Scrub and rinse the board clean, especially after cutting raw meat on it. After rinsing, stand in draining rack to dry. Do not soak the board in water as will absorb moisture potentially causing it to warp and encouraging bacteria and mould growth.
After heavy use, and just as a good regular cleaning habit, scrub the board with some coarse salt and half a lemon. This will effectively clean off any food scraps, kill bacteria and leave it smelling lemony too!
Let the board dry overnight before oiling, or even place out in the sun for an hour or two.
Protect the wood
Waxing or oiling the board regularly will help prevent mould and bacteria growth as well as prevent drying out and cracking. This is especially important after a deep salt-lemon clean (see above).
A great local Aussie made option is LA Sawdust Board Goop which we use on our boards and love. Click here to visit their page.
Many brands of wooden board oils and waxes are available, but ensure they are food grade if planning to put food on the board.
Do NOT use cooking oils such as olive or canola that will go rancid over time and actually encourage the growth of mould and bacteria.
Make sure the board is dry before oiling or waxing. Sit out in the sun for a few hours if required.
If using a thin oil, apply to the board and then wipe dry with paper towel so there are no drips.
For thicker oils and waxes, apply a thin even layer.
Place the board in a warm sunny location. Sunlight kills any bacteria and the warmth will help thin the oil allowing it to soak into the wood even better.
For best results complete monthly, especially if the board is regularly wet.
Cleaning off mould
If a board gets moist (common in very humid climates) it can grow mould and bacteria. If this happens prepare a mix of 1 part bleach, 4 parts water.
Spray the board, leave for 2-3 minutes and then wipe off with a paper towel.
If surface mould is still visible, use very fine 600 grit sandpaper to take a fine layer off the wood.
Once thoroughly dry (sit in the sun for a while if required), oil or wax again.
No! Do not wash a wooden cutting board in the dish washer.
Cleaning a wooden board in a dishwasher can cause it to warp. Also, soaking in water for that long will cause it to absorb moisture increasing the chances of mould and bacteria growth.