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With all the time you’ll be spending at home, you’ve probably been thinking a lot about self-care—simple acts to make your day a little better and brighter, be it with a sheet mask, virtual yoga session, or foot massage. We’re all here for a mini spa treatment for yourself, but have you considered doing the same for the items in your kitchen? There’s no better time to give your cutting boards a rejuvenating scrub. 

Designer and author Lauren Liess owns about 10 cutting boards, which see a lot of chopping and charcuterie action during the week but also double as decor when they’re on display. While most of us rely on warm water and soap (or another popular trick, vinegar) to keep them fresh-looking, she takes the regimen one step further with salt, lemon, and oil. But this project is for more than just aesthetics. In addition to making the wood shine, it sanitizes the boards. Think of the salt as your exfoliator, the lemon as your disinfectant, and the oil as your conditioner. Get a jump-start on your spring cleaning with this oh-so-satisfying task.

The Supplies

  • Cutting board 
  • Coarse salt 
  • Mineral oil 
  • 1 lemon
  • Small bowl
  • Sponge

The How-To

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze some of the juice into a small container. Toss a handful or two of the salt on the dry board. The citrus half will be your tool for “sanding.” Place the cut side facedown on the board and use it to scrub the salt across the wood (don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it). Once you’ve thoroughly rubbed every part of the front and the back, let the juice and salt sit for five minutes. 

Rinse the board off in the sink or use a wet sponge to scrape away any residue. Pour about 2 tablespoons’ worth of oil onto the surface. Using a rag, massage the liquid into the wood in a circular motion. Flip it over and do the same to the other side. Let the oil soak for 20 minutes. Wipe the board down with a damp rag or paper towel and put the board back. (Liess did about five boards in one go and it took nearly an hour.) Psst: You can do the same thing to your wooden spoons and utensils. They’re next up on the chopping block. 

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