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How to Clean and Oil Wood Cutting Boards and Utensils

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Today we are sharing our tips for How to Clean and Oil Wood Cutting Boards and Utensils.

For us January signifies fresh beginnings. Typically this means that we clean, purge, toss, donate, sanitize and deep clean. Usually we start in the kitchen by removing everything from the food pantry and the dish pantry. After all of the holiday celebrations and dinner parties, these two closets look like a cyclone blew through them. This is also the perfect time to check-over pots, pans and utensils. I thought we should share our method for How to Clean and Oil Wood Cutting Boards and Utensils.

Our wood cutting boards and utensils are the workhorses of our kitchens. During Thanksgiving and Christmas they had an extensive workout!

As someone who loves to throw everything in the dishwasher and wants to sanitize everything in the kitchen, I used to struggle with how to clean wooden cutting boards and utensils. Here is a list of the best practices for handling your wood utensils after use.

Do’s and Don’ts


  • let the utensils sit in water to soak for extended periods of time. The wood will absorb the water and make it bloat, crack and splinter.
  • put wood utensils or cutting boards into the dishwasher. The intense heat, steam and extended time in hot water will dry the wood and make the wood crack.
  • cut raw meat on a wooden cutting board. Use glass or plastic board. Bacteria can seep into the crevices of the wood and fester, contaminating the surface.
  • use olive oil or vegetable oil because it goes rancid quickly.


  • wash the utensils in hot soapy water fairly quickly after use.
  • pat the utensils dry with a cloth and let air dry.
  • apply a food-safe mineral oil to the wood every once in a while to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.

This is how we do it

Always hand wash wood utensils with soap and warm water. Unfortunately, the harsh detergent and heat in the dishwasher will wreck the wood in just a few cycles.

Dry wooden spoons with a towel instead of letting them air dry. Residual moisture from washing will get absorbed into the wood, causing the wood to swell and crack over time.

About once a month or so, rub in a little food-safe mineral oil with a soft cloth. This will restore the warm polished look and keep the wood in good condition.

Mineral oil is a food safe product that won’t go rancid the way olive oil or other cooking oils would. It gets absorbed quickly, leaving wooden handles smooth but not greasy.

What you will need:

Since you’re only using a teaspoon or so at a time, one bottle of mineral oil will last a long time. The same holds true for the Boos Block Board Cream. They are both readily available at kitchen stores and online.

Using board cream is not a necessary step. Personally, I prefer using it after the mineral oil for added protection to the wood.

Yes, these extra steps are totally worth it. It keeps our favorite wood cutting boards, spoons and utensils healthy and safe. You can see what a difference conditioning makes.

I hope that you found this post informative and helpful. How do you take care of your wood boards and utensils?

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  1. This is so important and easier to do than I think people realize too! It immediately gives both breadboards and spoons a refresh which I love. Plus, it’s great to use when you’ve found the perfect wooden French pieces and you’re ready to display them with pride 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  2. Mary Evans says:

    Very good post. I did not know about using Mineral Oil. I will surely pass this wonderful tip to my family. Thanks Mary

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