A few weeks back I had a post on quality, and how I was going to test a few of my boards to see how they would hold up in the ultimate test for a wood cutting board – the dishwasher. I always tell my customers to hand wash, not to soak, etc. Then one day I was chatting with the owner of the local sawmill, and he said he sometimes put his cutting board through the dishwasher, and it got me thinking. If the board was a glue up of several pieces then yes, the heat and humidity would split all those glue joints. On the other hand, most of my boards are from a solid piece of wood (walnut or maple). So in theory there isn’t much that could go wrong.
With this in mind I made two special test boards, using some scraps too small to use for a full size board, I finished them in the same manner as I would my regular boards, a few coats of mineral oil. One board was maple with a turquoise colour accent, the other walnut. After a trip through the dishwasher, the walnut board looked ever so slightly duller, and the maple one with the painted edge had a few places where the metal prongs in the dishwasher had worn a bit of paint off. No warping was noticed.
So all in all I think the experiment was a great success. I would still not recommend putting them through the dishwasher, and the painted ones for sure will wear from the rubbing, but in the end they are far more durable than I had imagined. Now where’s the picture proof you might ask? I took a before shot, but there was so little difference that the after photo looks just about identical, so I didn’t bother putting them up.