Updated: Sep 20
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?
Steps to looking after your wooden board:
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!
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 board regularly - a bit like a mattress!
A countertop is a perfect home for a wooden board but make sure it is tucked safely away from the edge incase those inquisitive little hands reach up to 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 board is:
- 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 extreme temperatures and soaking which can damage the wood.
Step 3 - Drying your 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 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 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.
See more choices of oil at What is the Best Oil for Wood Cutting Boards Review (woodcritic.com)
Guide to oiling your 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.
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.
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.