There aren’t many things that look better with age, but a wooden cutting board is one of them—especially in your kitchen. Whether you have a sizable butcher block on display or prefer to hang your wooden cutting board like a kitchen out of a Pinterest board, they far surpass the plastic kind in both use and charm. And sure, you could use some regular soap and water to get the job done, but caring for them means going the extra mile if you don't want to see them warp or crack after a few months.
Dish Soap: The first step to wash and condition your wooden cutting board should always be warm water and dish soap—but unlike the rest of your dishes, it shouldn’t be the last. And remember that whatever you use on your cutting boards (and your dishes, and your utensils) will inevitably end up on your food and in your mouth. This non-toxic Heirloom Dish Soap is safe enough for your very best China and strong enough for everyday dishes—but won’t leave nasty chemicals, parabens, or phthalates floating around on your dinner plate. Make sure you dry them standing up so moisture doesn’t get trapped in the wood.
All-Purpose Cleaner: There’s one caveat: If you just sliced up some cucumbers or used it as a plate for some crudites, a simple wipe with an all-purpose cleaner will do. But before you take a supermarket surface cleaner to your cutting board, remember this: Whatever touches that cutting board will inevitably end up in your mouth. A natural alternative like this All-Purpose Cleaner tackles dirt, grime, and surface stains without any harsh chemicals. You can also use it to wipe down your granite countertops, tile, walls, cabinets, and any other surface in your kitchen that needs it.
Baking Soda + Lemon Scrub: Even if you haven’t used your cutting board in a while, we recommend extending its life by giving it a good baking soda and lemon scrub once a month. This gets rid of any odours or surface stains that may have stuck around, and also makes it smell great. Plus, it’s basically free.
Just sprinkle some baking soda on top of your cutting board (usually a tablespoon will do), then rub it in with a freshly cut lemon. Rinse the board clean with a towel.
Leather Cleaner: Yes, it sounds weird, but give it a shot: The main ingredient in this Leather Cleaner is food-grade canola oil, and it can condition much more than just your leather shoes. (It also has hydrating Rapeseed Oil. After you’re done cleaning your wooden cutting board, dab some onto a sponge and work it into the wood, then let it sit for ten minutes. Wipe it clean with a washcloth or paper towel and it’ll look just as good as new and keep it from drying out and cracking.
Just a little conditioning can go a long way—and with proper care, your wooden cutting boards should last for 10, even 15 years.