How to Clean Wooden Cutting Boards

I've let my wooden cutting boards just sit in my kitchen for months. Every time I used them, I'd simply wipe them down with water and let them sit. Over time, I realized that my wooden cutting boards weren't nearly as clean as they should be.
Since we have a puppy running around, if I go a few days without cleaning the floors or washing Pete’s food bowl the grime just builds up! Because of this, I’ve been very diligent about keeping our kitchen clean.
There is one part of my kitchen that could use a little T.L.C. – my wooden cutting boards. Don’t get me wrong. I always rinse them down after using, but it’s been months (gasp!) since they’ve been given the royal treatment.
Cleaning your wooden cutting board doesn’t have to be a chore, especially since it takes only 5 steps!

Spread a layer of salt on top of your cutting board.

Use half a lemon to rub the salt around the board. Squeeze the lemon to allow the juice to coat the board.

After a few minutes of scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with water.

Let the board air dry.

Once the board is completely dry, rub coconut oil (or mineral oil) all over the surface. Let sit overnight.


Never soak your wooden cutting board in water. The water expands the wood fibers, causing the board to crack.

Never put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher.

Do not use other organic oils, such as olive oil. The fats can spoil and cause your board to smell.
Nicole Raudonis
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Bebhinn N. Bebhinn N. on Jan 20, 2016
    Won't the coconut oil spoil?

  • Mhe5615909 Mhe5615909 on Nov 15, 2016
    MY WOODEN BOARD GREW A BIT MOLDY DUE TO DAMPNESS. I scrubbed and washed it with Clorox to kill the mold, but left some stains. I rinsed it well, dried it, then coated it with BUTCHERS wood floor wax, then buffed it. Is this safe to use now with foods when buffed and wiped clean?

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2 of 23 comments
  • Pam Pam on Jul 14, 2016
    Wooden cutting boards can also contaminate as well as plastic. I have never heard of wood killing bacteria. Always wash with hot, soap, and water!!!

  • Lori Nordine Lori Nordine on Jul 17, 2016
    Use "food-grade" mineral oil. I find "Butcher Block Conditioner" at my local hardware store but I'm sure you can probably find it at other retailers also.