How To Waterproof Your Wooden Chopping Board (Quick Guide)

Chopping boards are used in most kitchens because of the durability and natural long lasting ability of the wood. Wooden chopping boards are useful to chop vegetables, fruit and even meat.

Here Is How You Waterproof Your Wooden Chopping Board:

If your board is brand new then you will need to use a beeswax wood polish to waterproof your board.

This will seal and protect the wood and repel water while washing. (make sure you use a natural beeswax wood polish as it must be food grade).

In this article we are going to discuss whether it is ok to get your board wet, can you use olive oil as a protectant, and step by step guide to waterproofing & maintaining your chopping board.

Can Wood Cutting Boards Get Wet?

Any wooden chopping boards should only be hand washed. This means only to use a smaller amount of water to wash the board, wipe with a cloth and rinse. It is then advised to dry in a dish rack naturally.

If it the chopping board is new it is advised before use a beeswax board polish before use. This will protect and waterproof the wood.

Two major factors to completely avoid in regards to water:

Avoid Soaking The Board: Placing any wooden chopping board in water for long periods of time is a definitely something you should avoid. This action can develop mould and potentially warping which is the change of shape of the wood.

Avoid Placing Board In Dishwasher: Dishwashers normally run for 30 minutes up to 2 hours (depending on your setting), and a dishwasher is really similar to soaking a chopping board as it fills with water. This can ruin boards, changing there original shape and softening the wood. In some cases mould appears.

Can I Use Olive Oil On My Wooden Chopping Board?

Olive oil is a natural oil used in cooking mainly and some people do use this particular oil for coating their chopping boards (mainly to stop the wood from drying out).

We wouldn’t recommend this oil for the below reasons:

Waterproofing: Olive oil will lubricate the chopping board but will not waterproof or seal the outside of the chopping board. You need either beeswax or mineral/jojoba oil to lock the oils in.

Rancidity: Olive oil generally has a shelf life of between 12-18 months, so for a lubricant it is not the best choice for a chopping board, even though it is a natural oil. There are better choices out there being jojoba oil or mineral oils.

How To Waterproof Your Wooden Chopping Board?

Here is a guide to waterproofing your chopping board whether it is new or an existing board.

New Chopping Board:

Generally new cutting boards come without any oils or waxes on them, produced by a wood worker. This board will need protection straight away

1.Get 2 clean cloths

2. Choose a beeswax polish or mineral oil

3. Apply to cloth and then rub into wood in a circular motion.

4. Wait 5 minutes and then reapply. Any new board is going to be extra dry and you may need to apply 3 or 4 times. When you see the oils soaking into the wood you know it is working!

5. Use the second cloth to wipe over to take off any remaining wax or oil to give it a dry finish.

Existing/Old Chopping Board:

Old boards or vintage ones that have been used by other people may have existing or old polish within the board. This will need to be removed before following the above directions to then wax your chopping board.

To take off any old wood polish from an existing board:

1. Mix equal parts being white vinegar to water into a mixing bowl

2. Apply to the wood and then use a scrubber to remove any excess or old polish

3. Give the board a hand wash with detergent.

4. Follow the New Chopping Board steps for re applying

Here is a good article on waterproofing your wooden chopping board.

How Do You Maintain Your Wooden Chopping Board?

Looking after your chopping board every time, you use it is extremely important. These steps you can complete after each use to make sure it stays in great:

Sanitizing Board:

A natural way of sanitizing a chopping board after usage is to lemon and salt to form a sanatizer. You need to squeeze a fresh lemon with a few pinches of salt. Then rub into the board. This should be done weekly if you are using this board to cut meat, or once a month for anything else e.g vegetables.

Excessive Knife Marks:

Different types of wood are softer so knife marks will be more prominent. Bacteria can form in cracks so if they become too noticeable you may want to sand back the wood. To do this sand a thin layer back, (use a 80-120 grit paper), once the knife marks are now showing, wipe down and then use a beeswax polish on the area.

Removing Stains:

Stains develop on boards depending on what you are chopping up. The culprits are normally citrus fruits and turmeric. When removing any stains you need to sprinkle baking soda with hot water and use a scrubbing brush. Elbow grease will will remove any stubborn stains.

Removing Odours:

Garlic and Onions are the vegetables that normally create odours in the chopping boards. The natural way of removing this is the same as sanitizing being using lemon and salt. The citrus of the fresh lemon helps remove any odours from the board.

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