How To Oil A Wood Cutting Board

It’s a pretty firm tradition in our extended family that whenever someone gets married, my dad makes them a gorgeous wooden cutting board as a wedding gift. He builds custom furniture and cabinets for a living, so he’s really talented with wood, and the cutting boards are just beautiful! But my dad believes that form should follow function, and he fully intends the cutting boards to be used for cutting, not just as a pretty piece of wood. When I got my cutting board at my wedding, I was worried about using it for cutting because I thought I would ruin the board. But my dad showed me how to care for and oil a wood cutting board to help keep it gorgeous and functional, so I’m going to share those tips with you today!

How to oil a wood cutting board 5

It’s not hard to keep a wood cutting board nice, but you do have to be diligent about it. You need to carefully clean the board every time you use it, and you should oil it up about once a month to keep it from drying out. When Viva® sent me their paper towels to try, I realized they were perfect for oiling my cutting board; they were soft and smooth, but super durable and didn’t shed any lint when I scrubbed the board with them!

How To Oil A Wood Cutting Board

Here’s what you need to help care for your wood cutting board:

  • food-grade mineral oil
  • soft paper towels (I use Viva® Towels because they’re strong and durable like cloth)
  • mild dish soap
  • water

How to care for and oil a wood cutting board 1

Besides washing your cutting board in mild soap and water, the main thing you need to do to care for a wood cutting board is to oil it! The idea is for oil to soak into the wood fibers to saturate them and keep them from soaking up any liquids that contact your board. Also, if your board dries out, it just looks old and lackluster, so keep it pretty and functioning with a good oiling about once a month, or whenever it appears too dry!

How to oil a wood cutting board 2

To oil your cutting board, pour mineral oil directly onto the board, then spread the oil around using a soft paper towel. I love the Viva® Towels for this because they are soft and gentle on the wood, but they are also really strong and durable, so they don’t leave lint all over the board.

You want to spread the oil around onto all surfaces and sides so that the entire board is covered in a generous coat of oil. See how the oil immediately brings out the color in the pieces of wood? When the board loses that brightness over time, it means it’s time for another coat of oil!

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Once your entire board (top, bottom, all sides, etc.) is coated in oil, let it sit for at least a few hours or overnight so that the oil can really soak into the board. Stand it up on an end or set it on a wire rack so that air can reach both sides of the board.

If your board still appears dry after one coat, reapply another coat of oil!

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Not only is a well-oiled board much prettier because the true color of the wood shows through, but it’s also easier to clean and maintain because the juices from whatever you cut on the board don’t soak in when the board isn’t dry.

Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons off to the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Clever Girls Collective and Viva in exchange for my participation in this campaign, and my honest discussion of their products. But I really like the Viva paper towels and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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  1. Tom McGUIRE says

    7 years ago

    Hi Jessi, I was browsing the internet for solution’s on killing ants in the house especially in the kitchen with Borax and clicked on Practically Functional link and found what I was looking for and many more things do in order to make life a little easier. My mother used this when I was a kid in KY and had forgotten about it until I saw it on Facebook .

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