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How to finish cutting boards

How to finish cutting boards

Most woodworkers make a cutting board at one point or another. Some of us even get addicted to making these simple but beautiful accept pieces to adorn our own kitchen, and the kitchens of others.

Finishing a cutting board is simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Cutting boards have a couple unique attributes that lead to some important requirements when it comes to finishing.

First, they come in contact with food, so you will want to use finishes that are FDA approved for food contact. Second, they get abused regularly with knives, hot soapy water and abrasive sponges for cleaning, which constitutes a hostile environment for any finish.

How to finish cutting boards

Those two factors suggest that your “old faithful” approaches for finishing furniture and other projects, such as lacquer or polyurethane, aren’t likely to be a good option here.

Important factors to consider when selecting a cutting board finish include:

Toxicity: Is the finishing product free of harmful chemicals such as mineral spirits and drying agents that would be unhealthy to place in contact with food? Would the Food and Drug Administration endorse the product for food contact applications?

Surface build-up or penetrating finish: As much as you want your cutting board to look beautiful on the day it was created, you also want it to continue to look good over its useful life.

Surface build up finishes tend to get sliced up through regular contact with knives, so in my opinion they do not provide a good option for cutting boards. Instead, I favor finishes that penetrate into the fibers of the wood and reside there, rather than building up on the surface.

Will it go rancid: Since your cutting board will live in the kitchen, you might be tempted to wipe it down after each use with vegetable oil that you have on hand.

If you use your cutting board daily, that might actually be ok. If the cutting board ever sits unused and unwashed for an extended period, however, the oil can go rancid. That would lead to unpleasant odors and a food safety concern the next time the cutting board was used.

How to finish cutting boards

Allergens: Since the cutting board will be in regular contact with food, it is advisable to avoid using any finishing products that contain substances that might cause an allergic reaction. Walnut oil is one that raises such a concern with some people.

The question of whether walnut oil can trigger an allergic reaction in people who suffer a tree nut allergy is an often-debated topic, but with even the remote chance of it, I avoid using it on cutting boards that I sell.

How to finish cutting boards

Test results: I tested several different products to determine which ones would provide the nicest looking cutting board, with the easiest maintenance and best durability.

I found that none of the products were extremely durable to the frequent scrubbing that a cutting board must endure, so the best approach is to ensure that your chosen cutting board finish is easy to reapply and the board looks good again following application.

How to finish cutting boards

Based on the testing results, the products that I primarily use for finishing cutting boards are:

Howard Cutting Board Oil: A mineral oil-based product enriched with vitamin E for stability. This product penetrates deeply into the wood fibers, preserving the wood and making it look nice.

Howard Butcher Block Conditioner: This product contains mineral oil along with a blend of food-safe waxes. The wax provides some additional water resistance, and also fills in small cut marks on the wood to improve the appearance of the wood.

I apply the cutting board oil, letting it continue to soak into the wood until the wood will not accept any more. Then I’ll apply Butcher Block Conditioner as a top coat for additional protection. After the wax dries, I buff it out with a soft cloth to bring the wood to a lustrous glow.

For all of the testing and product details, watch the video on the ToolMetrix YouTube channel:

How to finish cutting boards

Paul Mayer is a guest blogger. He operates under the name “ToolMetrix” (because of his passion for detailed tool analysis) and his work can be found on his:

Seems like cutting boards are on everyone’s minds these days. Probably because we are all making holiday gifts. Either way, this is the time of year you can expect almost one forum post a day asking a question about cutting board finishes or “food safe” finishes. And the responses to these posts are nearly always the same:
Person 1- The best finish for a butcher block is mineral oil.
Person 2- NEVER use varnish or salad bowl finish on a cutting board! What are you, stupid.
Person 3- Mineral oil and wax are the best!
Person 4- This person usually provides a bunch of extra information that you didn’t ask for.

Ok so I am generalizing here for fun, but you get the picture. I have noticed as well that many of the people posing these questions may be doing so because of my advice from Episode 7- A Cut Above. To sum up, I said that my favorite finish for end grain butcher blocks is salad bowl finish (aka varnish). But remember my caveat. I said we are NOT trying to build a film. And that’s exactly what the folks in the forums are trying to say. If you build a film, the film will then be cut by a knife. The cut will allow moisture to seep under the finish and become a wonderful home for all kinds of bacteria. I can’t disagree there. But with my method, you never actually build an appreciable film.

