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Cutting Board Care

HOW TO CLEAN A WOOD CUTTING BOARD: DO’S AND DON’TS
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  • Do wash your cutting board by hand. If you’re just slicing bread, you can simply wipe it off, but for moist, sticky, or pungent foods (which is most of them), you’ll need to wash and rinse it.

  • Do use liquid dish soap to wash your cutting board.

  • Do wipe your clean cutting board dry, and let it finish by air-drying on its side.

  • Don’t soak a cutting board. You can submerge it in water, but only for a quick dunk. Soaking can cause the board to warp.

  • Don’t put wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher. The excessive heat and harsh chemicals of the dish detergent will cause the wood to dry out, warp, and/or crack.

  • Don’t use harsh, concentrated cleaners on your cutting board.

MORE TIPS FOR CUTTING BOARD CARE
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  • As you prep, wipe the surface of the board frequently with a sponge or dishcloth. This will make cleanup easier when it’s all said and done.

  • Wash your cutting board soon after you’re done using it. This is so liquids, food residue, and odors don’t penetrate the wood. Have you ever sliced an apple only to discover locked-in garlic from the soup you made the day before has ruined your perfect fruit? Frequently wiping the board as you use it will keep this from happening.

  • Sanitize your cutting board after prepping raw meat. Use either straight-up white vinegar or a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons bleach in 4 cups of water.

  • To freshen up a smelly board (think residual onion vapors), rub a halved lemon over the surface; let it sit for a minute or two, and then wipe off the board.

  • To remove stubborn stains, sprinkle baking soda over a cutting board, rub with a warm, damp cloth, then rinse away any excess baking soda.

  • If there’s caked-on residue, it’s okay to use an abrasive scrubbing pad, like this. It shouldn’t scratch your cutting board.

WHY YOU NEED TO OIL A WOOD CUTTING BOARD
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  • Just like conditioning your hair, you need to condition cutting boards to keep them shiny and lustrous. A conditioned wood cutting board is somewhat waterproof, so it does not absorb moisture, and thus fewer odors from food.

  • A conditioned board can also help protect against bacteria and keep your cutting board from splitting and warping. Warping is bad because your cutting board will wobble when you chop on it, and splitting is bad because those little cracks harbor moisture and food gunk, becoming pockets for bacteria.

HOW TO OIL YOUR WOOD CUTTING BOARD
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  • You will need:

  • A clean, dry, odor-free cutting board

  • Mineral oil or board cream

  • A rag (pieces of very clean old t-shirts or wool socks work best)

  • 1 Pour the oil: Pour a small pool of mineral oil in the center of the board, about the diameter of a quarter. This might seem like a lot, but it can absorb a lot of oil.

  • 2 Rub it in: Use the rag to rub the oil in small, circular strokes. Do this all over the board, including both sides and the ends. Make sure the oil permeates all the crevices. Keep adding more oil, if needed. Prop the board on its side so it’s upright, and let the board absorb the oil overnight.

  • If using a board cream, once again use a clean, lint-free rag. Dip it in the cream then work it into the wood grain in circular movements. Use a different rag to buff the wood to a shine.

  • 3 Oil your wooden utensils: If desired, oil your wooden utensils with the now-saturated rag. Then throw the rag away or use it for dusting or furniture polishing.

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