How to Seal a Wood Cutting Board

knife and cutting board image by R MACKAY from

Wood is a popular material for cutting boards, butcher blocks and countertops. It is preferred over other cutting-board materials because it is less likely to collect and grow bacteria. Sealing a cutting board will prevent water and other liquids from seeping into the board and eventually causing it to split or crack. Openings in the wood invite bacteria to hide and grow. You can seal a cutting board with a lacquer material, but a penetrating oil is preferred, as lacquers can peel off over time.

Wash a new or used cutting board in hot, soapy water, placing the board in water briefly. Dry the board thoroughly with a clean cloth. Air-dry the board for several hours.

Apply about 1/4 cup of sealing oil. Use a clean, no-lint cloth to cover the board with the oil. Cover both sides, all side edges and the handle. Leave the oil on the board for about 15 minutes.

Wipe the oil from the board with a clean, no-lint cloth. Always wipe the board in the direction of the grain of wood rather than against the grain. Use clean cloths as necessary to continue wiping and rubbing the oil into the board.

Apply three coats of oil to a new cutting board. Let the board air-dry a few hours between each application. An older board may also need more than one coating of sealing oil.

Reapply sealing oil at least monthly, depending on how often the cutting board is used.

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