I recommend diluting the finish sufficiently so that it immediately gets absorbed into the wood’s wide open pores. Think of it like a vertical bunch of straws that you are filling up with finish. Within a minute or two, you will notice that finish is actually seeping out of the bottom of the board. This is exactly what we want. At this point, I usually set board on its side and allow it to dry overnight. I do this 3-4 times with a light sanding in between each session. By the final coat, you should start noticing that the finish doesn’t really absorb any more. You are now starting to develop a film. One last wipe with a clean cloth and call it DONE.

So how does a board like this fare in the kitchen? There are two main concerns here: safety and maintenance. A butcher block treated this way will resist water all day long. In fact, on my boards, water tends to evaporate faster than it absorbs. Mineral oil boards will actually take on moisture much more readily. Adding wax to your mineral oil can certainly help in this area if thats the route you want to go. Now the fact that it is so water resistant is a major plus in terms of sanitation. Remember that the bacteria like the moisture. So the less moisture in the board, the better.

So how about knife marks? Well like with any board, knife marks will happen. If they don’t, you must not be using your board properly. So what happens to my boards? They get knicked up. They get dulled a little more in the middle where the most action occurs. But after about 18 straight months of usage, my cutting board looks pretty darn good. Check out the pics below. Now if there were a thick film on that board and that film were to crack, the moisture would certainly seep in and create problems. In fact after 18 months of that type of abuse you would probably expect the finish to start flaking off or exhibit more physical damage than what you see. But when a knife produces a deep cut on my board, it just cuts into varnish-filled pores. There is nothing to flake off.

How to finish cutting boards How to finish cutting boards

Now let’s talk about maintenance. I haven’t done anything to that board other than a light soap and water scrub after each use, and an occasional white vinegar rub down. And I suspect that in another month or so, I will take the board back in the shop, give the top a nice thorough sanding, reapply a light coat or two of diluted varnish (monitoring how much it takes up), and the board will look brand new. What kind of maintenance does a mineral oil board require? Monthly, and possibly more frequently if used heavily. Maybe I’m just lazy but one of those maintenance schedules sounds a whole lot more fun than the other.

I am by no means trying to discourage people from using mineral oil. After all, its the classic cutting board finish. Use whatever floats your boat. Personally, I have had great success with my method and will continue to use it. The feedback from other folks who have tried it has been great as well. I think its safer, easier, and looks better. Of course my results are not backed by scientific tests. If I still worked in a lab I might be able to test it properly. But I can’t, so all I can do is speculate and bring a little common sense to the table. Finishing is, and probably always will be, one of the most over-complicated and misunderstood areas of woodworking. I only wish there were more scientific resources out there so that issues like this can be resolved effectively without speculation. Until then, do your research and never count on my advice or anyone else’s as cold hard fact. Gather as much information as possible from your trusted resources and then add the final ingredient: YOUR experience, opinions, and common sense.

You want to give a little sparkle to that cutting board that is getting old or you want to finish one that you made yourself?
Nothing easier! Our experts in the field deliver their secrets in this quick tutorial.

As the board will be in contact with food, know, first of all, that it is essential to use a food grade oil.

Ready to start? We have also prepared a PDF format that can be downloaded and saved to your files.

How to finish a cutting board

What you’ll need:

Before you start

  • It is important that the surface is clean, dry and free of dust, dirt, grease or wax.
  • It is necessary to use food grade oils on your project.

If the board you choose has been assembled with glue, it is important that it is water resistant and food grade.

Steps

How to finish cutting boards

1. Choose your cutting board

Visit our store or go online at www.langevinforest.com to discover our full range of cutting boards.

How to finish cutting boards

2. Preparing the board

Sand in grain direction with 120 or 150 grit paper until you have achieved a smooth service and all unwanted marks are gone.

How to finish cutting boards3. Cleaning the surface

The surface must be clean, free of dust and free from any residue. Make sure the chosen finishing product is at room temperature before starting the application process.

How to finish cutting boards4. Applying the oil

Apply in thin layers using circular motions to push the oil into the wood fiber. An applicator pad or a clean cotton rag.

How to finish cutting boards

5. Removing the excess oil

Wait 5 to 10 minutes after applying the oil. Wipe off excess oil by making big movements in the direction of the wood grain. A well wiped surface will not show any adhesion.

Important note: Immerse rags, polishing discs and oil-impregnated applicators in a metal container
hermetically sealed and filled with water and then proceed to their disposal to avoid the risk of self-combustion.

I know this has only been asked a few hundred times here but I can’t remember what your supposed to use for cutting board finish. Heck, I’ve even made and finished a few boards in the past. I know we have a few pros in the ranks so I though I’d throw the question out one more time.

