Step 1: The Wash
Wash your cutting board with water (soap is fine too), including the underside and edges, removing anything that’s stuck to it with a microfiber rag. Most people only wash the top, and that actually ends up damaging the board. When moisture reacts with grain, it swells, and if the swelling isn’t uniform, it can warp the board. A rocking cutting board usually means that only one side was washed.
Then, wipe down the board and let it dry thoroughly overnight, standing it on edge, so that both large faces are facing out.
Step 2: Mineral Oil
The next morning, use your hands or rag to apply a generous layer of mineral oil to the sides, top, bottom, and any groove, grip, or handle. You don’t need puddles of oil on your board, just enough to cover the wood with an even coat. Let the oil soak into the board for at least three hours. Leave it on its edge to dry just like before.
Step 3: The Cream
After the oil has had enough time to soak into the grains, it’s time to apply the cream (mix of mineral oil and bee and/or carnauba waxes). Apply it directly to the wood and spread the cream over the entire board, making sure to get in every nook and cranny. Apply it with a microfiber cloth. Once you’ve covered the whole piece of wood, you’ve created a barrier to help the wood retain moisture. Place it on its side. Broad faces out. Let it sit overnight.
Step 4: The Polish and Buff
In the morning, use your microfiber cloth to rub the board in circular motions, polishing and buffing in a motion. The wood will get glassy and beautiful.
Theoretically, with the right upkeep a cutting board could last your entire life. With this cleaning process, the wood should look great for decades.
If deep cut marks start to show up on the face of the wood, you can sand out deep ridges by taking fine sand paper (180 grit) to the entire face of the board. You have to sand evenly, which takes time, but it can give the board a whole new life. Make sure to start from the beginning of the cleaning process after.
Never put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher...Dah!