Bamboo Cutting Board Care Guide: Useful Methods You´ll Love

Latest posts by Shaleena Quinlan (see all)

You’ve purchased a brand new and amazing bamboo cutting board and you want to make sure you get the most out of this purchase.  This, of course, means that you need to care for the cutting board.  But, how difficult is this and how does it work?

You are in luck because Board N Block was designed to answer questions just like those.  Our articles and guides are all focused on helping chefs and home cooks find the best cutting boards and butcher blocks on the market, and then, be able to use them in the best way possible for the longest time possible.  So, if you’re ready for the best experience with a bamboo cutting board, then keep reading.

bamboo cutting board

First Things First

When you bring home a brand new bamboo cutting board, the care process begins at that moment.  The first thing you should do is:

  1. Wash the cutting board with gentle dish soap and warm water.
  2. Dry the cutting board as best as you can.
  3. Apply a layer of food grade mineral oil with a clean, lint-free cloth (get every part of the cutting board).
  4. Set the cutting board in an upright position to allow the oil to soak into the board overnight.

Regular Cleaning

It is important to always clean your bamboo cutting boards immediately after using them.  This will help to prevent stains, cracks, and warping.  It will also help to keep them sanitary for the next time you use your cutting boards.  There are several methods you can use to ensure your bamboo cutting board is clean.  These methods are:

The Lemon & Salt Method

To work through this cleaning method, you will need the following items:

  • Half of a lemon
  • Kosher salt

To work through this cleaning method, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the lemon in half
  2. Squeeze the lemon over the surface of the cutting board
  3. Spread some salt over the surface of the cutting board
  4. Use the lemon half to scrub the salt and lemon juice into the surface of the cutting board
  5. Leave for 2 hours so that the salt and the lemon juice have time to settle into the wood grains
  6. Rinse with water
  7. Dry thoroughly

Note: This method provides will both clean and deodorize the cutting board.  It can also help to lift stains.

The Baking Soda & Vinegar Method

To work through this cleaning method, you will need the following items:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Lint-free cloth

To work through this cleaning method, follow these steps:

  1. Mix a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar
  2. Saturate the lint-free cloth with water-vinegar solution
  3. Wipe the surface of the cutting board with the saturated cloth
  4. Spread some baking soda over the surface of the cutting board
  5. Scrub the board with the cloth
  6. Rinse with water
  7. Dry thoroughly

Note: This method will clean, deodorize, and disinfect the cutting board.

The Hydrogen Peroxide Method

To work through this cleaning method, you will need the following items:

  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Lint-free cloth

To work through this cleaning method, follow these steps:

  1. Pour the hydrogen peroxide over the surface of the cutting board
  2. Wait for the peroxide to stop fizzing
  3. Rinse and wipe the peroxide off the surface of the cutting board
  4. Dry thoroughly

Note: This method will clean and disinfect the cutting board.

The Essential Oil Method

To work through this cleaning method, you will need the following items:

  • White vinegar
  • Lemon Essential Oil 
  • Melaleuca Essential Oil
  • Spray Bottle

To work through this cleaning method, follow these steps:

  1. Mix the vinegar and the essential oils in the spray bottle
  2. Spray the vinegar-oil mixture onto the surface of the cutting board
  3. Rinse the board with clean water
  4. Allow the board to dry thoroughly
  5. Oil the board
  6. Wax the board

Note: This method will deodorize and disinfect the cutting board.

essential oil on cutting board

Moisturizing is a Must

The best way to keep your bamboo cutting board in tip-top shape is to keep it moisturized.  You should regularly apply a coat of oil and beeswax to your cutting board to limit splintering and cracking.  Here is the method for doing so:

  1. Cover the entire surface of your cutting board with oil so that it is dripping off the sides.
  2. Rub the oil in to every part of the cutting board by using a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Allow the cutting board to dry in a vertical position overnight.
  4. Coat the cutting board in a layer of food grade beeswax.

Keep It Cool and Dry

Bamboo cutting boards can suffer if they are kept in a place that has too much humidity.  When you store your bamboo cutting boards, be sure they are kept in a place that does not get wet and is not near a source of direct heat.  

Also, make sure you thoroughly dry your bamboo cutting boards after washing them and before storing them.  The best way to dry a bamboo cutting board is to use a clean, dry towel to wipe off excess water, then set the board in a vertical position to dry for a few hours.  When it feels dry, store it away in a horizontal position.

Roughing It

If a bamboo cutting board begins to get rough in places, you can use a 40 to 60 grit piece of sandpaper to smooth it out.  Once it is fairly smooth, you can polish the surface with a 120 grit piece of sandpaper.  Be sure to dust off the residual dust particles and oil the surface before using the cutting board.

Always & Never

There are a few tips that every owner of a bamboo cutting board should remember.  These tips fall into one of two categories, always or never.  The tips included in the always category are things that should be done regularly when cleaning a bamboo cutting board; whereas, the tips in the never category are things that should not be done to a bamboo cutting board.  Let’s walk through each of these tips now.

