We use wood cutting boards a LOT in our house.
This tip for how to sanitize and restore a wood cutting board is one of our most-used tricks!
This post originally appeared on Sweet C’s in 2013 – and has been a huge hit ever since!
They are easy, simple and beautiful. We even have a kitchen island with a butcher block table top that we use as our everyday table. So to say we need a good way to sterilize wood, without chemicals, is an understatement!
Today I am going to show you my foolproof, incredibly easy and chemical-free way of sterilizing wood cutting board surfaces, as well as how to restore or maintain an old cutting board to keep it looking rich and new instead of all dried out and sad.
First off, check out our situation. We had a particularly nasty cutting board with food of some sort petrified on. Don’t judge. This is real life with two babies, people!
How To Sanitize a Wood Cutting Board
To get the stuck on food off, take a regular old butter knife and scrape it down the board to remove any crusty bits.
This will be the most labor intensive part of the process- make sure you really get all old crusty bits off and gone. Then wipe off any crumbs with a dry paper towel.
At this point, if you have very deep cuts in the board, you might need to sand your board down.
You don’t want deep cuts as they are harder to clean and can make an excellent hiding place for bacteria.
We’re also VERY careful to not cut meat on our cutting boards- but vegetables can carry listeria and e. coli as well, so it’s important to clean often.
Pour some vinegar on the cutting board (enough to coat it) and let it set in for 10 minutes. When fully soaked in, wipe it down with a wet cloth.
If your cutting board isn’t in need of a good sterilizing, or doesn’t have many deep cuts, you can skip the next step. Anything in my house, however, cannot.
Pour a similar amount of hydrogen peroxide on the cutting board and rub it in to fully coat the board. Let it sit another 10 minutes and then rub clean with a damp cloth.
Repeat the steps above for the backside, and let fully dry. You don’t need to wear gloves for this unless you are particularly sketched out by the smell of vinegar or you have any open cuts on your hands.
Next, we’re going to get that dried out wood looking rich and beautiful as it was when you got your cutting board brand new.
How to Restore a Cutting Board
Pour a generous helping of coconut oil (food grade mineral oil also works) on the board and rub it around in soft circular motions.
Think of this as lotioning up your cutting board– let it soak in the oil. If your cutting board soaks it all up immediately go on ahead and add a little more. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then using a dry cloth or paper towel, go over the board in circular motions to remove excess oil.
Don’t worry about getting it all up- it will continue to sink in to your wood- but you’d like it to not be a greasy mess all over your counter or wherever you store your cutting board.
Repeat this oiling every week to keep your board well conditioned and to keep it from drying out- especially if you live in a very arid climate like here in Colorado!
When you are done, your cutting board will look lovely and rich again!.
This can be done over and over throughout the years, as I do – if you look close, you can tell I am using the same cutting board in my pictures here from 2017 as I did way way back in 2014!
Notice a little bit of my photography style has changed? lol 😉 – be kind!
What will you use this awesome tip on? I’ve always wanted big long butcher block countertops, but was always afraid they’d get too dirty.
Now that I know how easy it is to clean them, I’m off to dreaming again!!!
How to Sanitize and Restore a Cutting Board Video
Please click to watch the video below to see my process: