How to Remove Old Oil From a Cutting Board...naturally

Lia Cardle
by Lia Cardle
3 Materials
30 Minutes

Find a gross vintage or antique cutting board at an estate sale? Don't pass it up! I'll tell you how to clean a wood cutting board!

This is what my vintage pig cutting board looked like when I found it at an estate sale. It was gunky and sticky with tons of oil. The lady that had this used it frequently and obviously she loved it because she oiled it frequently too!

I searched the internet for a way to clean cutting/bread boards, wood or how to remove oil and grease from wood naturally, but couldn't find anything. All the articles or videos I found used chemicals. I can't use chemicals on anything that is going to touch food. I finally found one and this is what she used, 1 tbsp. of olive oil to 4 tbsps. of baking soda.

After cleaning side one

The olive oil and baking soda form a paste. I had a large area to clean so I used a cake knife to apply the paste all over the first side. I let it sit for five minutes, then used an old wash cloth, wet the end and started rubbing in a circular motion. It took a little bit of elbow grease, but after I rinsed this little pig, he was oil free! Who knew, oil to clean oil?

This is after sanding, but before new oil

After he was dry, I rough, then fine sanded using 80 grit, then 120 grit sandpaper. I didn't want to lose the knife marks because I like the patina and I love to see the years of use. You can always use a planer and make smooth, but that's not what I was going for.

One coat of hemp oil

I wiped him down with a wet rag and when that was done, I applied a coat of hemp oil. I used Miss Mustard Seed's hemp oil because that is what I had on hand. It is food safe. You can use olive oil or any other food safe oil too. I let the oil sit for an hour and came back to wipe up the excess. It soaked up the oil well, so I added another coat and this is what he looks like after his second and final coat.

Ready for food prep or just to add to your décor...beautiful! Come check out my blog to get all the dirt about cleaning cutting boards!

Suggested materials:
  • Olive Oil   (grocery store)
  • Baking Soda   (grocery store)
  • Hemp Oil   (Miss Mustard Seed Retailer)
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