Keep Your Wood Cutting Board In Tip-Top Shape With An Item You Already Own

As more and more people become aware of microplastics, they're beginning to swap their plastic kitchen items for wooden ones. And for good reason — some scientists estimate that we consume 5 grams of microplastics weekly, which is the weight of five pen caps. The good news is that a great alternative to plastic prep and cookware is their wooden versions, but it might not be such an easy swap. For example, whereas it's super easy to clean and care for a plastic cutting board, a wooden one requires some maintenance. You can't stick it in a dishwasher, it stains easily, it doesn't like too much water, and it has a tendency to dry out. However, wax paper might help you keep it in tip-top shape.

It's a great tool to protect your boards from stains and knicks. Rather than warring with discoloration from food or worrying about scratching it with your favorite knife, wax paper can block the worst of it. And the great news is that you probably already have a roll in your kitchen, negating the need to run out to the store to try this. Instead, give the baking sheet a second job in the kitchen — this time, to protect your wooden items. Here's how.

How to use wax paper to protect wooden cutting boards

First thing is first: Make sure you're using wax paper specifically on your wooden cutting board. You don't want to use parchment or Teflon paper, as they won't yield similar results. You need wax paper since it's coated in wax, which is the secret ingredient to this cleaning hack. Once you have it handy, rip off a sheet and use the wax side to rub it into your cutting board. You don't have to press hard, but give it a few coats to ensure it has sufficiently transferred. Doing this creates a protective layer on the cutting board, creating a slick barrier between the wood and any produce or meat you plan to cut on it. 

Since wood is porous, it often stains very easily. Juices will run into the grooves and knots of the wood, sometimes resulting in permanent blemishes. But the waxy finish will help seal it, making it less likely to stain. It works the same way against knives — you will be less likely to knick it since there will be a thin layer of wax on top of the actual wood. However, keep in mind the wax will eventually wear off, especially if you wash the board often. You will want to do this rather frequently, aiming to wipe down the board at least once a month.