Treat your boards well and they will give you years of chopping joy!
You should clean your cutting board after each use. Depending on what you used it for will determine how to clean it. Typically, if only cutting clean veggies or fruits, or making a sandwich, we will simply scrape away the crumbs or debris with one of our board scrapers and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. For extra sanitizing and cleaning we use our Small Axe Board Splash (available for purchase soon). Simply spray it on, let sit a few seconds and wipe it dry. This helps clean the board, sanitize it and remove stains and odors.
It is always best to clean your cutting board right after use. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to remove stains, debris and odors. Always allow the board to dry completely before storing.
Wood cutting boards are more sanitary than plastic.
Check out this article from the Huffington Post.
Food or debris stuck to your board? Use one of our board scrapers to remove whatever is caked on. You can also use a spatula or something similar... and don't worry, you won't damage the cutting board. You can wash the board afterward if necessary. Allow the board to dry completely before storing.
Did you get all crazy cutting things up on your new cutting board? Awesome! Cutting messy fruits and veggies, cheeses, meats, fish, etc. is exactly what the cutting board is meant for. In this case you want to wash your board. Use warm or hot water, a dish cloth or sponge with mild dish soap to remove any dirty spots on your board. Rinse thoroughly. Take care not to submerge the cutting board completely in water or let sit in water for an extended period of time. Dry your board off with a clean cloth and allow to air dry completely before storing.
It's a good idea to sanitize your board from time to time, and certainly after cutting raw meats or fish. Scrape and wash your board first with warm water and soap. Next, spray Small Axe Board Splash on the board, let it sit for a few seconds and wipe it dry. If you don't have our Board Splash, you can use white vinegar or a bleach solution. Apply the vinegar or bleach solution either directly to the board or on a cloth and rub all over contaminated areas of the board. If using a bleach solution, use a couple tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water. Soak a dish towel in this mixture and rub over the contaminated areas. NEVER use bleach and vinegar together, the mixture will create a toxic gas. Allow the board to dry completely before storing.
Stains and odors
To get rid of board stains and odors use Small Axe Board Splash! Spray it on, let sit for a minute or so, and wipe it off. For tough stains and odors, sprinkle a bunch of salt directly on the stain/odor. Next, soak the salt with our Board Splash (or white vinegar) and work the salt into the board with a clean or lemon wedges. Allow to sit a few minutes then rinse off with warm water and wipe dry. Allow the board to dry completely before storing.
proper drying methods
After washing your cutting board, it is essential that you allow it to dry properly. All wood and wood cutting boards are very sensitive to changes in moisture. Different moisture levels on different parts of the board will cause warping, cracking and separating. Do not allow water or any liquids to sit on the board (or under the board) for extended periods of time. That being said, drying the board is simple. First, wipe the board down using a clean cloth to dry it as best as possible. Next, it would be ideal if you could put the board on a drying rack, but if that is not possible, just stand the board upright on one of it's edges so that air can circulate around the board. Make sure the board is totally dry before storing or setting flat on the countertop. If there is any moisture or water underneath the board, it can cause considerable damage.
Conditioning and maintaining your cutting board
When your cutting board is clean and completely dry, it is the ideal time to oil and/or wax your board. Oil moisturizes the wood, protects it, enriches the color and stabilizes it. The wax provides an extra layer of protection from moisture, stains and odors. First oil, then wax.
You may condition your board every couple of weeks or so depending on how much you use your board and how dry it looks.
Here at Small Axe, we use organic fractionated (MCT) coconut oil fortified with organic vitamin E and lemon essential oil. This oil, besides having amazing health benefits, will not go rancid. You have to be careful with which oil you use. Many cooking oils will go rancid due to oxidation. Avoid using household oils because they contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can become rancid over time. Learn more here. And - please, please, please stay away from using palm oil due to its negative harvesting practices.
Although an effective alternative is mineral oil, we stay away from using it because there is some inconsistent data as to whether or not it has negative health effects. We want to be sure we provide you with the safest and highest quality product for you and your family.
To apply the oil, simply poor it on the board and rub it in with your hand, a clean cloth or a paper towel. Let soak in for a minimum of 30 minutes or leave it overnight. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth. You may add multiple coats for added protection until the board stops absorbing the oil.
After oiling, it's a good idea to add a coat of Small Axe Board Wax. Our Board Wax is made with organic fractionated (MCT) coconut oil, locally sourced organic beeswax and FDA approved, organic lemon essential oil and vitamin E. Alternatively you can make your own board wax by melting some beeswax in regular extra virgin coconut oil or fractionated coconut oil. You can use a 60/40 ratio of oil to wax (add more oil for a more viscous mixture). Scoop some wax onto your board with your hands or a clean cloth. Let the wax sit on your board for a minimum of 15 minutes and buff off with a clean cloth.