Caring for your teak cutting board

When it comes to caring for teak cutting boards, a few simple steps can extend the life of your board exponentially. The natural oils in teak help the wood resist moisture, rot, fungus, and warping, but with a little more love you can keep your beautiful teak cutting boards looking great indefinitely.

First, the most important way to add extra protection to your plantation’s teak cutting board is to season the surface with a generous dose of the right oil. This oil fills the small pores of the wood and creates a barrier that prevents food particles and liquids from penetrating deep into the grain.

Materials

Most teak experts recommend a USP grade mineral oil. This food grade oil will protect your cutting surface and will not spoil. Other suitable treatments include coconut oil, almond oil, walnut oil, or beeswax. Coconut, almond and walnut oils are all very resistant to rancidity. The most common cooking oils like olive oil or vegetable oil are not recommended for cutting surfaces due to their tendency to spoil, and who wants to cut their veggies with rancid oil?

Seasoning

To spice up your board, heat the oil and apply it with a soft cloth, following the direction of the wood grain. Don’t worry about applying too much oil, there is no such thing as “too much”. For the initial treatment, you will need to apply 4-5 coats, allowing each coat to dry for a minimum of 4 hours before applying the next.

If you choose to use beeswax as a sealer, simply apply the beeswax (over your mineral oil, ideally) and then wipe it off with a soft cloth. Alternatively, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax to 1 cup of mineral oil, microwave it for 45 seconds, and then just apply it as an oil.

After the initial drying, you’ll want to reapply a coat of oil every two weeks to keep your board in tip-top condition.

Cleaning

WHAT TO DO: When it’s time to clean your board, rinse it with warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly afterward.

To disinfect the teak in your plantation, clean it with undiluted white vinegar after each use. Vinegar is effective against E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.

If you want to go a step further, you can clean your table with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, directly after cleaning the table with vinegar.

DO NOT: When washing your board, do not submerge the board under water, as its porous surface can absorb water and cause cracks.

Strong detergents are a big no-no, as are dishwashers and other places that are prone to extreme humidity or dryness.

Tips and tricks

  • To remove odors from fish, garlic, etc., try rubbing the surface with baking soda or a cut lemon, and then wipe or rinse.
  • Flip your cutting board over from time to time (even if you have a favorite side); using both sides will equalize wear and extend the life of the board.

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