteria from wooden boards treated the same way.