Always

  • Dry your bamboo cutting board after washing it
  • Oil your bamboo cutting board each week
  • Store your bamboo cutting board horizontally or hanging from a hook (this prevents the board from bending)
  • Store your bamboo cutting board in a dry place
  • Wash your bamboo cutting board immediately after using it
  • Wax your bamboo cutting board when you oil it

Never

  • Microwave your bamboo cutting board
  • Put your bamboo cutting board in a hot oven (this will cause the glue holding it together to melt)
  • Put your bamboo cutting board into a dishwasher
  • Set your bamboo cutting board in a horizontal position to dry
  • Soak your bamboo cutting board in liquid
  • Store your bamboo cutting board in direct sunlight

FAQs

Question: Can Any Oil be Use on a Bamboo Cutting Board?

Answer: No, it is best to find an oil that is considered food grade, rather than just apply any oil you find at the store.  The reason you want to look for something that is food grade is so that the oil doesn’t become rancid while it is sitting on a surface that is often used for food prep.
Recommended Oil:
Walrus Oil Wood Wax
Verdana Fractionated Coconut Oil
Bamboogle Food Grade Mineral Oil
Do Not Use:
• Olive Oil
• Vegetable Oil

Question: Are Bamboo Cutting Boards Knife Friendly?

Answer: This material is actually fairly hard on knives.  It is not the worst option, but it is certainly not going to treat your prized set of knives very well.  If you want to keep your good knives good, then you may want to opt for a different type of cutting board and use your bamboo cutting board as a serving or charcuterie tray.

Question: Can Stains be Removed from a Bamboo Cutting Board?

Answer: Yes, but it is best to prevent stains from setting in by washing the cutting board immediately after using it.  If a cutting board has a stain, work through either the Lemon & Salt or the Baking Soda & Vinegar cleaning methods to remove the stain.  If the stain is not completely removed after using either of these methods, you can try to sand the area where the stain is set.  Of course, some stains may never fully come out once set in.

Question: How Long Do Bamboo Cutting Boards Last?

Answer: When cared for properly, they can last up to 6 years.  Eventually, they will wear out or you may tire of sanding and oiling a board that is no longer as luxurious as it once was.

Question: What Are the Benefits of a Bamboo Cutting Board?

Answer: Bamboo cutting boards actually bring a lot to the table.  They have some wonderful qualities that may cause you to go out and get more today.  These qualities include:
• Usually inexpensive
• Available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles
• Made from an eco-friendly and renewable material
• They can be personalized

Question: What Are Some Negative Aspects of Bamboo Cutting Boards?

Answer: There are a few qualities of bamboo cutting boards that may cause you to think twice about getting one.  These qualities include:
• They are not knife-friendly
• They cannot be set on hot burners or in hot ovens
• They are not dishwasher safe
• They require regular oiling and waxing

Question: Can Raw Meat be Chopped on a Bamboo Cutting Board?

Answer: Yes, but it is very important to clean and disinfect the cutting board as soon as you have finished using it for cutting the meat.  Use either the Lemon & Salt, the Baking Soda & Vinegar, or the Hydrogen Peroxide cleaning methods to clean and disinfect the cutting board.  It is also a really good idea to use separate cutting boards for each type of food you chop.  If you do this, then you limit the chance of food contamination.

Question: Where Can Bamboo Cutting Boards be Found for Purchase?

Answer: If it is easier for you to shop for a new cutting board at a local store, then look in your area for a home goods or kitchen supply store.  Nationwide chains such as Target and Walmart should have a good selection of bamboo cutting boards as well.
Another really nice and easy way to get a new cutting board is to shop online.  You can find a wonderful selection of bamboo cutting boards at these shops:
Amazon
Etsy
Totally Bamboo

Question: Can Bamboo Cutting Boards be Recyled? 

Answer: Bamboo is an eco-friendly and biodegradable material.  This is a great product for those who want to live a green life.  It would be nice to say that all bamboo cutting boards can be recycled but that is just not possible.  If this is a concern for you, you may want to check with the manufacturer of the cutting board you are considering and ask them if it is recyclable.
If a cutting board is recyclable, you can either take it to your local recycle-center or try composting it yourself.  If a cutting board is not recyclable or compostable, try your hand at upcycling the board.  You can use the cutting board for a wall hanging, a kitchen tray, or a note organizer.  Remember, these are large slabs of grassy wood that can be transformed into many different and useful things.

Concluding Thoughts

Bamboo Cutting Boards are such an amazing product and kitchen utensil.  Sure, they have their quirks, but all in all, they are wonderful.  They are stylish, beautiful, functional, versatile, and very helpful with meal prep.  

With this guide you will never wonder what to do with your bamboo cutting board.  Splinters and cracks are not going to bother you, and even a little stain won’t send you into panic mode.  And one day, years from now, when your bamboo cutting board is no longer able to keep up with its kitchen duties, you can be sure that it will live on as part of your home décor or as a way to organically feed your plants.  Just a little information and education and you are unstoppable in the kitchen.  

If you’re curious about how to store your cutting boards, then stop off and read our informative articles on the Best Cutting Board Holders and the Best Cutting Board Organizer Ideas.

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