There are very few kitchen tools that are nearly as versatile or essential as wooden cutting boards. Brilliant for preparing ingredients without damaging kitchen knives, the highest-quality wooden boards can also make ideal serving trays for prepared products. In short – they’re every bit as good looking as they are practical.
That said, you’ll nonetheless have to ensure that your wooden cutting boards are correctly cared for, in order to maximise their lifespan and on-going performance. Which means familiarising yourself with the proper approach to cleaning wooden cutting boards, which looks a little like this:
Never Soak Your Boards
First and foremost, one of the biggest and most common mistakes you can make is to excessively soak your wooden cutting boards in water. Or worse still, throw them in the dishwasher. Both of which can cause your boards to crack, split, warp and generally degrade before their time.
One of the most important rules of thumb when it comes to basic wooden board maintenance is to get them cleaned and dried as quickly as possible. Just as soon as you are finished with your wooden board, give it a good wash with quality dish soap and water, before drying it thoroughly.
In order to ensure that your boards dry out comprehensively and minimise the potential for bacteria growth in the process, they should be positioned upright to allow for airing on all sides. It’s then simply a case of giving them sufficient time to dry, before re-using them.
The porous nature of wood means that wooden chopping boards often retain odours – ingredients such as garlic and onions standing out as the most obvious examples. Interestingly, and while it may seem counterproductive at the time, one of the best ways of removing these odours is to give the board a good wipe with a splash of white vinegar. Just as soon as it dries out, there will be little to no odour left whatsoever.
One of the easiest and safest ways of removing stubborn stains from cutting boards is to sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the surface, before gently massaging it into the surface with half a lemon. Great for removing stains and leaving behind a pleasant fragrance at the same time.
Last but not least, if you find that your wooden cutting boards begin looking dried out and dull in general, you can always breathe new life into them by adding a little mineral oil with a damp cloth. This will restore not only the lustre of your wooden chopping boards, but also provide an additional layer of protection for the surface.
One final note – always remember that when wood and cutting boards split, crack or chip, it becomes increasingly difficult to hygienically clean these damaged areas, hence the importance of avoiding this kind of damage in the first place where possible, which can be achieved by purchasing quality products and keeping your boards well maintained.
This article was brought to you courtesy of the team at Row & Sons.
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