Cutting boards is certainly one of the most important kitchen tools. It is almost impossible to prepare a meal without having one, so it is equally important to be well informed about them.
Just as you wash your hands before, during and after food preparation to eliminate all bacteria, it is also crucial to follow the same procedure with your board and make sure it is always clean. If the board is not properly maintained, it will become a magnet for different types of harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
So how do you protect a wooden cutting board? Well, let's start at the beginning.
Wood is the product of mother nature, and it has natural and unusual properties. When you work with wood, due to humidity and temperature differences, it expands or contracts, which can lead to cracks and small gaps. Not only do cracks and fissures affect the appearance of our board, they are also a place where most bacteria gather.
Once you have finished with the cutting board, the best way to clean it would be to rinse it and wipe it with a dish brush or cloth. Usually, you can clean it by simply using water, although it is strongly recommended to use detergent if you have cut raw meat or fish on it. It is important never to submerge your cutting board if you want to prevent it from deforming. Once the board is dry, store it vertically to preserve its original condition.
Cleaning the board after each use will certainly extend its life, but if you want to keep your board in perfect condition, then you should start using an oil for it. All you need to keep your board in a “good-as-new" condition is a few drops of oil for wood-cutting boards. The oil will form a protective layer on your board and help it maintain its high-quality appearance. Try to avoid olive oil because it will make your board sticky and difficult to use, while grape seeds and almond seed oils are at the top of our recommended list to keep your board in optimal condition.
In order to apply the desired oil to your cutting board, you must first wash it and then let it dry completely. Once clean, apply a little white vinegar or lemon juice on it. Pour the sea salt on top of the board, take a cloth or paper towel and rub the salt and vinegar/lemon juice on the board and soak it for the next 20 minutes.
This method will make your cutting board perfectly clean. After 20 minutes, rinse your board thoroughly and dry it with a cloth or paper towel. Then you are ready to apply a small amount of oil to give it a new look! It is better to apply a smaller amount of oil and add more if necessary.
This detailed process of cleaning your board with oil and lemon juice or vinegar should be done every 2 to 4 months, depending on how often you use your board. By applying this method, your board will have a long lifespan and will keep its high-quality appearance that will give you the impression that you have just bought it in the store.