How to Maintain and Oil a Wood Cutting Board

If you ask a chef about his most favorite kitchen tool, he will instantly show you his cutting set which includes a kitchen knife and a cutting board. A good cutting knife is incomplete without a good cutting board.

If you are a person with good experience in a kitchen, you probably agree with me that wooden kitchen tools often work like a charm. And just like that, I like to use wood cutting boards, wooden spoons and so on.

If you also use a wood cutting board, you must take good care of it. For that, you have oil it time to time, apply some TLC in a  while. If you take care of a wood cutting board, it will serve you year after year. So, today we’re going to know how to oil your wood cutting board and some maintenance tips to take good care of it.

Make a decision first; Plastic or Wood?

Some will try to argue about using a plastic cutting board instead of a wooden one. Well, I personally prefer a wooden board, it gives me a chance to take care of my knife’s edge, which I don’t find convenient about a plastic board. I’ve seen so many plastic boards getting more and more ugly over time.

Most importantly, any cutting board is meant to be thrown to the bin once they are not capable to be in service anymore. As we know, plastic is too dangerous to be in existence in the first place. If we use a plastic board, we are just contributing to the contamination of mother earth.

Now, what about the wood cutting board? Some will say that wood cutting boards are not good, because they take effort, you have to take care of it. Well, I say if you love your kitchen and what’s in it, a little effort to keep the tool rock shouldn’t bother you that much! If you can take good care of your tool, a wood cutting board will last more than a decade! I’ve seen it! And they get more and more beautiful over time! it gets a more homey and rustic look to it.

Is there any health issue?

When it comes to health issues with a kitchen tool, you have to agree with me that more plastic means more health hazards. Moreover, Wooden cutting boards are proven to be safer than plastic boards in terms of contamination. Plastic cutting boards have way more bacterial contamination.

What about maintenance?

Although a wood cutting board can last you a lifetime, it requires maintenance. The endurance depends on how well you are taking care of it. It has got a good feeling about it when you are taking care of what you love. It’s good to use mineral oil and beeswax to shine up the board. More details are given below.

Maintenance Tips; How to do so?

You have to clean your wooden cutting board after every use. You can use a good scrub and hot, soapy water to do so. Don’t soak your board or any wooden kitchen tool keeping in the water, it will shorten its life and cause a crack very quickly. Some people also use hydrogen peroxide to clean their board in order to keep it safe from bacterial contamination after they cut meet on it.

How often should take care of it?

Now you may ask how often you are supposed to take care of wooden kitchen tools? The answer is, clean it after every time you use it. And you should give them an oil coating from time to time in order to keep the surface sturdy and keep them from drying up. My suggestion is to do this once a month. Some people do this every week.

How to Oil and maintain

As I said, you have to oil your wooden kitchen tools for better and long service. Here is what you should know about oiling a cutting board or any other wooden tool.

  • The wooden board itself, or any other tool that you want to oil
  • Soft and clean paper towel or cloth.
  • Mineral or any other food-grade oil and Beeswax.


First of all, you have to clean the wood. I personally like to use a lemon cut in half and coarse salt. First, apply the salt over the surface, then rub the lemon over it. Now wipe it and let the thing dry up thoroughly.

Once the board is fully dry, now it’s time to apply the oil. Use the clean paper towel or cloth, apply the oil all over the surface and make it an even layer. The oil should be a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil.

Then let it soak in the oil. I personally prefer to apply the oil coating in the evening and let it soak all night. Then give it a wipe in the next morning to take off the oil left on the surface. Use a clean paper towel or soft cloth to do so.

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3 thoughts on “How to Maintain and Oil a Wood Cutting Board”

  1. There is, however, a health hazard for using a wooden cutting board that has stain and varnish on it. That’s downright idiotic, in fact, the natural anti-microbial capabilities of wood are blocked by the stain and varnish, which doesn’t make sense. Oiling your board makes it much worse!

    You need to get a bare wood version, preferably a very hard wood with ultra tight grain, look for a plain basswood cutting board and/or chopping block, if you can’t find nor afford one, look for maple.


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