Seasoning Your New Cutting Surface:
Before you use your cutting board or butcher block for the first time,
season it to prevent staining or absorption of food odors and bacteria. The
wooden surface needs an oil that can be applied repeatedly to fill the wood
pores and repel food particles, liquids, and oils. Do not use any vegetable
or cooking oils to treat or finish a cutting surface, as these oils can turn
We recommend using USP-grade mineral oil. Mineral oil is an inexpensive
food-grade oil that won’t spoil, and can easily be found at the hardware or
drug store. Do not confuse this with mineral spirits, which is paint
Other treatments you can use are coconut oil, walnut oil, almond oil, and
beeswax. Coconut oil is highly resistant to rancidity, and does not have to
be refrigerated. It is also one of the healthiest oils to cook with! Walnut
and almond oils are not strongly recommended because, although they do not
turn rancid as quickly as other oils, they will eventually go rancid. Do not
use walnut or almond oil if you or anyone in your family has nut allergies.
Beeswax is another natural option. Just place ½ teaspoon of beeswax in 1 cup
of mineral oil, place in the microwave for 45 seconds, and apply as normal.
You can also use beeswax as a top coat, applied with a soft cloth and buffed
To apply the treatment, warm the oil slightly and apply with a soft cloth,
following the grain direction. For initial seasoning, you will need to apply
4 to 5 coats. Allow each coat to soak in before applying the next. Do not
worry about applying too much oil - the more the better! After applying the
last coat, wait 4 to 6 hours for the oil to oxidize and harden, then wipe
off any excess oil that did not soak in.
We recommend that you oil your cutting surface once every week to two weeks
to maintain quality and avoid bacteria and cracks.
Maintaining Your Cutting Surface
All cutting surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized frequently. We
recommend that you use one of the following methods.
Hot water and soap - Scrub the board with hot water and soap., then rinse
and dry thoroughly. Never submerge cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood
is porous and will soak up water, causing the cutting board to crack when it
Vinegar - To disinfect and clean your wooden cutting surface, wipe it with
full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar
is effective against such harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and
Staphylococcus. Vinegar is especially good for people with chemical
allergies. Have a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning
Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as an
anti-bacterial agent. To kill germs, use a paper towel to wipe the surface
down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen
Bleach - You can sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a
diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution made of one teaspoon of liquid
chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one-to-five mixture of vinegar to
water. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand
for several minutes, then rinse and air-dry or pat dry with paper towels.
Do not use harsh detergents of any kind.
All cutting boards, and other food surfaces, should be kept dry when not in
use. Resident bacteria do not survive more than a few hours without
moisture. Keep moisture of any kind from standing on the block for long
periods of time. Be careful not to let moisture collect beneath the board if
you leave it on
Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the cutting surface.
Scraping removes 75% of the moisture that builds up on a wooden cutting
board. Never scrub a wooden surface with a steel brush, as this will rough
up the finish.
When refinishing a butcher block, you may want to sand the surface of the
wood to remove old stains, scratches and marks. An occasional sanding will
return a wooden board to a smooth luster. When sanding out knicks and
scratches, remember that if you don't sand the top evenly you will end up
with "hills" and "valleys" in the top.
To eliminate garlic, onion, fish, or other smells from your cutting board,
use one of the following methods.
Coarse salt or baking soda - Rub the surface with course salt or baking
soda. Let stand a few minutes and wipe salt or baking soda from the surface,
and then rinse. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board
or chopping block.
Lemon - Another easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut
lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic
odors. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping
Vinegar - Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning
and sanitizing. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting
Keep teak and other hardwoods away from extreme humidity or dryness.
Temperature extremes can cause the wood to swell and shrink, leading to
small cracks or breaks along the grain, along the ends of tops, or along the
end of the lamination.
Do not install or place counter tops near excessive heat (such as a stove)
without proper insulation between the heat source and the edge of the
Do not cut off ends, drill holes, make cutouts, or otherwise deface surfaces
without refinishing the exposed unfinished wood.
Do not cut continuously in the same place on your cutting surface.
Distribute your cutting over the entire work surface so that it will wear
Turn your cutting board over periodically to allow even usage to both work
Do not wash knives, forks, or other utensils on the work surface of your