Plus, why it's important.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated January 06, 2020
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During the winter months, our homes tend to get dry, prompting us to turn on the humidifiers and double down on our moisturizer routines. Another effect of all that dry air: if you're not careful, it can cause your wood cutting boards and wood furniture to crack. As wood loses moisture, it shrinks, which can result in cracks in your beautiful wood cutting board or favorite bentwood chair. So how can you prevent this unfortunate event from happening? Make a plan to oil your wood cutting boards and furniture once a month during the winter, or whenever they feel very dry to the touch. Don't worry, the entire process, detailed below, takes less than five minutes—and it could help preserve your cutting boards and furniture for years to come.

What You'll Need:

Follow These Steps:

For Cutting Boards:

1. First, make sure your cutting board is clean (follow these steps) and thoroughly dry.

2. Apply oil to the surface of the board, and use a clean cloth to distribute the oil evenly. Then, let the oil soak in for a few hours or up to overnight.

3. Using another clean cloth, wipe off any excess oil. Your cutting board should look shiny and revived, without being damp to the touch.

For Wooden Furniture:

Note: Follow these steps for oil-and-wax or stain-and-wax finishes, not painted or lacquered pieces.

1. First, wipe the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Follow with a dry cloth to remove any moisture.

2. Apply wood polish to a clean cloth, then wipe it onto the furniture, working in the direction of the grain.

3. Let the oil soak in for about 30 minutes before buffing in and wiping away any excess oil.

This Story Originally Appeared On Real Simple