There’s nothing worse than reaching for your wooden cutting board to chop up a few vegetables only to find that it’s splintering and rough.
While working with flashy sharp knives is one of the key reasons, there can be many other things that contribute to your cutting board’s deterioration.
So why is this happening, and how can you cure it? Let’s find out…
What Causes Cutting Board to Split and Splinter?
Even a well-made cutting board can start to show signs of wear and tear after years of consistent use.
If you’re wondering why your wooden cutting board is splintering, there are a few potential reasons.
1- Temperature & Humidity
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that wood is an organic material.
As such, it’s subject to the same forces of nature that affect any other organic substance, like your skin or hair.
Hot and cold temperatures, humidity, and even the sun can all cause wood to warp, crack, or splinter over time.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to take measures to protect your cutting board from the elements.
This means storing it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
You might even consider putting it in a plastic bag to further shield it from the humidity.
2- Constant Exposure to Water
Additionally, the more you use and wash your cutting board, the greater the chance that it will start showing some signs of wear and tear.
The constant exposure to water and moisture can cause the wood to swell, resulting in cracks and splinters.
Similarly, the friction from cutting and chopping can also lead to splintering, as it wears down the wood fibers over time.
The best way to deal with this problem is to make sure that you’re properly caring for your cutting board.
That means cleaning it with soap and water after each use, and drying it off completely before storing it.
Avoid soaking them in liquid solvents for long and do not put them in a dishwasher for cleaning.
When drying, avoid leaving your cutting in direct sunlight or in a humid environment, as this can speed up the deterioration process.
3- Failing to Season Your Boards
Seasoning your wooden cutting boards in the kitchen is important, and you should do that at least once a year.
Not properly seasoning your board can cause the wood to dry out, leading to cracking and splintering.
On the other hand, seasoning your board with food-grade mineral oil helps to keep it hydrated and prevents the wood from drying out and splintering.
4- Not Using the Right Type of Wood
Finally, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right type of wood for your cutting board.
Some woods, like bamboo, are naturally more resistant to splintering than others.
Similarly, some woods are simply too soft to withstand the consistent chopping and cutting that a cutting board endures.
As a general rule, hardwoods like maple, oak, or cherry are the best type of wood to use for a cutting board.
So, if you’re looking to buy a new cutting board for your kitchen, be sure to keep this in mind and avoid choosing poor-quality wood.
5- Not Using the Right Sealing Product for Protection
Many people use any sealer to protect the wooden cutting boards in their kitchen.
However, not all sealers are created equal, and some can actually do more harm than good.
For example, using a polyurethane sealer can actually lead to the teak board drying out and cracking over time.
Instead, you should opt for food-grade mineral oil or beeswax to keep your board properly seasoned and protected.
I have recently made a DIY mix of food-grade mineral oil and beeswax to use in my kitchen for the bamboo cutting boards we have.
And the results are more than satisfying.
The boards are well-protected and look new even after weeks of consistent use. And not to mention, my wife is happy too.
You can find the recipe here:
If you do not love making it and want to buy the paste online, these are available as board creams at stores like amazon.
Get them there and keep your cutting boards from drying out, cracking, and eventually splitting in two.
How to Deep Clean and Disinfect a Wood Cutting Board?
Regular cleaning and disinfecting are important to keep your wood-cutting board from being a breeding ground for bacteria.
One of the best ways to deep clean and disinfect your board is to use a mixture of vinegar and water.
You can either soak your board in the mixture for a few minutes or use a sponge to scrub it down.
Once you’re done, be sure to rinse it off with clean water and let it air dry completely.
What to Do With Smelly Boards?
If your cleaned wooden chopping board is still kind of smelly, try sprinkling it with some baking soda.
Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, just rinse it off and let it air dry.
Another great way to disinfect and keep the smell out of your board is to use a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water.
Simply mix equal parts of each in a spray bottle and spritz it on your board.
Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off with clean water and let it air dry.
You can also use this solution for cleaning your charcuterie board, countertops, and knives as well.
The Third effective method is to deodorize wooden cutting boards with lemon.
Cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the surface of your board.
The citric acid present in the lemon pieces will help to kill any bacteria on the board and will also help to neutralize any odors.
Allow the lemon to sit on the board for a few minutes before rinsing it clean with water and drying it with a towel.
The Bottom Line
When you’ve got a beautiful, brand-new cutting board, the last thing you want is for it to start showing signs of wear and tear.
Unfortunately, even the best-made cutting boards can start to splinter and crack after years of use.
Working on a rickety & splintering board can be dangerous. So, next time you see the splinters keep the above tips in mind.
Hopefully, it will help keep your wooden cutting board in pristine condition.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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