My BIL shamed me into making a new one. He took one look at the one we use and queried " and you do WWKING"?

Joe Scharle

  • Jul 14, 2011
  • #2

Bill Clemmons

  • Jul 14, 2011
  • #3

Mineral oil and beeswax.

Mike Camp

New User
  • Jul 14, 2011
  • #4

Either Mineral Oil or Salad Bowl Finish (the latter is sold at Woodcraft)

bluedawg76

New User
  • Jul 14, 2011
  • #5

drug store mineral oil is sold as a laxative, so it’s also fda approved for human consumption. don’t waste your money on butcher block oil.
I’m no pro, but this keeps ours looking top notch:
I blue tape the edges to form a dam and just pour it on letting it soak in and saturate overnight. It should pull the oil all the way through the board (may need several runs for a new board). after getting the board saturated with oil. a nice added touch is to melt some beeswax in the oil, let it cool and "harden" to a soft wax and smear it on and buff it off. it leaves a very smooth finish with a nice honey scent. see what your bil says then!

AngusMac

New User
  • Jul 14, 2011
  • #6

DWSmith

New User
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #7

Mineral oil either straight or mixed with bees wax. Both are food safe right out of the bottle. Be careful, over oiling can be a problem. (I had a customer who oiled to much and the oil eventually leaked out the bottom of the board and caused a mess when it pooled.) Spread a coat of oil and let it soak in then buff off. On occasion, oil the sides and bottom as well. You can heat the oil and add some bees wax. Allow the wax to melt in the oil taking on an apple juice color then spread. Does smell good!

I detest varnish based finishes. They smell bad and will flake off with use no matter how careful the application is. The instructions state to wait 72 hours fo before use and that is to allow the chemicals to evaporate. The last thing I want in my food is polyurethane flakes.

KISS – Mineral oil.

timf67

New User
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #8

Dan Bowman

  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #9
Recovering tool addict
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #10

I use mineral oil and paraffin wax. You can find paraffin wax at the grocery store, usually where they have the plastic wrap, foil, plastic containers etc.

To melt the wax, I use an old, cheap 4-cup coffeemaker. Make sure the water reservoir is completely empty/ dry. I pour some mineral oil in the pot (not the reservoir!), turn it on (to activate the warming plate) and then add a couple of chunks of wax. After a few minutes, it’s all nicely melted. Much easier than a double boiler, and cheaper than buying a hot plate. If you still have the lid, you can even store the leftover mix in the pot.

Glennbear

Moderator
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #11

Howard Acheson

New User
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #12

An excellent treatment for wooden food preparation surfaces like cutting boards and butcher blocks is a mixture of mineral oil and either paraffin or beeswax. This is what is used on many commercial wood surfaces. It will last longer and be more protective than just mineral oil. Mineral oil can be found in most supermarkets in the pharmacy section or in a true pharmacy. Paraffin is found in the canning section of the store or in a hardware store.

Heat the oil in a double boiler and shave in some wax. The exact proportions are not critical–a 5-6 parts of oil to one part of wax will work fine. Stir the mixture until all the wax is liquefied. Apply the mixture heavily and let it set 10-12 hours or overnight. Next day do it again and continue until the wood will no longer absorb the finish. Let it set for 10-12 hours and then lightly scrape off any excess. Then buff it with a rag.

Reapply whenever the wood begins to look dry.

Never put a wood board in the dishwasher and don’t soak it in dishwater for long periods.

Jim Wallace

jimwallacewoodturning.com
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #13

Howard Acheson

New User
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #14

>>>> This makes it toxic and unsuitable for any work that comes in contact with food.

BLO is not considered "toxic" and is frequently used on surfaces the come in contact with food. The driers added are not toxic to humans in the quantities used in BLO. If it were, the BLO could not be sold as a finishing product in the US.

Using a drying oil like linseed oil as a treatment for a cutting board is not a good idea. Go to the URL below for an article about the subject.

striker

New User
  • Jul 15, 2011
  • #15

Well, Ok then…Rustoleum it is! Kidding of course, I thought this to be a simple answer when I posted the question but it’s been very enlightening reading the various schools of thought. I appreciate all your responses.

This was just a little utilitarian mini project so I hoping not to have to travel far and wide for the ingredients. I think mineral oil & bee or paraffin wax it is. I keep a heated pot set up for hide glue which will come in handy to melt the wax /oil mix.

