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How to look after your wooden chopping board.

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

It's no secret that you should look after those things you love so they in turn will love you back. Wood is no different. The better you take care of it, the longer it will last and the better it will look.

So how should you clean and care for your wooden board, so it continues to look as good as the day you brought it?

Oak chopping board
Wooden chopping board

Steps to looking after your wooden chopping board:

  • Storing

  • Cleaning

  • Drying

  • Caring for your board

Step 1 - Storing your chopping board

It doesn't seem right to tuck away something as beautiful as a wooden chopping board!

Handled oak chopping board
Dark oak wooden chopping board

In our opinion a board doesn't have to be 'in use' to have a value. A stunning piece of wood is basically as much a piece of art as it is a functional item. We say keep it out and show it off.

Wood from a practical point also needs to breath and doesn't do well in damp, dark cupboards.

Damp, wet conditions can cause it to bow and crack.

  • Make sure you board is completely dry when you put it down on a surface.

  • Boards need to be rotated to enable air flow around all of its sides. Try to rotate your chopping board regularly - a bit like a mattress!

  • A countertop is a perfect home for a wooden chopping and serving board but make sure it is tucked safely away from the edge - incase those inquisitive little hands reach up onto the counter.

Step 2 - Cleaning your board

The last thing you want to do is submerge your wooden board into a bowl of soapy water.

Soaking a wooden board, is a guaranteed way to warping and also encourages growth of bacteria.

All you need to do to clean your chopping board:

Butcher's Block chopping board
Butcher's Block oak chopping board

- Wipe off any food debris with a cloth.

- For general day to day cleaning use a brush or scouring pad with some soapy water and lightly scrub the board - out of the sink.

A complete no-no is putting your board in a dishwasher. This will expose it to high temperatures and completely soak the wood which can damage it.

Step 3 - Drying your chopping board

Allow your board time to air dry naturally. Lift it onto a drying rack and make sure it is completely dry before you place it on the counter.

Step 4 - Caring for your new chopping board

Looking after your wooden chopping and serving boards properly should really start on day 1 when you come home from the store (or woodshed!)

If you're already using a wooden board and fear it may have been a little misused over the years, then fear not! It's not too late to start doing things properly!

Oiling your board

Oiling your board with a food safe oil regularly helps lock out the water and also stops the board drying out which can lead to cracking.

You should aim to oil your board with a cloth, very little is needed, any excess should be wiped off after 30 minutes. After another hour the boards can be buffed.

We recommend you check that the oil is food safe and non-toxic.

Oak serving boards
Oak serving boards

Guide to oiling your wooden chopping board:

Remember - your board needs to be completely dry before you start oiling otherwise you will actually be locking water into the wood.

- Pour a 50 pence size glug of tung oil directly onto the board.

- Use either a cloth or your hands to literally massage it into 3 of the 4 sides of the board.

- Imagine your board is thirsty so make sure you cover all the sides and edges evenly.

- Rub off any excess with the dry cloth after 30 minutes.

- Lay you board on a drying rack or rest it until it is completely dry.

- Give it a quick buff with a clean rag.

- Flip / rotate your board and apply oil to the last side.

an oiled oak chopping board
oak chopping board

Top tip: Use a mineral oil, coconut oil or tung oil not a vegetable oil, olive oil or other nut and seed oils as they are meant to be eaten and can turn rancid.

Protect your chopping board

Another option is to use a wooden board butter instead of wood oil.

The combination of oils and wax are deeply moisturising and nourishing for wood. It's a moisturiser that protects the outside and feeds the inside.

Get in touch if you have any specific wooden board care questions and see our wider range of wooden boards, homeware and other gift ideas.

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