When your wood cutting board gets dirty from meat juices, vegetables, or other food items, you may be tempted to soak the board to clean it. Don’t! Soaking a wood cutting board, especially a custom wood cutting board, is guaranteed to ruin it. What’s worse is putting your custom cutting board in the dishwasher. Either method of cleaning can crack, warp, and split your cutting board.
Bacteria Risk from Soaking
Soaking a wood cutting board can also cause bacteria to grow inside the pores as it becomes waterlogged. This makes it unhealthy to use. This undermines the healthy benefits that owning a wooden cutting board can provide.
Using a wooden cutting board is very safe to use if properly maintained. In some cases, it can actually be safer than using plastic cutting boards, according to UC Davis. Plastic cutting boards can harbor bacteria in the gouges made as you cut on them with very sharp knives. Even soaking the damaged plastic cutting boards won’t be able to keep the cutting board free from bacteria. Wooden cutting boards, on the other hand, build character and are still very safe even if you have knife gouges in them, provided they are kept clean and maintained properly.
Wooden cutting boards will trap bacteria inside the pores and then kill it, causing your cutting board to be an excellent choice for preparing foods. With a little maintenance, you’ll find your custom cutting board will last a long time and stay in better shape than plastic cutting boards.
Prepping Your Cutting Board
All wooden cutting boards need to be seasoned before use. The best way to prep your new cutting board is to rub food grade mineral oil into the entire cutting board, across all the surfaces, and let it sit overnight. Then, wash your cutting board with hot, soapy water and rinse well. Let air dry. Your cutting board is now ready for use.
How to Clean Your Custom Wood Cutting Board
If your wood cutting board gets dirty, the first step is to wash it in hot soapy water, rinse it, and let it air dry completely before putting it away. If you have some stubborn stains, you can try either baking soda, rubbed into your cutting board with a half a lemon slice or Kosher salt and lemon to remove the stain. Rinse with water and dry.
If your cutting board smells of onions or garlic, you can remove the smell by using white vinegar on the board and then rinsing the board and drying it.
Maintaining Your Cutting Board
Maintaining your cutting board is easy. Always wash and dry your cutting board after every use. This prevents bacteria from building up in your cutting board and also removes the food particles before they have a chance to set and stain your cutting board permanently.
Once a month, rub food grade mineral oil into the wood to help keep its beautiful shine. Just be sure your cutting board is clean before you use the mineral oil on the board to ensure that no stains become permanent. Let it sit overnight and wash the board the next day and allow to completely dry before use.
Choose a Beautiful Custom Wood Cutting Board
Wooden cutting boards look terrific, even as they get older and see more wear. If properly maintained, your custom cutting board will last a lifetime or longer. It will improve with age and you may discover that you’d rather use your wood cutting board over other cutting boards in your kitchen. Take care of your custom cutting board and you’ll have it around for a very long time.