How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards

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Seasoned Cutting Boards

Take care of your wood cutting boards and someday they’ll be heirlooms. It only takes a few minutes each month to keep them in tip top condition.

Mineral Oil

Just pick up a bottle of usp-grade mineral oil (also sold as food-grade mineral oil) from the drug store or hardware store, and follow these steps:

Apply Mineral Oil to Cutting Board

Use a rag to apply a heavy coat of mineral oil to your cutting board, following the direction of the grain. If you have wooden spoons or salad bowls, go ahead and do them while you’re at it.

Cutting Boards and Wooden Spoons Coated in Mineral Oil

Allow the oil to soak in for a few hours, or overnight.

Wipe Off the Excess Oil

Then, wipe off the excess (if there is any).

Repeat the process monthly, or whenever your cutting boards start to feel dry.

Can I Use Another Type of Oil?

Mineral oil is really the best oil for the job because it won’t go rancid, like olive oil, coconut oil and other cooking oils. You can buy actual cutting board oil from a number of companies, but save your money. It’s just mineral oil masquerading under a fancier name, so they can charge you more for it.

Oiling your cutting boards will prevent them from…

  • warping or separating at the seams
  • absorbing foods, odors and bacteria
  • growing mold
  • staining

Have a New Cutting Board?

Season it before you use it for the first time by applying a heavy coat of mineral oil; then allow it to soak in for several hours; and repeat the process again and again until it stops absorbing oil.

Washing Your Wood Cutting Boards

How you care for your cutting boards in between oilings is just as important. Never submerge them in water or run them through the dishwasher. Just wash them off with warm, soapy water after each use; dry them with a towel; and allow them to air dry before putting them away.

How to Make Wooden Spoon Butter

Want Your Cutting Boards to Stay Seasoned Longer?

Try my wooden spoon butter recipe. It includes a blend of mineral oil and beeswax, so it holds up longer, and does a better job of sealing the wood. You can also purchase it from my shop, if you don’t want to make it yourself.

Wooden Spoon Butter and Cutting Board Butter

Order Cutting Board Butter

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  1. I have used
    baking soda and water.
    Vinegar and baking soda also works.
    Ive also used lemon and water.

    THere are several wood cutting board oils also available. FYI…This blogger (www.woodcuttingboardsguide.com) does a phenomenal job of giving you all the details you need.

  2. I would recommend canola oil or some light vegetable oil instead. I used mineral until I realized it was petroleum based.

    1. The one problem with using canola or any vegetable oil is that it goes rancid after a while. That’s not a problem with mineral oil, but the fact that it’s petro-based isn’t great either. Definitely a toss up.

    1. Hey Jodi,

      I use spoon butter/board butter on my cutting boards. My recipe is posted here.

      It’s a bit different than the formula you just mentioned. I sell it too, if you don’t want to have to make it.

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