April 3, 2014

How to Clean and Care for a Wood Cutting Board

My best friend in the kitchen is my giant wooden cutting board.  It's literally huge, and I literally use it every time I cook.  My cutting board has his own spot on the counter-right between the stove and the sink.  It is the perfect prep spot and the cutting board let's me do all my work in one spot.

I use my cutting board to chop and, for gathering my mis en place, and as a general spot to sit anything and everything.  I also use him as a back drop for food photos, and occasionally as a hot pad. 

As a result of all this hard work my cutting board was in need of a deep cleaning and an oiling.  (He was getting kind of grungy.)

Follow these steps for a great looking and working wooden cutting board.  If you take good care of the cutting boards they should last a really really long time.  

How to Clean and Care for A wooden Cutting Board
Author: Happy Food Happy Home

Wooden Cutting Board
220 grit sandpaper
sanding block
Kosher Salt
Coconut Oil
Paper Towels or a clean dry cloth
  1. Optional-If needed use the sanding block and sandpaper to sand the surface of your cutting board.  Sanding will help remove stains, buff out knife scratches, and smooth the surface of your cutting board.  Don't try to be perfect--you might end up with an uneven surface; just lightly sand the surface. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off the sawdust.
  2. Cut the lemon in half.  Pour a teaspoon of salt onto the surface of the cutting board. Use the lemon half to scrub the salt into the cutting board, focusing on stains.  Cover the surface of the cutting board with the lemon juice-salt mixture.  Flip the board over and repeat on the other side with an additional teaspoon of salt.  Let the cutting board sit for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly rinse the cutting board and allow it to air dry completely.
  4. Using your hands massage about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into each side of the cutting board.  Flip the board over onto a towel before doing the second side.  Let the board sit overnight to allow it to absorb all the oil it can. 
  5. After its overnight soak use paper towels to buff the excess coconut oil off of the board. If your board is dry, repeat the coconut oil massage and allow to sit again.   

Your board is ready for use!  To keep clean day to day rinse your cutting board after every use.  If you cut meat on your wood surface use soap to wash before using with other ingredients. Allow board to dry out between washings-if the board gets water inside it may crack. 

You can oil your board once or twice a month, or you can wait longer. Just follow steps 2-6 for a great looking wooden cutting board.  My cutting board was really overdue for a good cleaning and oiling, but looks wonderful now!  I would recommend only sanding about once a year-if you sand too often there won't be anything left of your cutting board!

Just a note:  I bought my wooden cutting board at a kitchen supply store.  It was cheap-only 15 dollars-but a little rough.  I did an initial sanding to smooth out the roughness before I ever started using it.  After sanding it was as smooth as butter and functions just as well as a 100 dollar cutting board. 


  1. Great tips!With only a few minutes of care, you can easily keep any cutting board in pristine condition for years to come, not to mention keep your prime working surface sanitary for you and your guests!

    Best regards! Romford Carpet Cleaners Ltd.


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