Cutting Board Care
When it comes to caring for your wooden cutting board, the best rule of thumb is to hand wash it using warm soapy water. Never place a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher or submerge it in water for extended periods of time. It will result in discoloration, warping and maybe even cracking the wood.
Because people want to be careful with their cutting boards, people will often only wash the top. That actually can damage the board. As moisture reacts with grain, it swells, and if the swelling is only on one side, it can cause the board to warp. A rocking cutting board usually means that only one side was washed.
Washing Your Board
Vinegar is acetic and has been used as a disinfectant for generations. You can make your own cutting board cleaning solution by mixing one part vinegar to four parts water and pour it over the cutting board. You may also use lemon juice as a substitute. After sitting for a few minutes, simply rinse and then hand wash the board with soap and water. Once complete, towel dry board and let it dry thoroughly overnight. If you can, stand it on edge (a dish rack works great!) so that both large faces have equal access to the air.
If you have unwanted stains (beets, berries, purple carrots) you can apply a simple paste made from one tablespoon baking soda, one tablespoon kosher salt, and a tablespoon of water or lemon juice. Using a sponge, or ½ a lemon, gently scrub out stains. Lemon juice also helps remove unwanted scents (garlic, onions).
To clean a wooden board after cutting raw meat, just hand wash the board using hot soapy water and follow up with the disinfecting solution
Oiling Your Cutting Board
While not completely necessary, The next morning, use your hands to apply a generous layer of mineral oil to the sides, top, bottom, and any groove, grip, or handle. You don’t need puddles of oil on your board, just enough to cover the wood with an even coat. Let the oil soak into the board for at least three hours. Leave it on its edge to dry just like before. This process hydrates the wood.
After the oil has had enough time to soak into the grains, it’s time to apply board butter. Coopers Board Butter is food safe and all natural, bees wax and mineral oil. Board Butter can be applied directly to the wood and spread over the entire board. Get it in every nook and cranny. Board butter is greasy. If you don’t want to get it all over your hands, apply it with a lint-free microfiber cloth. Once you’ve covered the whole piece of wood, you’ve created a barrier to help the wood retain moisture.
Polish and Buff
In the morning, use a lint-free microfiber cloth to rub the board in circular motions, polishing and buffing. The wood will get glassy and beautiful. After you finish, water (and even red wine) should just pool on it rather than soak into the wood. This indicates you have created a successful barrier!