Cutting board maintenance

Joined Dec 19, 2015
Greetings Chefs-

So at my place of employment we have had the same cutting boards for several years.  There are becoming obvious stains and marks in them for consistent use so I'm reaching to you all for ideas on how to refurbish them.  An industry friend instructed me to find a company that can sand them down but I'm not getting any luck on finding such company.  So, any ideas on how to make old cutting boards look fresh and clean again without spending a lot of money on new ones?

Joined Jan 21, 2016
Or you could do it yourself if you have the right tools i.e. sander etc. (Assuming they are wood).  If there are a lot of deep cuts etc, you may have be required to remove more wood which could arguably ruin the board.  It depends. 

Like Landon81 said, any wood working or cabinetry shop should be able to do the trick for you. 
Joined May 29, 2013
If the boards are plastic, then your best bet is to simply replace them.  If you try to sand or re-surface plastic, it will simply get so fuzzed up as to be worthless..

For wood boards, look for a woodworker's shop, preferably one that makes custom furniture from raw wood.  The tool that you need them to have is a benchtop planer.  It's pretty simple for them to use, in 4 easy steps.

1.  They adjust the height of the planer for somewhere about 1/8[sup]th[/sup]  inch or less than the existing thickness of your board.

2.  They run your board through the planer.  That smoothly cuts off a level amount of wood across that surface of your board.  That side of the board will be pristine and smooth.

3.  They drop the height of the planer knives about 1/8[sup]th[/sup]  inch or less.

4.  They flip your board over and run your board through the planer, so that the other surface gets re-surfaced.

Total time: maybe 10 to 15 minutes.  Probably less.  Mostly, it depends on how much time it takes to write up the order and process your credit card.  In terms of real work done, mostly, it's a matter of careful measurement and setting the thickness properly.  Running the board through the planer takes less than 1 minute.

Then, it's up to you to re-oil your newly resurfaced board.

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Joined Nov 22, 2015
For wood boards, look for a woodworker's shop, preferably one that makes custom furniture from raw wood.  The tool that you need them to have is a benchtop planer.
  Can they use the planer on edge grain boards? I'd imagine it'd be a heck of a lot harder on the machine than going with the grain. Most boards I've seen with edge grain are expensive but thick, I'd hope they could be planed down multiple times if I ever buy one.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
l dunno.

I've had great success running my nylon boards through a thickness planer, comes out baby-butt smooth.(well, that is if the planer knives aren't chipped...) Matter of fact, I've made a side income of sorts, getting employers nylon cutting boards and resurfacing them at $10 for large boards and 5 for the smaller ones on my Dads old Delta 12" thickness planer.

Sushi chef have been known to take a clothes iron tontheir nylon cutting boards and "iron out" the scars.

End grain cutting boards will go through a thickness planer no problem. However the knives have to be sharp, and the passes no more than 1/32" at a time. I don't know of any planer that can take off 1/8" of any material, at one pass.
Joined Oct 10, 2005

Of course!

My usual way is to lay paper towel or rags on the entire surface, saturate this with bleach, flip it over and do the same, then shove the whole mess in a garbage bag with a half cup of bleach for extra measure, over night. Probably the only way that I know of that gets stong smells (onions, garlic) or colours like beet juice out for good.

Oh, and plain bleach, none of that scented stuff.....
Joined Nov 15, 2015
I've tried sanding, it didnt work for me. I was using a Fein and tried all grit sizes and all my attatchments.
Joined Nov 15, 2015
Ive got an old cutting board that i could test out anything with. I agree with New Orleans on the planer, have a gunsmith cut the checkered pattern.
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Joined Sep 8, 2015
Search for custom cabinet makers in your area if you can't find a furniture maker to do the job.  Cabinet makers are more common.
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