Cutting boards are both functional and attractive. You're cutting board can give you extra space on which to prepare food,
will save your counters from unwarranted abuse from your kitchen knives and if taken care of can be left out as a kitchen
Taking proper care of your cutting board isn't hard. Following a few simple steps will keep your cutting board clean and
free from harmful bacteria and useful for years to come!
Whichever kind of cutting board you use, clean it frequently with hot soapy water. Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting
boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid bleach in one quart of water
or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes,
then rinse and air dry or pay dry with paper towels.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Some professional cooks like to add a little beeswax to the
mineral oil for a tougher finish. Simply shave about 1/2 teaspoon
beeswax into a microwave safe dish with a cupful of mineral
oil; microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Apply to the
cutting board or butcher block while still warm. Save of dispose
of the remainder of the oil.
- All cutting boards should be scrubbed throughly with hot water and soap.
- All cutting boards, and other food surfaces, should be kept dry when not in use. Resident bacteria survive no more than a few hours without moisture. Keep moisture of any type from standing on the black for long periods of time. Beware of moisture collecting beneath the board if you leave it on the counter. If you can, prop one end up when not using your board.
- Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the board. Scraping removes 75 percent of the moisture that builds up on a wooden cutting board. An occasional sanding will return a wooden board to a smooth luster. But never scrub a wooden board with a steel brush (a steel brush will ruff up the finish and should be avoided).
- Wooden boards need oiling once a week to seal the grain against bacteria. An oil finish helps to prevent the wood
from cracking or pulling apart at the seams. Use a product that is (1) edible; and (2) tasteless. USP-grade mineral oil
is a popular choice as it is the cheapest pure food-grad oilyou can buy (do not use vegetable or olive oil because it
can turn rancid). Before applying oil to butcher block, warm
the oil slightly. Apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction
of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in. Allow oil to soak
in a few minutes, then remove all surface oil with a dry,
- It is best to apply the oil slightly warm and with a soft cloth in the direction on the grain. Warming the oil allows it to penetrate deeper into the wood. "Season" your board by applying mineral caring for your wooden cutting board or butcher block oil and letting it soak into the wood for 15-30 minutes. Apply 4 to 6 coats before using the board.
- Oil your cutting board when it looks dry, sometimes as frequently as once a week. If you allow your board to become dry, it may begin to crack.
- You can scrub and wash your cutting board with soap and water but don't immerse it completely in water and don't put it in the dishwater.
- Spraying vinegar on your cutting board with a spray bottle is a good way to sanitize it.
(The Heinz company claims that spraying a straight five percent solution of vinegar — the strength you buy in
the supermarket — eliminates 99 percent of bacteria.) Using bleach on a wood cutting board isn't a good idea because
it is not as effective because the organic composition of the wood neutralizes the disinfectant quality of bleach.