How to Care for Wooden Cutting Boards

“This is why we don’t have nice things!”

That phrase has been uttered many times in our household. If a dish breaks, we spill on the rug, or our wood cutting board snaps because it was put in the dishwasher you’ll probably hear that phrase. Yep, that last example is definitely a real scenario. As kitchen rookies, we unknowingly continued to put our wooden cutting board into the dishwasher until one day the wood snapped. Luckily, the cutting board was a cheap-o one from our college days…but still breaking anything is never fun.

After our wedding shower, we realized that we couldn’t use that phrase anymore because all of our new things were actually really nice. We replaced all of our old cheap items with high-quality ones, and there was no way in hell we were ruining any of the good stuff. So in an effort to preserve our fabulous gifts, we did some research in order to learn how to care for our kitchen goods properly.

First on the “do not” list…putting wood cutting boards in the dishwasher.

Instead, I researched how to care for wooden cutting board the right way. I tried out a few different ways but ultimately decided that this method was the best for us.

How to Care for Wooden Cutting Board


Here’s our wooden cutting board after a few weeks of regular use. It’s a bit dingy, dry, and in need of a little TLC.

Grab Your Supplies

To clean the board, you’ll need salt and a lemon. Coconut-Oil

Then to oil the cutting board, we use coconut oil. Salt-Scrub-Lemon

I simply sprinkle some salt onto the board and use a lemon half to give the board a good scrub. It’s kinda like a little exfoliation treatment. After scrubbing the entire surface, simply wash down the board with warm water and a rag.

Once that dries, it’s time to oil that baby up.

Use Coconut Oil


I take a nice big scoop of coconut oil and smooth it onto the surface. I read a couple of things about mineral oil and linseed oil, but coconut oil is also an option as it is food-safe and won’t go rancid. Plus, we tend to always have coconut oil on hand for cooking anyways.

When you apply the oil to the wood it “melts” and moisturizes the wood. I simply used my hands to massage it into the surface. It acted as a nice little hand moisturizer for me too! After a couple of hours of letting the oil seep into the wood, I wiped off the excess with a cloth.



It only took me about 10 minutes to get keep our wooden cutting board looking and feeling good again. You’d never know that we’ve used it daily for the past couple months. It feels good to care for our new beautiful kitchen items, instead of just treating everything like it’s easily replaceable. Cutting-BoardI feel so darn grown up caring for our gorgeous new items. Just because I don’t actually cook and use the cutting board (that’s more Finn’s area of expertise), doesn’t mean I can’t help keep it looking good.

So takeaways from this post…

1. Dishwasher + Wood = Bad

2. Caring for your items = Good

If only cooking was this simple…


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

your home playbook sidebar