A summary of non-toxic finishing products ideal for cutting boards, salad bowls, and other food-centric woodwork

How to finish cutting boardsBy Jonathan Binzen #129–Mar/April 1998 Issue

After scores of conversations with chemists, regulatory agencies, finish manufacturers, finishing experts, and woodworkers, I found that there are a few finishes that everyone agrees are food safe. However, these food safe wood finishes (sometimes called cutting board finishes) tend to be the least protective, and the great majority are in a kind of limbo, with many experts saying most are fine for use with food but with others saying they should be avoided because there are some lingering questions about their safety. In the welter of contrary opinions about which finishes are food safe and which are not, a few naturally derived, unblended, no-hidden-ingredients, certainly nontoxic finishes stand out.

Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. Used as a base in many blended finishes. Available from catalogs and hardware stores. Difficult to apply, requires many coats, good water-resistance.

Raw linseed oil. Pressed from flax seeds. Not to be confused with boiled linseed, which contains metallic driers. Listed as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Very long curing time, good looks, low water-resistance, frequent reapplication.

Mineral oil. Although derived from petroleum, it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and entirely inert. Sold as a laxative in drug stores and as a wood finish in hardware and kitchen-supply stores. Simple to apply, low water resistance, frequent reapplication.

Walnut oil. Pressed from the nuts of the walnut tree. Sold as a salad oil in health food stores and in large grocery stores. Walnut oil dries and won’t go rancid. Easy to apply, frequent reapplication.

Beeswax. The work of the honey bee. Can be mixed with an oil to create a better-smelling, slightly more water repellent finish. Sold in woodworking and turning catalogs.

Carnauba wax. Derived from the Brazilian palm tree. Harder than beeswax and more water-resistant. Can be used straight on woodenware as a light protective coating or a topcoat polish. Sold in woodworking and turning catalogs.

Shellac. A secretion from the lac bug. Harvested in India. Super blond shellac in flake form is the most water resistant variety. A film-forming finish. Sold in woodworking catalogs and hardware and art supply stores.

Greenwoodworker David Fisher discusses a variety of food-safe finishes and their individual characteristics in relation to color enhancement, drying capabilities, and curing agents to help inform your project decisions.

A recipe for one sweet finish

The food-safe finish that appeals most to me is one recommended by Jim and Jean Lakiotes, West Virginia makers of spoons and other kitchen items, as well as furniture. Their finish is a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax.

To make it, warm the mineral oil in a saucepan over low heat, and melt a chunk of beeswax in it equal to about one-fifth or one-sixth the volume of the oil. (At high heat, there’s a potential for fire. Be sure to keep the heat low, and consider using a double boiler.) As the wax begins to flake apart and dissolve, stir frequently. When the mixture is blended, pour it into a jar to cool and solidify.

To apply, wipe on an excess of the soft paste, let it dry a bit, then wipe it off. If you want to apply it as a liquid, you can reheat it. Like any mineral oil or
wax finish that will take a lot of abuse, this one will need to be reapplied often to afford decent moisture protection. But applying this fragrant finish is such a pleasure that you may find yourself looking forward to the task.

This article is excerpted from Jonathan Binzen’s article “Which Finishes Are Food Safe,” featured in Fine Woodworking #129.

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How to finish cutting boards

By Donjek Follow

How to finish cutting boards

How to finish cutting boards

How to finish cutting boards

Wood cutting boards are a popular small woodworking project. Finishing and protecting a wood cutting board is very easy but you have to choose the right finish – it must be food safe. My favourite food safe wood finish is Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish.

Beeswax finish is works great for all things wooden in the kitchen. The finish protects the wood and gives it a soft lustrous shine. Beeswax finish can be used for salad bowls, butcher blocks, cutting boards, wooden spoons, kitchen counter tops and also children’s wooden toys.

Step 1: Materials

Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish

Soft cloth or rag

Step 2: Apply a Coat of Wax

Apply the finish thinly with your hand, cloth or paper towel. It may take some time to dry depending on the temperature and humidity of your home or workshop. I often do this before I go to bed at night, but the piece can be used immediately if you want.

Step 3: Buff to a Shine

Once the piece is dry, use a rag to buff to a light shine.

This is a really simple finish but it is not permanent. Over time, you notice the finish will wear off a bit and the cutting board will begin to look like it need another coat. When the piece looks dry, simply reapply a coat of wax – it’s that easy!

Ask a woodworker if they’ve made a cutting board and nearly all of them will say they have in the past and still do to this day. For many it’s their first woodworking project. For others it’s their go-to project when they’re looking for an excuse to get into the shop. Every kitchen needs a cutting board and nearly every shop is equipped to make them.

