How to Fix a Warped Cutting Board

Flatten your wooden board with these simple steps.

If you're here because you put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher, welcome. If you're here because you always hand wash your cutting board and the wood is still bent, welcome. As you've realized, even sturdy, blocky cutting boards can somehow lose their shape when you clean them. Here's how to restore your beloved board to its former glory, plus how to prevent your cutting board from warping again.

How to Straighten a Warped Cutting Board

How does a wooden board bend into a cupped, concave shape, anyway? When wood gets wet, it becomes malleable. Its fibers swell, which can lead to warping and cracking. But this works both ways: water is also the secret to flattening a warped wooden board in no time.

The Quick Fix

In the sink, rinse the entire board with warm water. Don't submerge it in water to soak, though. This could damage it.

Next, dry the cutting board with a towel. The wood will still be damp; this is good. Lay the board flat on the kitchen counter or another flat surface so that its corners touch the surface.

Next, weigh down the board by topping it with a few heavy objects, like a Dutch oven and dumbbells. Don't just focus on the middle of the board where it's cupped. Weigh down the sides, too. To keep your board nice and clean, you can cover it with an even layer of kitchen linens, tin foil, or a baking sheet before you add the weighted objects. Leave it to dry for up to three days.

Slow and Safe

If you've long neglected your cutting board (no judgment), here's a no-risk method to prevent worn-down wood from cracking. Just turn it over!

Place the cutting board on a flat surface with the corners pointed down, touching the surface. Then, leave it alone. This method takes at least a few days, but your board should slowly flatten as you air out the side that holds the most moisture.

Other Methods

Some people flatten their cutting boards by steaming them or ironing them. We don't recommend this, as high heat can crack the board.

How to Prevent a Cutting Board from Warping

Hand Washing

Never put a cutting board in the dishwasher. Hand washing the cutting board is your first line of defense against warped and cracked wood. You don't want to soak it in water or leave it under a running sink either. Your best bet is to scrub it with water and a small squirt of soap on a cleaning cloth, then wet the cloth with water and wash the board until it's no longer soapy.


After you wash your cutting board, dab your cutting board with a kitchen towel to remove as much excess water as you can on both sides. To air dry it, prop it upright or in a drying rack. Don't lay it flat to dry.


Technically, you should treat your cutting board with John Taylor Food-Grade Mineral Oil at Amazon before you ever use it, as the oil helps the wood stand up to moisture. But it's never too late to apply oil to your cutting board, about every two weeks to every month. After you oil it, you can take the extra step of rubbing it with Howard Butcher Block Conditioner at Amazon to make it extra water resistant.

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