How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards

How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards

By Erin Huffstetler | 05/06/2013 | 6 Comments
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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 the Cutting Board

Use a rag to apply a heavy coat of mineral oil to your cutting board, following the direction of the grain.

Cutting Board with Oil Applied

Give the oil a few hours to soak in.

Wipe Off the Excess Oil

Then, wipe off the excess.

Repeat the process monthly, or whenever your cutting boards seem a bit dry.

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; allowing it to soak in for several hours; then repeating 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.

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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 ( 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.

    • 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.

    • 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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