Cutting boards can be as simple as a single wood board or contain dozens of pieces with multiple wood species and shapes. Some require very few woodworking tools and others require a whole shop full of tools. The beauty of cutting boards is that no matter what your skill level or how many tools you have, you can make beautiful, useful cutting boards.

What You Need to Know About Making Cutting Boards

Cutting Board Book with 15 Projects for Woodworkers

Cutting Board Video Tutorials

Choosing The Best Wood for Cutting Boards

How to Finish a Cutting Board with Food Safe Finish

Get the Only Book on Making Cutting Boards! Includes 15 Projects You Can Make and Sell!

The projects in this book range from simple to complex and the finished designs can be tailored to suit any style or taste. Best of all, upon completion, each project can be proudly used or given to that special loved one on your gift list. Extensive photography and clear, concise instructions make even the most challenging techniques easy to understand and conquer. Each book is signed and shipped directly from me.

Cutting Board Video Tutorials

Making an end grain cutting board from scraps. This cutting board project comes from my book.

How to make a cutting board with a decorative inlay. It’s easier than you may think!

Easy to make cutting board with a cutout for a strainer. Perfect for using over your sink to cut vegetables and fruit.

Making an Alaskan ulu knife out of sheet metal and wood with a mating cutting board.

Choosing the Best Wood For Cutting Boards

When choosing woods for cutting boards, look for dense hardwoods, as they are more durable and can stand up to kitchen tasks. You should also lean toward woods that don’t contain an excess of natural oils. Some people have a sensitivity to these oils, and you don’t want your cutting board to alter the taste of your food.

Most people also stay away from spalted and reclaimed woods because you don’t always know what you’re dealing with. If you do use spalted or reclaimed woods, be sure to seal the surface so that it won’t a affect the food in any way. In general, North American hardwoods like maple, walnut, and cherry are commonly used in cutting boards, and rare exotic woods should be avoided. Whatever woods you choose, do your research on food safety before venturing into the unknown.

How to Finish a Cutting Board with a Food Safe Finish

Raise the Grain

Remove the Raised Grain

Oil the Cutting Board

Melt Wax and Mix

Applying Wax Mixture

There are many ways to finish a cutting board and no finish is maintenance free. The more you use the cutting board, the more you’ll need to apply more finish. The finish I like to use takes a two-step process. The first step is applying mineral oil that seeps deep into the wood, and the second step adds a protective film on top of the surface.

I am finishing up an end-grain butcher block cutting board (my first attempt) for my parents Christmas gift. Thus far I’ve finished it with mineral oil that I’ve been soaking into the pores. My last coat didn’t soak in as much so I wiped away the excess and it looks good.

I’ve also heard tell of people finishing it off with a beeswax finish. I have a friend that is a bee keeper who took some time to render me some fresh beeswax. I’m not sure what’s the best way to use this as part of my finishing process. That’s my question.

My best thought is to simply cut off a small chunk and warm it in my hands till it’s pliable. Then simply rub it all over the board. Finish it off by buffing it with a clean cloth. Any other good ideas? Is this a good approach?

The cutting board so far: How to finish cutting boards

The raw beeswax:

How to finish cutting boards

How to finish cutting boards

How to finish cutting boards

4 Answers 4

There are various ways of introducing wax to wood, including dissolving the wax into the mineral oil (this makes what some call “board butter” or “spoon butter”), making up a conventional paste wax, or by applying it molten.

The goal here is to get the wax to be absorbed by the wood as deeply as possible, not just to apply a coat of wax to the surface which is then buffed to a shine as is normally done on furniture. To best facilitate this the wax needs to made liquid.

IMO melting the wax* and applying it to directly to the wood is by far the best option for an end-grain board.

Regardless of whether you use a “board butter” or apply straight melted wax I think you should warm the wood before application so that it doesn’t begin to set the moment it touches the surface. You will generally get much deeper penetration this way.

A heat gun can be used to pre-heat the board if handled with care, but a normal hairdryer will put out sufficient heat. Since the wood will cool off fairly quickly on its own it’s best to do this one area at a time, so you’ll work over the board section by section.

How to apply
Couldn’t be simpler, you just dip a brush into the wax and start brushing it onto the pre-warmed surface.

