Wooden cutting board and food bowl restoration – Biggles Method

For many years Jlee and I have been sharing a beautiful, dark in color, hand-made, and quite large cutting board. It was made by a friend of hers who makes musical instruments out of fancy kiln dried, then seasoned wood. It’s kinda cool when you’re slicing and chopping on it because the wood resonates a lot like some kind of wood instrument, it sings to you. We both love it dearly, I get it for a few years, she gets it for a few years, see how it works? Well, we’re both avid cooks and actually USE our equipment and after a couple years of hammering on a wooden cutting board, it gets pretty gooky, stained and downright, well, kinda ganky.
If these had been plastic, it would have been off to the recycling bin for the both of them. But no, they’re made out of wood and can be brought back to life. And brother, or sister, this method is going to give you the shakes it’s so easy.
My standard way of handling wooden cutting boards and similar wooden bowls for food was to, wash with soap and warm water to get most of the gunk off. Dry well. Start with 120 sanding paper on a vibrating finishing sander or by hand. Then move on to 220 to get a nice smooth finish. Dry thoroughly, then rub liberally with food grade mineral oil. Done and good for quite some time. But that makes me have to find tools, time and inspiration.
That’s hard and I don’t feel like doing all that. But I do enjoy taking care of my stuff and if you continue on, you’ll find a method I tried a few months ago on a wooden bowl that was being tossed out by a friend. It was scratched, stained and stained badly from something sitting at the bottom for too long.
A few weeks ago I was gifted back the large, most awesome cutting board of all time, how exciting!
True to our ways, she’d been a busy woman using it to steady her home coffee roaster (I just sold the roaster on ebay) and many other tasks. It needed cleaning and restoration. Egarly I thought back to the bowl I had easily brought back to life with nearly no effort and thought the cutting board would do just fine going through the same process.
Take a look, click on the image for a little larger one. Sure, they’re not new, they still have some patina from over the years, they’re totally clean and ready for another coupla years of heavy use. What do you think? Wouldn’t they be grand in your kitchen or on your dining room table?
Would you like to know the scoop?
Wash them for a few minutes under warm, sudsy water to loosen up the gank, scrub lightly with a stiff brush. Just enough to get them wet and a little cleaner.
Set them in your sink and squeeze enough liquid automatic dishwasher detergent to cover well, rubber gloves on, and rub over entire surface to be cleaned. Let them sit for no more than ten minutes.
Rinse well, very well, all over you will rinse. Pat dry and allow them to sit for a day and truly dry as best they can. They’ll look horrible, just as the first image shows, that’s nasty!
Rub liberally with food grade mineral oil, use paper towel to wipe off any excess, and that right there, is that. Look at those two pieces, that’s exactly how they are supposed to be. Well used, well taken care of and ready for action at any given moment.
So, for just a little more effort than washing your dishes, your wooden cutting board and/or wooden bowl is ready for use! Don’t you agree?
xo, Biggles
ps – I realize there’s probably millions of people who’ve done just the same thing and there are surely books that go over the same. But I haven’t read any of those books, nor have I ever talked to anyone with the same idea. For today, I’m pleased with myself.

5 thoughts on “Wooden cutting board and food bowl restoration – Biggles Method

  1. Excellent pic. Did Blondie assist? Always wondered what to do about wooden accessories. You’re right, restoration process a-la Biggs method sounds easy and the results are evident. Thanks for the tip!

  2. That cutting board IS huge. You look tiny next to it. Your hair is rocking these days.
    Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Thanks for the tip Biggles. We have a really great wooden cutting board shaped like a mandolin (not mandoline) which could use this technique.
    Also, I’m going to have to start using more plastic fruit garnishes in my posts.

  4. Hey KM,
    Good to see an old friend around, since I’ve taken a long sabbatical here.
    There’s nothing like plastic fruit and a troll to bring out the beauty in a nice cutting board.
    xo, Biggles