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Proper Wood Board Care

Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:25 pm

There is a lot of information on the web about proper use and care for wood boards. What is your routine?

I cut veg and cooked meat on mine. I've never really used raw meats on it, I've always been hesitant to use both because my board is too large to fit in the sink for an extremely thorough wash.

Every month I give it a good rub down with unscented mineral oil.

After every use I wipe it down with a damp cloth and wash it down with soapy water weekly.

One last question: For those who have dealt with it, how do you remove garlic and other off odors from your board? If I can figure this out, I can help out a friend who has a very nice board he didn't care for when it was first purchased.

Re: Proper Wood Board Care

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:47 pm

I give mine a heavy coat of mineral oil about once every month or two, allowing it to soak in over night. I do the bottom, too (mine has feet), about every third oiling.

I follow the oiling with the beeswax and mineral oil mixture available from The Board Smith and other sites.

My sink is large enough to accommodate the board standing on its short edge; I rinse it off after every use (unless I've just used it lightly, say to slice some bread, and then I just wipe it with a damp paper towel). I wash it with hot water after heavy use. I always dry it well with paper towels, including the bottom.

After any use of the board to chop garlic, onions, or other odoriferous or greasy foods, or even after just chopping a lot of veggies, I'll wash it with hot water and dish detergent, scrubbing it with a nylon brush or scrubbie, rinse it, and dry it well.

If the board starts to look dry in the middle between monthly oilings, I'll hit it with a light coat of mineral oil.

I've had my Board Smith cherry board for at least three years. It's in daily use and looks like new, except for a few knife marks.

Re: Proper Wood Board Care

Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:28 am

+1 from Doug. I've have two edge grain proteak boards and treat them the exact same way. Except that my boards are two sided. Another point too is the the boards take the mineral oil wax what ever your using better with they are warm. I'll heat my oven 200 degrees. Shut oven off. The put the boards in the oven for an hour or so to warm up, then give them a generous coating. As always allow them to sit, then buff with a dry rag.

Re: Proper Wood Board Care

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:32 pm

Has anyone out there ever used petroleum jelly/vaseline on their boards?

I'm asking because I'm out of oil and where I live (Korea), despite some efforts, it just seems to be unavailable.

I've read some people use it and it's chemically very close to mineral oil. Has anyone had any experience with it?


Re: Proper Wood Board Care

Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:40 pm

It's fun seeing a post on a knife forum that I actually know something about. :)

I've made hundreds (and hundreds...) of end grain and face grain cutting boards. I think that for a daily-use board, wiping on mineral oil every couple weeks should be sufficient. The neat thing about mineral oil is it's impossible to screw up. Just slather it on until the wood stops soaking, then wipe off the excess with a dry paper towel.

As you all suggested, soap and a warm water rinse is what I recommend.

I put a beeswax/ mineral oil mixture on a few of my boards, and I honestly don't see the benefit of the beeswax. There's certainly no harm in it, but it's messy and I don't think it adds protection or water resistance beyond what the mineral oil itself provides.

I would STRONGLY discourage putting a cutting board in a 200 degree oven. A good, end-grain cutting board is comprised of hundreds of blocks of wood, held together by Titebond III glue (or other food-safe, waterproof glue). Titebond III glue will weaken and eventually fail if exposed to 200 degree temperatures for a prolonged period of time. As a corollary, the reason you never put a wood cutting board in the dishwasher isn't just because of water being forced into the wood grain; it's also because of the heat of the dishwasher weakening the glue joints.

I've never heard of Petroleum Jelly on a cutting board. My concern would be the extent to which that jelly would 'penetrate' the wood pores to provide lasting water-resistance.

Hope that helps!
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