How to Seal Wooden Cutting Boards

Written by lynn burbeck
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Cutting boards are a necessary item in every kitchen for chopping vegetables and trimming raw meat. Wooden cutting boards are safe to use and can have a long life when you care for them properly. In fact, wooden cutting boards have been found to be safer than plastic cutting boards, which can harbour bacteria in places where the plastic has been sliced from repeated use. One way to protect your cutting board is to have it sealed. Sealing wooden cutting boards makes them water-resistant and helps protect them from harbouring dangerous bacteria.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cutting board
  • Beeswax
  • Mineral oil

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  1. 1

    Clean your wooden cutting board with hot, soapy water, and allow it to dry thoroughly. For extra cleaning power, use full-strength vinegar or a disinfectant spray to kill surface bacteria and mould spores. Contrary to popular belief, harmful bacteria doesn't multiply inside the cutting board. Once the board is dry, the bacteria can't multiply and will quickly die.

  2. 2

    Prepare the sealant by shaving 1/2 tsp of beeswax into a microwaveable dish and combining it with 1 cup of mineral oil.

  3. 3

    Microwave the mixture of oil and beeswax on high for about 45 seconds, or until the beeswax melts.

  4. 4

    Apply the warm beeswax mixture liberally to the cutting board with a clean, dry cloth. Throw away or save any remaining beeswax for later use.

  5. 5

    Maintain your wooden cutting board by applying a light coat of mineral oil to the cutting surface once a week. Use a clean, dry cloth, and apply the oil along the grain to keep the wood supple and protect against splintering and cracking. Applying oil regularly also helps prevent the build-up of bacteria, which can otherwise accumulate in the crevices of your cutting board.

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