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Basic A Japanese Wooden Cutting Board Care 101 For Beginners; Hinoki, Ginkgo, and Aomori Hiba

how to take care of the wooden cutting board, Hinoki cutting board, Japanese wooden cutting board Culture, Etiquette

The wooden cutting board is less likely to damage the kitchen knife and less stress on the hands and wrists, but it also has the disadvantage that the surface is easily scratched.

Germs and mold inside of scratches cannot be removed by just washing with dish soap.

Do not use bleach on wooden cutting boards, as bleach components can get inside the wood and discolor.

Today, I am going to tell you the basic daily and deep maintenace.

The Basic Steps To Keep A Wooden Cutting Board Longer

  1. Rinse lightly before use
  2. Use both sides
  3. Rinse constantly
  4. Do not press the blade hard
  5. Wash instantly after use
  6. Dry well
  7. Store it upright

In Uses

Rinse Lightly Before Use

Lightly rinse the wooden cutting board on both sides of the cutting board with water and towel dry before use.
The color and odor from food are less likely to be transferred, and also it helps to prevent food slip.

Use Both Sides

In order to prevent spreading bacteria, it is a good idea to switch sides for cutting meat and vegetables.

Rinse (or wash) Constantly

Also, wash a wooden cutting board constantly, when especially after cutting raw meat or seafood.

To reduce the time of this step, plan cutting order before cooking. Vegetable first, and strong smell and coloful vegetables, and then fresh meat…something like that.

Do Not Press Hard With A Knife

A wooden cutting board such as the Hinoki cypress has a delicate surface even though it has moderate elasticity.

Do not press hard with a blade of the knife on a wooden cutting board which causes marks and scratches.

In the worst case, it causes a crack.

When Washing

Wash Instantly After Use

Wash a wooden cutting board as soon as possible after use to avoid the color and odor will be transferred, and germs will be more likely to grow.

Be sure to wash both sides of the cutting board to avoid warping.

Use Japanese ‘Tawashi’ scrubbing brush which is most suitable for washing a wooden cutting board.

When you want to wash thoroughly, such as when cutting raw foods or foods with strong pigments, scrub with a Japanese scrubbing brush called “Tawashi”.

Scrubbing vertically on the grain will damage the wood, so scrub along the grain.

Do not use a metal scrubbing brush as it will damage the wood.

Dry Well After Washing

One of the major causes of bacterial and mold growing on wooden cutting boards is moisture.
Towel dry and dry in the shade in a well-ventilated place.

Store The Wooden Cutting Board Upright

The side surface of the cutting board in the longitudinal direction is the part called Koguchi, which is the hardest to dry and is the place where bacterias and mold are likely to grow.

When storing it upright, stand it sideways.

Disinfect With Boiling Water

To hygienic the wooden cutting board, disinfect with boiling water.

After thoroughly washing with dish soap and rinsing it, disinfect with boiling water of about 80 to 90 C on the cutting board for about 5 seconds on each side.

Then, towel dries it and dry it thoroughly.
It is recommended to maintain daily in this way because the effect is not long-lasting.

Disinfect With An Alcohol Spray

Alcohol disinfectant spray can also be used. Make sure the wooden cutting board dried.

Get Rid Of Odor

As I said, the bleach can not be used for a wooden cutting board.

If you smell the odor from a wooden cutting board, use salt and lemon.

Scrubbing the cutting board with coarse salt on the lemon cut works in the same way as the bleach. (It will be not super clean like when using the bleach.)

Lemon cuts alone are effective, but coarse salt acts as an abrasive.

The scent of lemon citrus also eliminates the smell of cutting boards.

Salt has a bactericidal effect. In fact, the salt itself doesn’t have bactericidal activity but we use the osmotic pressure action of salt.

The bacteria can’t be alive when they touch the salt because the water is removed from cells. Also, the salt helps to remove moisture out of the wood, they can’t also be alive without moisture.

It is a reliable “natural sterilization cleaning”.

Wash the wooden cutting board thoroughly with dish soap and scrub salt over the entire cutting board.
Leave it for 2 hours or at least 30 minutes.

Get Rid Of Food Stains

What you should do when finding stains on the cutting board.

For little stains, use sandpaper.

It’s important to deal with it when it is still a small black stain.

First, scrape it off with medium-grit sandpaper of around 100, and then polish it with very fine sandpaper such as 240.

After sanding, make sure to apply the oil finish too.

The Oil Finish

Although the wooden cutting board has excellent durability under proper maintenance, it is a natural material so it will be discolored as using for years.

To avoid this happening sooner, let’s apply the oil finish before the first use.

The oil finish is also nice when the cutting board loses water repellent.

Use Drying Oil For The Oil Finish

Drying oil is an oil that has the property of gradually increasing viscosity and solidifying when left in the air or heated such as linseed oil, perilla oil, walnut oil, and sunflower oil.

The oil hardens once it gets inside fibers-it gets the wooden cutting board stronger and more durable protection against knife marks and daily cleaning.

On the other hand, vegetable oil, sesame oil, and olive oil are not drying oils. Therefore, those oils are not suitable for coating the wooden cutting board because the board becomes sticky even after dried.

  1. Clean the surface and make sure there is no dust and dirt. Remove knife marks and black spots with sandpapers when applying oil to the cutting board if needed.
  2. Apply the oil onto the surface with kitchen paper towels. Don’t forget to apply the oil on the side parts.
  3. Allow the wooden cutting board to absorb all the oil. (Sometimes it will take a while.)
  4. Dry well for 24 to 36 hours in a dry place.
  5. Wipe off the excess oil if needed.

Final Thoughts

After all, the best daily kitchen tools are you can use without feeling stressed.

Wooden cutting boards seem hard to maintain, but it will be easy once you get used to basic steps and constant deep maintenance to avoid damage.

With proper maintenance, wooden cutting boards will be last their life for decades.

If you particularly take care of your favorite sharpen knives, you should choose a certain cutting board, like a wood cutting board!

Also, the wood cutting board will be charming on the kitchen counter with its beauty.

The Ultimate Japanese Wooden Cutting Board Guide

More Details Of Daily Uses And Clean Of Wooden Cutting Boards

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