It takes a little effort, but taking care of these boards is well worth it. If you do it right, you'll end up with a board that lasts you years and years. You should never need to replace a board due to wear. The tips below can also be used for any kitchen woodenware!
Quick summary: Clean it with a damp cloth and give it a coat of oil once a month or so, and for the love of all things good and true, never submerge it in water or put it in the dishwasher.
Wipe it down with a damp cloth. Make it a soapy one if you think it needs it.
To freshen it up a bit, prepare snapper en papillote and reserve half a lemon. If you must, some reserved lemon from homemade lemonade works in a pinch. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the board--just a tablespoon or so--squeeze on the lemon juice, and use the business side of the lemon rind to scrub the board a bit. Salt, acid, and a bit of pure lemon oil are doing the work here.
Every couple of weeks you may want to sanitize the board with some white vinegar. Splash some on the surface or use a spray bottle. Wipe it and let it dry.
Here's a nifty video done for krrb.com's blog with yours truly describing the above:
Despite what you might think, wood is generally safe for meats. With wooden boards, any bacteria are drawn into the top 1 mm of the surface where they either die, or remain and are unable to contaminate any food. Bacteria can actually live longer in a knife-scarred plastic cutting board.
Oiling & Waxing:
Oil is very important for cutting boards as less moisture from food prep will soak into a well-oiled board. USP-grade mineral oil is safe and stable and is the base for our finish. Never use olive oil, vegetable oil, or other cooking oils as those will break down and turn rancid. Never use "lemon oil" furniture polish or other furniture products, as they have mineral spirits in them to dissolve oils and are absolutely not food safe.
In our blend, we also add beeswax to help seal the board, orange oil to make it a bit more lustrous--and for its mild antibacterial properties-- and anise oil because we think it smells great when paired with the orange oil.
When you get your board, we'll have coated it with at least 3 coats of this finishing blend and it will be smooth as can be. Ready to go.
For added protection and water resistance, apply a coat of beeswax a couple times each year. Makes it look and smell great too.
Here's another nifty video, this one about wax:
After any serious cleaning, or at least every month, give it a coat of mineral oil. You can get mineral oil at Walgreens or any other drug store--or use my blend! Be sure to coat the entire board and let it soak in for a few minutes. A good method is coating the bottom first, then standing it on its rubber feet. Alternatively, you can use four upside-down forks to prop up the board. Then reapply to any dry areas. After at least 15 minutes--or overnight if possible--wipe off any excess and buff with a paper towel.
It's important to coat the entire board, all sides. If you're only oiling the top, the board will warp over time.
Final Words of Warning:
As mentioned above, don't ever put your cutting board in the dishwasher! You also won't want to throw it into a full sink to soak with the rest of your dishes, or let it sit in a pool of water on your counter. Keep it as dry as possible and oil it regularly as outlined and your board will last for a long, long time. In the event of some kind of deterioration on our part -- wood or glue failing through normal use -- we'll fix or replace your board for free.
If after a few years your board doesn't have quite the shiny, smooth look it had when you bought it--some like the worn look, others don't-- we'll resurface it and it'll be good as new.
More information over on our Guarantee page.
Pro Tip: As these boards are subjected to moisture, the grain will shift, and they won't be as smooth. That's what wood does. To restore new-from-the-workshop smoothness, apply a coat of oil with at least some wax content, let dry for at least 15min - or overnight if you can - and buff with a paper towel. Give the board some light passes with 400 grit sandpaper (shouldn't take more than 15 seconds). Rub again with the paper towel you used to remove the excess oil and wax. Smooth as can be.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718 GO-CANAL with any questions.