Highly Refined Linseed oil is recommended for our Maple boards. Proper care prevents the boards from drying out over time and also adds a darker luster to the boards' color. Studies have shown that dense hardwoods such as maple actually inhibit the growth of bacteria better than plastic. The wood absorbs moisture whereas water will sit in the knife grooves of the plastic, causing bacteria growth. Additionally, knives dull quickly using a plastic board vs. a wood board. Hand scrubbing with hot water and soap can clear microbes from the surface of new or used wooden cutting boards. Our wood boards naturally have variations in color patterns. The darker stripes mellow over time with continued use and oiling, and contribute to the natural beauty of the boards. Season your new board to prevent staining and absorption of food odors and bacteria.