Your Best Mark has assessed what needs to be done to care for your wood and we supply quality woodcare additions to keep your gift in great condition. If you look online you may find some strange concoctions and methods … beware.
By caring for the wood we are trying to prevent two main effects, cracking and warping. Oiling and/or waxing gives the wood colour, depth and character. Wood ‘breathes’ and adjusts to temperature and humidity. Feeding the wood will help it being irreparably damaged.
Never expose the wood to extreme temperatures, this appears somewhat simplistic but a board standing outside in the full African sun at a Braai ( barbeque ) dries the wood out; leaving it in a sink full of water to be washed later (saturating) are such easily done examples! Feeding it with a proper high quality oil or wax is always the best solution.
All woods can benefit from these oils/waxes even if they are tight pore woods.
One of the reasons we supply the restaurant trade with Iroko is because it is tight pore and can be left in water (longer) and will not crack or warp. Iroko repels water naturally…a tough African wood.
Other woods ( African Mahogany, Kiaat, & Blackwood ) are not be so hardy and thus they will benefit greatly from regular oiling/waxing. But how often should one oil/wax the board. It depends on use. I try to do mine every four weeks.
Oak, on the other hand, is a wide pore wood and that means it is very difficult to clean thoroughly as bacteria lurk in the pores, one reason why food should not be placed on Oak…sorry.
Mineral oil is often mentioned as being a petroleum product…it is; but it’s used as an animal laxative too so it is food safe. Let’s be honest we are putting a small amount on a board not drinking the whole bottle!
Your Best Mark supply a bottle of mineral oil which will prevent water invasion, we call it YBM – Your Board Mineral Oil and we also supply waxes which we call YBM – Your Board Maintenance they all include some mineral oil. All are food safe. We offer three waxes: Orange, Coconut and Unscented; scents fade over a few days after application.
Having separate boards for meats and vegetables works best and avoids cross contamination.
HAND WASH ONLY
Every board should be cleaned after every use. For best results, wipe the board immediately after use with hot soapy water. Rinse it immediately with warm water only. Dry with a dry clean dish towel.
Allow to air dry upright before storage (this will prevent moisture from being trapped on one side if placed on the counter). Store upright whenever possible to allow both sides to breathe.
CLEAN WITH SALT AND LEMON
Use coarse salt and lemon to clean your cutting board. First, dampen the board with a warm wet cloth, sprinkle the salt over the cutting surface of the board. Cut a lemon in half and rub the salt and lemon juice into the surface of the board.
For tougher jobs the following paste may be of greater use
Mix 1 Tablespoon Salt and 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda, and 3 Tablespoons Hot Water together to form a paste
Spray white wine vinegar on the cutting board, and allow it to stand for several minutes. Rinse with clean water and air dry or pat dry with a clean cloth.
AVOID VEGETABLE OILS!
Do not use vegetable oil on your cutting board as it will spoil and become rancid. This will leave your cutting board sticky with an unpleasant smell that will also noticeably change the taste of the food you are preparing.
SANDING TO RESTORE
The greatest thing about our natural wood boards is that they can be returned to a great condition, even after years of use.
Sanding will require three different grits of sand paper (100, 180 and 220) and a small sanding block. First sand the board with the 100 grit (medium coarseness) in the direction of the grain until the knife marks start to come out. Then go over the surface with the 180 (finer grit) until the marks made from the coarser paper disappear. You will then need to raise the grain slightly by using a damp sponge to wipe the surface, and finally sand the whole area with the 220 grit (finish/fine grit).
We recommend sanding the whole surface evenly. Focusing on one area can create an uneven surface and cause that area to look different from the rest of the board.
After sanding, wash the board, let dry and apply YBM wax to restore the board and seal the sanded surface.
WAX & OIL
We manufacturer and use Your Board Maintenance – an all-natural blend of food-grade mineral oil, carnauba wax and beeswax. We have three varieties orange, coconut and unscented.
Rub it on your board with a sturdy paper towel or cotton rag until absorbed and let stand overnight. With a clean cotton cloth, buff in a circular motion until the finish is smooth.