Cleaning, sanitizing and sealing are the three rules of cutting board care. It is funny how we regularly maintain certain items in our home yet others just seem to be taken for granted. Cutting boards, a kitchen essential, seem too often to fall into this category of neglected items. Sure we wipe it clean after using it, but are we truly taking the precautions to guarantee that it remains safe and functional for a long time?
A. Clean your board using warm soapy water
B. Sanitize it by spraying your cutting board with white vinegar and water
C. Seal your wood board with mineral oil (or cutting board oil)
So you’ve just made some delicious bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches complete with crispy bacon, fresh iceberg lettuce, and garden tomatoes on rye bread. Your cutting board is full of crumbs and tomato juices. First step, wipe the board with a paper towel to remove any excess particles and juices. Next, scrub the board with the rough side of a sponge using mild detergent and warm water. Then, rinse the cutting board with hot water and dry it with a clean dish towel. Let it air dry.
In addition to the regular cleaning using the soapy water and the sponge, it is strongly recommended that you regularly sanitize your wood cutting board, particularly after cutting raw meats. Using a clean spray bottle with four parts water and one part white vinegar, thoroughly spray the board. Let the board sit for 5 minutes and then wipe it with a paper towel. Allow the board to air dry.
Using 3 or 4 tablespoons of mineral oil (look for food-grade mineral oil which contains no perfumes or chemicals, you can also purchase cutting board oil ) coat the cutting board. Let the board sit for 30 minutes or so to allow the oil to be absorbed by the wood. Wipe the board with a paper towel. That’s it, your board has been sealed.
Sealing should be done on a regular basis (every few months) depending on the frequency of use of your wood cutting board. Regular sealing helps prevent the board from drying out and, as a result, cracking. You will know when it is time to re-seal your board as the board will lighten as the sealant wears off.
Following the ABCs of wood cutting board care, cleaning, sanitizing and sealing, your cutting board will remain clean, sanitary and beautiful for a long time. Be sure to visit Wood Cutting Boards to see our selection of beautiful maple and walnut cutting boards as well as our unique puzzle shaped cutting boards.