How to Restore a Cutting Board

How to
a Cutting Board

One of the most humble servants in your kitchen is also the most overlooked – your cutting board. They are used for a huge variety of tasks which leave them looking very worn and sorry looking. The solution is quick and easy and so here is How to Restore a Cutting Board.

Why do Cutting Boards wear out?

Cutting boards are used almost all the time for almost every task ranging from the obvious cutting, chopping and dicing, to having hot saucepans right off the stove put on them. All of these tasks will place undue stress on your cutting board but unfortunately this often goes unnoticed. This is because the cutting board is often pulled out of a draw at the last minute and then the action happens on top with little attention placed on what’s going on underneath. The result is a dull, washed out cutting board that not only looks terrible but can be more unsanitary as the rough surface offers more places for bacteria to hide. As such, it’s important to know how to restore a cutting board.

My well-loved cutting board...
My cutting board had seen better days...

My own Cutting Board...

I’m not afraid to say it – I’m in love with my cutting board. The first time we met was when I took my wife away for a romantic weekend at a Balinese cabin retreat in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands. On the Saturday morning we took a trip down to the Eumundi Markets. As well as falling in love with the amazing cigar box guitars there, I also met this beautiful cutting board and bought it on the spot. Back then it was a beautiful mix of natural timber colours, both dark and pale. Unfortunately I didn’t take very good care of it and it ended up looking pretty sad and sorry.

How to Restore a Cutting Board in 3 Easy Steps...

Simple tools...
I found my basting brush behind the half-used cans of paint...
1. Choose an Oil

The gentleman that I bought my board from told me to use Grapeseed Oil, so that’s what I went to the shops and bought. I did some research and food grade mineral oils are okay to use, but stay away from regular cooking oils as they can go rancid after soaking into your board and that rancid smell and flavour can be transferred to your food.

Interestingly, my research also indicated that Coconut Oil is good to use for seasoning your board and actually has some anti-bacterial properties that will help keep your board safe in the future.

2. Sand your Board

You’ll need to two grades of sand paper. If you’re not familiar with sand paper, the higher the number on the back of the paper, the finer the paper. A sandpaper with a smaller number will be coarser and will sand your board faster but will also leave it uneven and possibly even scratched.

I used 120 and 180 grade sandpapers, as I already has some of these in my garden shed. If your board has deep scores in it, you might even want to go as low as an 80 grade.

Sand all the edges of your board with the lower grade sandpaper to knock off the top layer quickly and then use the higher grade sandpaper to smooth it all off and finish it up nicely. Always make sure that you follow the natural grain of the timber and never use circular motions or you’ll end up with swirls in the surface of your board.

3. Oil it Up and Rub it Down

You will almost definitely have a basting brush. It will be in that cheap BBQ tool kit that a relative bought you a few Christmases ago that you stuck on a bottom shelf somewhere in the tool shed. Simply pour a very small amount of oil into a small container and work it into your board with your basting brush. It’s a good idea to make sure you go with the grain of the wood. Don’t forget to get the edges too.

Let the oil soak in for at least an hour. It probably doesn’t really need to be as long as this, but I like to be sure. Then just grab some paper towel and dry off the excess. Turn your board over and repeat.

When you’re done your board will be immaculate and like new again. I actually find that I’m motivated to cook even more now that my board is looking sexy again!

So there you have it. Now you know how to restore a cutting board. It’s so simple you’ll soon be doing it every couple of months!

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