How to Treat a Wooden Cutting Board

Written by jaimie zinski
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How to Treat a Wooden Cutting Board
Avoid using the same cutting board to chop meats and vegetables. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A wooden cutting board will provide a sturdy, long-lasting surface to dice and cut your meats and vegetables. The naturally porous nature of the woods used to manufacture cutting boards, including sugar maple, black cherry, wood ash and black walnut, make them susceptible to absorbing the odours and bacteria of the foods placed on their surface. Treating a cutting board with the correct oils will protect it from germs and mould growth.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kitchen towels
  • White vinegar
  • 1 cup food-grade mineral oil
  • Microwave-safe bowl

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  1. 1

    Rinse off the cutting board with running water, if it was previously used. Dry the surface of the cutting board with a kitchen towel and allow it to dry completely.

  2. 2

    Wet a kitchen towel with white vinegar. Wipe down the entire surface of the wooden cutting board, both sides, with the white vinegar. The vinegar will gently and safely disinfect the surface of the cutting board.

  3. 3

    Allow the cutting board to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Locate a mineral oil that is labelled "food grade." Do not use mineral oil found in drug stores.

  5. 5

    Pour 1 cup of mineral oil into a microwave-safe bowl. Warm the mineral oil in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds on high.

  6. 6

    Wet the corner of a kitchen towel with the mineral oil and wipe down the surface of the cutting board with the grain of the wood.

  7. 7

    Allow the cutting board to dry. Apply a second coating.

  8. 8

    Continue to apply additional coatings of the mineral oil, allowing each to dry in between, until the cutting board will not absorb any more oil.

  9. 9

    Wipe off any remaining oil with a dry kitchen towel.

Tips and warnings

  • Wipe down the surface of the cutting board with white vinegar after each use.
  • Treat the wooden cutting board with mineral oil every 6 months, or as needed.

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