When you’re done and all the wax has cooled and solidified some excess will need to be removed from the surface and scraping is probably the most efficient method. You can use the edge of a kitchen knife for this if you don’t own any conventional wood scrapers. For the grooved areas a spoon will work great, its edge can be sharpened if necessary but remember to blunt it afterwards if you return it to normal duties!

*Unless you have a low-temperature heat source like a hotplate it’s best to melt the wax in a double boiler (simplest version is a glass, ceramic or metal bowl suspended in simmering water). Once fully molten the wax will have become clear.

How to finish cutting boards

You have just purchased a beautiful wood cutting board. You have heard that maintaining a wood cutting board is different from how you clean a glass one. Today, we are going to explore how to care for it, and specifically, what types of oils you may use for different situations.

Wood is porous, which means that even though it is hard to see, it absorbs water and other liquids you spill on it. A buildup of liquid in a wood cutting board has a number of consequences.

Wood that expands and contracts to accommodate moisture will warp or crack. Of course, any damp environment has the possibility of growing mold and other bacteria. Therefore, you need to treat the cutting board so that it does not absorb water. However, since anything you put on a cutting board may end up in your food, you must be careful about what you use to clean and maintain your cutting board. Here are some substances that are safe for use on a wood cutting board.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is an important ingredient in caring for a wood cutting board. It repels water, so it can prevent absorption. However, you need to be aware of what kind you buy as multiple substances can be labeled “mineral oil.” The type you want is liquid paraffin. Also called food grade mineral oil, it is safe to digest. This odorless substance does not have a flavor. It is shelf stable and inert.

For best use, apply a generous amount of mineral oil to your cutting board with a damp cloth. In 2-4 hours, the wood will absorb the oil. Wipe off what is not absorbed with cloth or paper towels. Repeat monthly, or as often as needed when your board becomes dry.

Coconut Oil

Another tool for maintaining your wood cutting boards is fractionated coconut oil, which is the oil that is left after fat has been removed from regular coconut oil. This is different from the type of oil found in grocery stores. Because fat can become rancid, this type of oil is shelf stable and food safe. Like mineral oil, coconut oil fills the pores of wood and keeps it moisturized. When wood is properly moisturized, it will not absorb bacteria or crack.

How to finish cutting boards

To use coconut oil, spread a teaspoon on the surface of the cutting board and rub it in with your hand in line with the grain. Repeat three or four times, then let the cutting board dry for six hours. Do this monthly or when the board looks dry.

Beeswax

Beeswax also moisturizes and shines wood cutting boards. This natural substance is food safe and water resistant. Using beeswax regularly can keep your cutting board looking new. Because beeswax is a solid, it is harder for wood to absorb it. Combining it with an oil makes it easier to use and adds the oil’s benefits. Adding it to mineral oil enhances its water resistance, while combining it with coconut oil seals in the hydration.

To treat your cutting board with beeswax, mix with another oil and warm it. If you use mineral oil, the mixture should be twice as much oil as beeswax. The coconut oil mixture needs four times the coconut oil as beeswax. Take two tablespoons of the mixture at a time and rub it into the cutting board along the grain. Let the cutting board stand for 4-6 hours and then wipe off the excess.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

The last two cleaning agents we are going to examine are not oils, have the same purpose and can be used together. They are lemon juice and baking soda. Both of them remove stains and odors from wood. To use, put a few drops of lemon juice (or oil) and/or baking soda and rub in with a warm, wet cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry the board. Lemon juice and oil can be added to other oils to keep your board smelling fresh while treating it in other ways.

What Not to Use on a Cutting Board

You should not use any type of cooking oil on your board, such as olive oil, vegetable oil, or regular coconut oil, because they will go rancid. Also keep in mind that excess moisture is bad for wood. Never soak your cutting board or let it sit in water for extended periods.

Properly Caring for Your Cutting Board

Keeping your board oiled will maintain it for many years. Although wood cutting boards require more care and effort, they are a functional and beautiful addition to your kitchen. They will keep your knives sharp and also make an attractive serving platter.

The Hardwood Lumber Company manufactures custom wood cutting boards in a variety of styles. We also have the supplies you need to keep your cutting board in optimal condition. Browse our website for the oils you need to keep your board in top shape.

Select from Mouldings One’s large collection of hardwood mouldings or custom design your own; available in a variety of domestic and imported hardwood species.

A division of The Hardwood Lumber Company, the St. Nick Brush Company manufactures a complete line of consumer and industrial brushes and brooms.

A sister company of the Hardwood Lumber Company, Sheoga Hardwood Flooring and Paneling offers quality, solid hardwood flooring in a variety of species, unfinished or prefinished.