Here’s how to keep your wood cutting boards in tip-top shape

Fresh rosemary on a wooden board. Close up
Flickr | wuestenigel

It’s a kitchen staple that every chef needs in her meal-prep arsenal. Whether for chopping or as a serving platter, a solid wood cutting board is versatile, useful and makes any kitchen look legit.

As with most nice things, it takes a little effort to keep them in their best shape. But investing in a quality wooden cutting board is worth the effort, as it can last for years — even a lifetime — if you take proper care of it. Follow these tips for keeping your wood cutting board clean and beautiful.


Once you’re done using your cutting board, rinse it off immediately with water and soap. Remove any bits of food that may have stuck to it. Be sure to wash the underside and edges of the board, in addition to the top. Why? An uneven rinse can result in uneven swelling due to the reaction between the wood and water. Uneven swelling means an uneven board once dry, and no one has time for a rocky cutting board!

Once it’s clean, dry it off and let it completely dry overnight while standing on its side (both board faces should be able to air-dry).

Pro tip: Never leave your wood board soaking in water, as it causes cracking, and don’t stick it in the dishwasher!


Clean And Disinfect

There are a number of common household items you can use to clean your board. For example, you can wipe it down with white vinegar, which will help protect against sicknesses such as E. coli and salmonella, and then wipe it down with hydrogen peroxide to kill the bacteria.

Pro tip: To deep-clean a board, create a paste with one tablespoon each of baking soda, salt and water, scrub your board down, and then rinse with hot water.


Remove Odors

Does your board smell funky thanks to garlic or fish? Or maybe it has a moldy odor? Chop a lemon in half and rub it all over the board to remove undesirable odor. You can also spray it with white vinegar.



While this doesn’t clean the board, it’s important to maintain the wood with a food-grade mineral oil. Why? Oils will help prevent cracking and splits. Websites like Amazon and have a variety of options, ranging in price from $9 to $15.

Happy cooking!

Cleaning & Organization, Food, Home, Life Hacks, Tips & Advice
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About the Author
Chelsea Davis
Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at

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