Cutting Board Maintenance and Spatula Care
Below are a few guidelines to follow to keep your wood kitchen products looking their best.
- Do not put the board/spatula in the dishwasher. The high humidity, powerful jets, and extremely hot water are too much for any wood product.
- Do not lay the board flat after washing. If the board is laid flat after being washed, the bottom side may not dry as fast as the top side. This could lead to a warping of the board.
- Do not let the board/spatula soak. The boards are well seasoned and are water resistant, not water proof. If allowed to soak, water will eventually be absorbed causing damage to the board.
- Feel free to wash the board/spatula with any cleaning agent of your choice. Just realize, the harsher the cleaner and the more frequent the washings, the more often you will need to reapply mineral oil.
- Stand the board upright after washing and allow to completely dry before laying down on its side.
- Be generous with the frequency of oiling. Once every three to four weeks, or whenever the board/spatula begins to look dry.
A bit about oil.
Food grade mineral oil can be purchased at most pharmacies, grocery and hardware stores. Food based oils can be used, but it is not recommended. Over time these oils can go rancid, leaving an unpleased odor in the room. This rancidity can also be transferred to your food. Due to the nature of mineral oil, it will never go rancid.
To apply, pour a generous amount on the surface and spread evenly. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, and check for dry spots. Due to the nature of mineral oil, it will not evaporate into the air. If dry spots exist, it’s because it has soaked into the board. Simply reapply the oil and check back again later. Repeat this process until no dry spots form.
Another option is to keep that bottle of oil handy. After every wash, once the board has dried, give the board a quick wipe with an oily paper towel. These repeated oilings will keep your board in great shape.
A bit about wax.
Waxing the board is not necessary, but it will help maintain the board and it will make clean up easier. SJ’s Board Butter is a clear wood conditioner formulated to keep the mineral oil in, and the water out. Unlike many store bought brands, SJ’s Board Butter is made from a clear food grade paraffin wax, instead of a yellow beeswax, and won’t discolor your wood products. Apply monthly, or more often if heavily used. Simply use a paper towel to apply the mixture to the board. Once the wax has dried, wipe off the excess.
Garlic and onions.
If garlic or onions are cut with frequency, you may notice the board has started to retain the odor. The best remedy for this is coarse kosher salt, and a lemon. Sprinkle some large grained salt over the board, cut a lemon, and squeeze a generous amount of juice across the board. Scrub the board with a clean sponge. Let sit for a few minutes, and wash.
Showing its age
Over time, your board may start to show its age. To restore your board to ‘like new’, all it takes is some simple sanding. Using 120 – 150 grit sandpaper, sand the board until all of the undesired wood is removed. A belt sander will greatly expedite this process. Always sand in the direction of the grain. Finish with a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. Be sure to generously oil and wax the board when finished.