Cleaning Wood Cutting Boards

I love my wooden cutting boards.  I have a couple that I use regularly, but this is my favorite and most-used board.  I place it next to my sink for easy cleanup.  I have used it almost daily for the past 15 years.


I use this specific board to cut up fruits and vegetables.  I use plastic boards for raw meat.  I like that I can throw them in the dishwasher once I am done and I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination with my fruits and veggies.

However, plastic boards will only last a few years before they start looking warped or discolored.  Wooden cutting boards can last many years without warping or cracking, if given the right treatment.

Everyday, I simply wipe down my board with soapy water (don’t soak it because this will cause warping) and I dry it.  That’s it.

After about a month of daily use, it starts looking a little dull.  Like hair that needs conditioning, not just shampooing.

If you want to clean and condition your board, you will need:

1. Coarse Salt

2. Half a lemon

3. Cutting Board Oil You can buy it here or in the store but it must be food-safe for cutting boards.  Regular cooking oil will not do as it will go rancid.


So about once a month, I will thoroughly clean it with the following method:

Before starting, make sure that you wipe it down with a wet towel.

1.  Apply coarse salt all over the board.

Cleaning Cutting Boards

2.  Using a lemon half and some elbow grease (from an eerily pale hand), rub the surface.  Try to squeeze the lemon while you do this.

Cleaning Cutting Board

3.  Give the board a rinse.

Cutting Board Cleaning

4.  Apply the oil all over the board.  I put a generous amount because I know that within a couple of hours, my board will soak up all this oil.

Cleaning Cutting Boards

5.  Allow to soak in the oil.  I leave mine overnight.  There seems to be too much on this board, but within hours, it’s all soaked up.

Cleaning Cutting Boards

6.  Remove the excess in the morning.  I rarely have to do this since my board always soaks up the mineral oil.

Cutting Boards

You do not have to do this cleaning process to your boards every month, if you are not using them as often.  You may get away with every 3-6 months.  It all depends on usage.

Also, don’t cut up a lemon just for this.  Do this cleaning process when you are already using a lemon for cooking.  It can even be partially juiced before cleaning the board.  It still works beautifully.

Enjoy your boards, they seem to get even more beautiful with age if cared for.

Let me know if you prefer wooden or plastic boards and why.

5 thoughts on “Cleaning Wood Cutting Boards

  1. I’m in my first house and I have plastic boards… I prefer wooden ones though! The main reason I haven’t got wooden ones is because my work surfaces are wooden (well, wood effect) and I am worried that all the wood would clash.

    • I totally understand! I also use my plastic boards regularly. Some people say that wooden cutting boards can be used to cut up meat, but I feel more comfortable with plastic in that scenario. Here is an old post that talks about under the sink organization and I mention how I store my plastic boards. Hope you like it!

  2. I use plastic boards for the same reason you mentioned- ability to throw them in the dishwasher. However, I have a beautiful wood board that I have been afraid to use because I didn’t really know how to care for it. Since I know now, I may just start using that lovely board! Thanks for the tip!!

    • That is a little ceramic plate that I use to gather all the supplies by the sink. I keep the dish soap, hand soap, a scrub brush, baking soda, and even counter spray on that dish. It is the only way that I can keep all those products looking somewhat neat on the counter. I will post about it soon! Thanks for stopping by!

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