How to Maintain a Cutting Board in Proper Way With Oil

Updated On: April 18, 2021

A common misconception about wooden and bamboo cutting boards is they don’t need upkeep. The truth is that if a piece of bamboo or wood isn’t kept waterproof, water will reach inside the wood pores and make the board weak from the inside.

The same is true if the board is extremely dry. Dry wood boards are fragile and may break or form cracks easily. Regular oiling ensures a balance of moisture inside the wood and bamboo boards.

In this write-up, we’ll talk about some of the best oils to use for oiling a cutting board as well as how to oil a board easily. Applying the oil is the easy part. Choosing the best oil requires some thinking to do. We’ve described the specifications of all these oils to help you make your decision easier.

What Kind of Oil to Use on Cutting Board?

You can use some specific oils to safely coat your cutting board. Let’s talk about them:

Mineral Oil

Liquid paraffin or mineral oil is a type of oil that’s odorless and is used to coat a variety of wooden items such as spoons, tables, and other wooden kitchen utensils. There are two types of mineral oils available on the market – one type is used on automobile lubrication, and the other is consumable.

Mineral oils prepared for kitchen utensils will have a food safety mark on the packaging you can check before purchasing. Don’t use cooking oil to coat your cutting board. Vegetable oil is safe to eat but gets stinky and creates stain marks on the wood.


You can use beeswax as an alternative to mineral oils to coat your cutting board. Beeswax is natural and doesn’t pose health risks. They can create good waterproofing for wooden boards to prevent the wood core from drying out.

Some people like to mix beeswax and mineral oil to create a thin coat. You can’t be wrong with any of these options. Choose whichever you have at hand. Beeswax and mineral oil are some of the best coating oils for bamboo boards as well.


Carnauba isn’t as popular for cutting board coating as mineral oil and paraffin are. This oil comes from a palm tree of Brazil and is one of the popular automobile shiner oils. It’s food safe and can be used as an alternative to mineral oil.

Coconut Oil

You can use odorless, refined coconut oil to coat a cutting board too. Not all coconut oil will work. Check odorless signs on the packaging while purchasing. Coconut oil is food-safe and has a variety of uses. They create one of the best shines as well as a good waterproof coating.

Lemon Oil

Natural lemon juice contains a small amount of oil in it. Rubbing a few drops of lemon oil on a cutting board will remove stain marks as well as stinky smells.

Linseed Oil

If you can find a good quality, odorless flax linseed oil, then you can use it to coat your cutting board. But remember to use only organic linseed oil. Refined or boiled linseed oil is neither safe for human consumption nor good for waterproofing the cutting board.

Organic linseed can be one of the best water-resistant oils if you can find a good source. Refined linseed will go stale and stinky quickly. Only choose linseed if you’re sure about the source’s quality.

Tung Oil

Like linseed, only use tung oil if you can find an organic, high-quality source. Refined or bad quality tung can pose health risks. Tung’s performance is similar to that of linseed in terms of creating a water-resistant coating.

Walnut Oil

Walnut oil is a popular natural oil used in making high-end perfumes as well as organic oil for consumption. They will make wood smell like walnuts. The waterproofing performance is good too. Before using walnut oil, see if anyone in your family is allergic to it.

How to Apply Mineral Oil on Cutting Board

Applying mineral oil or any other oil of your choice is easy. The hard part is choosing the one that suits best to your needs.

To start, clean your wooden cutting board first thoroughly with warm water. If you need to remove any foul smell or food stain, do the cleaning well first. Let the board dry completely after cleaning.

Now, heat up your oil of choice. It doesn’t have to be boiling hot. Little warm is enough. Once the oil has heated up enough, take a clean cloth and soak the oil in it. Rub the cutting board’s surface with the cloth. Repeat it a few times to allow the board to soak in enough grease.

When you’re completed with greasing both the sides of your cutting board, let it dry off in a well-lit place. If possible, keep under sunlight. The board will soak in grease deeply under sunlight. After the board has dried, soak the excess grease with a paper towel or a clean cloth.

Final Words

How often you’d oil your cutting board depends on how often you use your board. Oiling once every two weeks or once in a month will be enough if you can choose the right oil and follow the correct application method. And that’s what you know now.

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