Hampson Woods

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caring for your board

Many people have asked over time how best to care for their board, so we thought best to lay out our recommendations in detail. (There are also some good pointers on our FAQs page.)


1. How best to wash my board?

It’s fine to wash your board with soap and water. We advise you avoid dishwashers – and never soak it!

Depending on the particular board, the high heat that dishwashers kick out are likely to warp it. (It’s very unlikely the board will split as you may have found with other “joined” boards – our boards are made from one piece of timber.) The whole dishwashing process is a bit harsh (and probably a little over the top) for a natural piece of timber.

Soaking the boards will likely warp them (to a certain degree, wood will act like a sponge), and will perhaps discolour them.

So please wipe or scrub, with warm water and a mild soap. And allow to dry thoroughly in a rack or by hanging on a hook.

Very rarely, a small amount of colour will seep from certain boards. This is a natural tannin from within the wood (trees produce tannins to aid their growth and as a predatory precaution). This has only been brought to our attention once, and will stop happening after a few uses and washes. We advise to keep off any best linen while the board is drying!

2. My board went fuzzy after I wet it. Why?

We finish our boards with only olive oil. Many boards out there rely on petroleum-based sealants to finish their boards; we would rather stay as natural as we can, and so avoid these.

(We are however, currently developing our own natural finish that seals more efficiently than olive oil…..watch this space!)

So, the natural fibres will “fur up” on contact with moisture, creating a slight fuzziness where the board has absorbed moisture (this can also occur in a particularly damp environment). Don’t worry at this point, because we finish them to such a smooth condition that they won’t fuzz up too much. Additionally, any furring can be buffed back to a smooth state – you can do this using very fine sandpaper (240 grit or above), or a simple nylon scourer.

Timbers with a wider grain will likely show the greatest change in texture – London Plane generally has a very tight grain so will feel more fuzzy than anything else – British Elm, with its wider grain, will probably take on a bit more character and fur up a little more (this we feel, complements their rustic look and feel).


3. Should I re-apply olive oil?

Yes. You’ll see the result is very satisfying – the board is nourished and its natural colour re-invigorated.

Pour a little bit of oil (olive, rapeseed, vegetable etc) into the centre of the board and rub in, making sure there is no excess remaining. Wipe off and you’re good to go, your board as gleaming and as good as new!

4. Will the board be damaged if I cut on it?

Only to the extent that it will become marked – we encourage people to not be too precious with their board, because although very beautiful, they are very hard-wearing and will last a lifetime….. And scratches add character!

Another way to approach this is to chop on one side, and serve on the other.

5. Will certain foods stain my board?

Yes. As you might expect, some foods will leave a lasting impression – beetroot, (sometimes) strawberries, red meat juices. Depending on how you see it, these stains can add to the board’s character, and will soon blend in.  Alternatively, avoid cutting such foods on your board, and always wash off immediately after use.

6. How long will my board last for?

All being well, it’ll last a very long time. There are no joints to come apart, and no real weak points; so if looked after, will last long enough to hand down to another generation. Along with the character it has picked up over the years.

We are very careful as we produce these boards, but it is sometimes impossible to know if a natural crack will appear several years along the line. If one does, just send your board back to us and you’ll soon have a new one.

Please email us info@hampsonwoods.com if you have any further questions, and happy chopping/serving!