How to Care for Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards are a great addition to any kitchen. They are sturdy and beautiful, often lovely enough to be left out on display. However, we’ve all heard about the dangers of wood. When you cut food on the board, the knife creates grooves that can breed harmful bacteria and the wood itself can absorb juices from food, which will stain and cause more bacteria to grow. So, how can you prevent these problems and keep your wooden cutting board clean and safe? Seal your board. You can wipe the cutting board down with mineral oil every week or so, applying it with a soft cloth and leaving it to dry. This will help prevent moisture from foods from soaking into the wood which can harbor bacteria and also separate the joints, destroying your board. This should be done before cutting fish or chicken on the board, as well and don’t let anything damp or wet sit for long on the cutting board. Vary your cutting. If you always cut in the same spot on your wooding cutting board, you will wear it out faster. To prevent this, make sure you use different areas of the board to chop vegetables. You should also flip it from time to time to makes sure that it wears evenly on both sides. Clean it thoroughly. While harsh chemicals aren’t a good idea on wood, you can wash your block with a disinfecting detergent. It’s a good idea to use a metal scraper to scrape the moisture from the surface after each cleaning, which will let it dry faster. Never, ever use steel wool to scrub the cutting board, a sturdy washcloth or scrub brush will do nicely. Don’t soak your board. If you feel the wood needs a more thorough disinfection, you can wipe on some bleach and leave it for five minutes before rinsing thoroughly. However, soaking your board in water or bleach will only cause the wood to swell up and crack and the joints to split. It’s the fastest way to destroy your board. Your wooden cutting board is a great kitchen tool, but you do need to treat it with care if you want it to last. Most cutting boards are good for years and years if you are careful with them. Make sure you never let your cutting board get too wet and keep it clean and you will be using it for a long time to come.  

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