When you first get your end grain chopping block it will need to be oiled. Ordinary Sunflower oil is ideal for this. Please don’t be tempted to use Olive oil as it is too thick and can’t be absorbed by the wood. Also, please don’t varnish or use other man-made finishes on the chopping block as these may not be suitable for food preparation.
Apply the oil with a rag or a brush. Leave for 15-20 minutes before wiping away the excess with a clean, dry cotton cloth. After waiting at least 12 hours repeat the process. Your chopping block is now ready to use!
To clean, simply wipe over with a damp cloth. Don’t immerse the board in water as this can cause it to split. Don’t apply household cleaners. If you feel that your block needs a good deep clean, take a freshly halved lemon, dip in sugar and rub over the surface. Wipe over with a clean damp cloth before allowing to dry overnight and re-oiling. The lemon acts as a natural degreaser and the sugar as a mild abrasive. It’s all totally natural and food safe!
If after deep cleaning or during normal use the block begins to feel a little rough, simply rub over the surface with 240 grit sand paper or a nylon scouring pad. Using a metal scouring pad isn’t advisable as it can leave small strands which transfer to food and cause the block to discolour. Apply a light coat of oil once the block is smooth again.
When a chopping block needs to be re-oiled will depend on use. You will be able to tell by sight. The board will look a little tired and lack colour. You can over oil a block, but it’s not a disaster! All that will happen is that the oil won’t be absorbed and will stay on the surface making it feel sticky. If this happens just use the lemon method above and all will be fine!