Whether you purchased a cutting board or not, knowing how to care for wooden cutting boards are essential for the long life of both Panda Boards and any other wooden boards.
Why Is This Necessary?
Wood is a very interesting material to work with. Unlike steel or plastic, wood warps dramatically relative to the humidity and moisture levels both inside and outside the board. If the wood pores are open and not filled with an oil or protected by a special barrier, the wood will absorb the water into its pores. The problems occur when the water in the board's pores evaporates. This process can warp the wood. This also causes irregular grain patterns will removes the smooth finish to the wood. If this happens once or even a couple of times, the board will not be completely warped and will be fine as this process takes weeks or months to damage the board. However, months of consecutive poor care will eventually begin displaying faulty properties.
What Needs to be Done?
When the board arrives at your doorstep, a generous coat of cutting board conditioner has already been applied to the board. However, with daily uses and washes, the protective layer will begin to slowly erode. That is why it is important to re-condition your board every two months or so to make sure there is always a protective layer fighting against moisture.
How do I do it?
We at Panda Woodworks recommend using Howard Butcher Block Conditioner. It can be purchased at a variety of online and home
improvement stores. However, any cutting board conditioner or mineral oil will work. Just make sure it's food-friendly!
- Shake bottle gently before use
- Pour conditioner on the board(about 1-2 tablespoons)
- Using a strong paper towel or soft cloth, wipe both sides of the board as well as the edges, trying to get equal amounts on each side
- Let it sit for at least 20 minutes in room temperature
- Wipe off excess conditioner on the surface and wash and dry board
NOTE: If the board looks super dry after waiting 20 minutes, it may be because the board is very dry and requires additional treatment. There are two options:
1) You can apply another layer of conditioner to the board
2) You can apply cutting board mineral oil as opposed to just conditioner. This will replenish the board more than the conditioner. Although conditioner already contains a bit of mineral oil, if your board is super dry, it might be best to apply mineral oil and top it off with a coat of conditioner when finished. Applying mineral is the same process as applying conditioner except that instead of waiting 20 minutes, you would have to wait around 2 hours(overnight is ideal). We recommend using Clark's Butcher Block Mineral Oil, but any butcher block mineral oil will work.
Final Instruction and Most Important: Use your board! We get it, you don't want to scratch and scuff up your new and beautiful board. But believe us when we tell you, only half of the enjoyment is looking at it. The other half is the excellent feedback given while cutting on it. It makes chopping onions fun, which nobody thought would ever happen! As long as the board is maintained properly, it will stay elegant all of its life. As Albert Einstein said, "A ship in its port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for".