What are the dos and don'ts regarding cleaning a bamboo cutting board?
How to let it live a long life?

I heard people talking about using mineral oil w.r.t the same. How much and when use it?

  • most mineral oil is petroleum based and it'll be in contact with your food, if you're ok with it, consider finding food-grade mineral oil.
    – MandoMando
    May 25, 2013 at 22:33
  • Food grade is definitely implied here.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    May 31, 2013 at 8:10
  • 1
    An inexpensive such mineral oil is sold by IKEA. Sep 30, 2016 at 8:44

7 Answers 7


The care of bamboo cutting boards is extremely similar to that of traditional wood cutting boards:

  • Prime them with mineral oil, and refresh it every month or so. (Wipe with oil, let sit for a while, perhaps 15-20 minutes, wipe off).
  • Wash only with mild soap, and rinse and dry immediately. (Wipe off and let air dry.) Don't put in a dishwasher.
  • If using for raw meat, you can sanitize with a very dilute bleach solution (about a teaspoon of liquid bleach per quart of water, 5 mL per liter). Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

I bought coconut oil just for my bamboo cutting boards. I am not going to use a petroleum product like mineral oil for all kinds of reasons.

I can't use any dish soaps so I did research on cleaning. I want my dishes to be at least as clean as ones washed with dish soap. I learned that it is not the product used, it is the rubbing motion that does the cleaning. So I wash things with baking soda dissolved in hot water. I use it for pretty much everything. Dishes, clothes, me. Soaking baked on stuff over night with baking soda works great. Probably not for my cutting board though. I also use vinegar and water. I don't use the baking soda and vinegar together for things other than laundry. Putting them together just creates a base. The chemical reaction provides cleaning for laundry, but I don't think it does much for hard surfaces. Vinegar was used in hospitals in England during the cholera epidemic. It is much better and safer than bleach. Also safer than dish soap that can make you sick of not rinsed well.

I have had wood cutting boards warp from getting too wet. I have just set them with the warp up and steamed them from the bottom with a waight on top. Straightened quite well.


Owning a bamboo cutting board is no different than any other style of wood. Rub it down with your preferred oil, i personally use peanut oil but mineral oil works as well. You can wipe the cutting board down with white vinegar to help sanitize it. Never leave water or juice from meats or veggies sitting on the cutting board for an extended period of time as it will warp the wood and cause the surface to become uneven.


I use lemon oil and olive to to keep my bamboo board looking new and smelling nice. After each use, I rinse it with hot vinegar water, then apply a light coat of the oil. 30 drips lemon oil to 1/4 cup olive oil. This is also what I use to polish my wood furniture. A little goes a long way! I use paper towel on cut board, but a soft cloth for furniture! My home smells nice too.


Please don't use the coconut oil you use for cooking to condition your wood/bamboo cutting board. It will attract bacteria and go rancid. They do make specially processed coconut oil for cutting boards, but it is not the same thing. If petroleum bothers you, try beeswax. Generally speaking, if you can cook with it, don't use it to condition your cutting boards. Here is a good list of safe conditioners.

Coconut oil is not the solution to everything. Lots of things, but not this.


Refined coconut oil, such as Dunn’s River, is what I use occasionally to ‘season’ the bamboo cutting board (it does NOT go rancid, as warned in an earlier post). After thoroughly cleansing the board, and while the board is still damp, I apply a very thin layer of coconut oil dabbed on kitchen tissue. The dampness helps to keep the oil on the upper surface*, without absorbing the oil into the thickness of the board. As the board dries the bamboo is rejuvenated. [* as oil always remains above water].

Where room temperature is around 22 degree C, the advantage with coconut oil is that it is still in jelly form and helps to be spread as a thin layer on the damp board. Adding lemon oil could be good, but I haven’t tried it.


I use lemons and corse kosher salt to sterilize and remove stains. After the board dries, season with mineral oil. I get the kind you use for a laxative to make sure its food grade!

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