Wooden cutting/ charcuterie boards are essential tools in any kitchen. Whether you use them for slicing vegetables, chopping herbs, or preparing meats, wood boards provide a versatile and durable surface that can withstand years of use. However, to keep your board in good condition, you need to take care of it properly. In this article, we'll discuss the best practices for caring for your wood cutting board, including cleaning, maintenance, and the use of Trail's Edge Wood Wax.
Cleaning Your Board
The first step in caring for your wood cutting board is to clean it properly after each use. It is essential to remove any food particles, dirt, or grime from the surface. To clean your board, follow these steps:
- Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the board clean and remove any loose debris.
- Wash the board with warm(not hot), soapy water using a mild dish soap. Avoid using harsh cleansers or abrasive scrubbers that can scratch the surface.
- Rinse the board thoroughly with warm water and dry it with a clean towel. Stand the board upright to dry completely to avoid trapping moisture and encouraging bacterial growth.
Sanitizing Your Board
Even with regular cleaning, wood cutting boards may need to be sanitized occasionally, especially if they're used to cut raw meat or poultry. Maintaining a clean and bacteria-free wood cutting board is essential! To ensure proper sanitation, follow these straightforward steps:
1. White vinegar or hydrogen peroxide(3%) can be used to disinfect your board.
2. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe down the surface of the board with the solution. Let sit for a few minutes then rinse the board thoroughly with warm water and let dry completely.
3. To remove odors, sprinkle some baking soda over the board, then spray it with vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with cold water. You may also use a lemon cut in half to scrub the board down, which will also help sanitize.
Maintaining Your Board
- Oil your board regularly: Wood cutting boards need to be oiled regularly to protect the wood and keep it from drying out or cracking. We recommend our Trail's Edge Wood Wax, but any food-grade mineral oil or specialized cutting board oil will work. Apply the product to the board using a clean cloth or applicator. Be sure to oil all sides of the board, including the edges, and let it absorb the oil per the product instructions. Wipe off any excess oil/wax with a dry cloth. Repeat the process as needed whenever the board begins to look dull or dry in order to keep the board in good condition.
- Store your board properly: When you're not using your wood cutting board, it's important to store it properly to prevent damage. Avoid storing the board flat on a surface, as this can trap moisture and cause it to warp or crack. Instead, store the board upright or on its side, using a holder or rack to keep it stable. Make sure the board is completely dry before storing it, and avoid stacking heavy objects on top of it. If possible, do not store where it will receive direct sunlight.
Tips To Keep in Mind
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when caring for your wood cutting board:
- Never soak or submerge the board in water. This can cause the wood to warp or crack.
- Never use a dishwasher to clean your wood cutting board. The high temperature and moisture will damage the wood and cause your board to crack or split.
- Never use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can scratch the surface of the board and make it more difficult to clean.
- Avoid exposing your wood cutting board to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause the wood to dry out and crack.
- If your board develops deep grooves or cracks, it may be time to replace it. A damaged board can harbor bacteria and be difficult to clean properly.
By following these tips for cleaning, maintenance, and sanitizing, you can ensure that your wood cutting board lasts for years to come. And if you're looking for a natural, food-safe way to condition and protect your board, try Trail's Edge Wood Wax for a beautiful, long-lasting finish.