I like my cutting boards that can be sterilized in a microwave

I’m perfecting the look of deranged joy as expressed by people in 1950s advertising.


I dont love the silicone/plastic craze either. Im not paranoid, I know my days are numbered and there isnt a whole lot I can do about it.

But here are my random thoughts: how can i really be sure this thing is safe “forever”? How do I know that the product really is what it says on the label? How often have I ever gotten sick from a cutting board in my home? I love real natural fibers and other more traditional materials including glass and metal, what do the silicone/plastic models offer over what I already own… do I really need this?

Honestly, i feel like some of the boingboing staff need to walk away from their amazon prime account for a while.


You’ve got the deranged part absolutely nailed. I’m not sure if you’re about to eat that cutting board, parade around a stadium full of adoring board fans or just bludgeon the photographer to death with it.


Isn’t this a solution in search of a problem? At least, I’ve never gone wrong with a quick wipe with a soapy sponge, rinse under the faucet, and a little shake dry.


Actually came here to say the same thing. A few decades ago, a scientist from U of Manitoba (I believe…), wanted to test wood vs. plastic cutting boards to determine which was safer.

He came to the same conclusion as Dr. Cliver. Just like Dr. Cliver, he found that he had to develop new techniques to get samples off of the wooden boards because the bacteria would just disappear into the wood, unlike plastic.

Yep, wood is good.


That’s what I read but I wanted to make sure, the reality might be different from the marketing copy.

My roommate in college did ham radio, and had some kind of antenna or transformer thing that was basically a can with a gallon of mineral oil with wiring immersed in it to keep cool. The folks at the drugstore thought it was weird that anybody would need that much of it, given the typical uses.


Would unscented mineral lamp oil work too?

I am thinking about using it for high-voltage electronics.

(And the candle gel, which is the same but with a polymeric thickener, could be used for high-voltage potting where cooling by circulation is not of so much importance and non-spilling properties are advantageous for storage/transport/operations.)

Random thought. Sterilization by pulsed electric field, with the conductors embedded in the cutting board? Could be powered via NFC from the countertop, and run continuously, thus also sterilizing at least the surface of food in contact.

I’d be REALLY careful about using lamp oil.

In fact . . . no. Don’t do that.

Medical-grade mineral oil is thick glop. I don’t think it is especially flammable. Lamp oil is MADE to be flammable, and a spark could cause urgent and unignorable problems.

1 Like

There was a recent TV show which featured a fish tank full of mineral oil, used to cool a prototype motherboard.

Ah, “Halt and Catch Fire.”


A very good point. (Though I’d suggest testing the flammability of the medical one, e.g. with a wick; even lamp oils cannot be THAT MUCH flammable, and they have to be rather nonvolatile with quite high energy to ignite. Comparing the molecular weight distribution would be also good. Todo…)

(Could food-grade oils be used? There are vegetable-based transformer oils out there these days. There are people who use discarded transformer oil as diesel fuel alternative, too, or as a heating fuel. Even the lamp oil feels rather “heavy” to me, but it may be not heavy enough.)

Gelled one may still be useful, if the source of arcing is deep enough for no oxygen access (and the rig is shut down before the gel melts and flows away and exposes the arcs).

(Silicone oil would be the best, flammability wise, especially if it could be gelled, but tends to be rather expensive and less easy to source.)

I know people who would never let a damp rag hang about in their kitchens. Nor sponges, or even kitchen/tea towels. “Vectors of disease!” they say, and so on.

I dunno, I’ve had all three all my life and almost never get sick. And when I have, I really don’t think the damp rag was to blame.

1 Like

It IS possible to be infected from a dirty rag or from the kitchen sink - kitchen sinks usually have a higher bacteria count than your toilet bowl. Your dog has the right idea.

It’s worse that that: visual cleanliness is linked to high bacteria counts. Shiny, spotless kitchens require constant re-wiping with damp bacteria-laden rags/sponges/whatever. Even if your rag is clean, you’re constantly re-wetting the surfaces, keeping the bacteria from drying out and dying.

Live with a little dirt or dust, you’ll actually have a safer kitchen.


Hmm, safer in what sense? Again, in all my life, to my knowledge, I’ve never been sick in a way that could be traced back to kitchen bacteria.

As for living with a sloppier kitchen, I already do that. But it does need cleaning sometimes. So should I use paper towels all the time instead? Or maybe, a fresh, newly laundered rag, that I use just once? The options don’t really strike me as any better than what I’m already doing, which is using a rag that gets hung up, and usually dries out, after each use…

You could also make a “board butter” from beeswax and coconut oil (if mineral oil isn’t an option): http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/spoon-butter-recipe.html
I used this recipe to treat my wooden spoons and bamboo cutting boards and it worked really well.

Hey! I never thought about treating wooden spoons that way. Good idea!

When my wife got home she smelled them and asked where they were, and was sad that there weren’t any left

The plot thickens …

1 Like

One might say it is a roux-se


Paper towels? Gawd, no. Unless you’re picking up really foul stuff, or adhesives, epoxy…

Safer in the sense of contaminating food (that will be eaten raw) with salmonella, say from the raw chicken that was in your sink.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m constantly telling the grocery store cashier who want to plastic-bag meat separately: “Nope, that train has already left the station. They’ve been in the same basket for fifteen minutes already…and do you sterilize all the shopping carts after each use?”

In any case, it’s raw veggies that come from large industrial farm and from thousands of miles away that you have to be wary of.