Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Having a good selection of cutting boards at your disposal when cooking is essential. On top of protecting your countertops from damage, cutting board also make safely preparing all your food so much easier. But to ensure your cutting boards are safe to use each time you cook, you have to be sure to property clean and care for them on a regular basis. And cleaning a wooden cutting board takes more than just wiping it down with a soapy sponge. Here is how to properly clean a wooden cutting board.
See also: Cast iron pan next on the chopping block? Check out our piece on how to properly clean your cast iron pan here!
Regular Cutting Board Cleaning
Your cutting board should be thoroughly cleaned after each use. But this type of cleaning is very simple. To wash your cutting board after you’re finished using it, simply rinse the board off with very hot water and apply a few drops of soap directly to the cutting board. Rub the soap into the board, paying special attention to knife marks and scratches in the wood by scrubbing those areas with extra care.
As you’re cleaning your cutting board with soap, be sure to wash both sides of the cutting board – even if you only used one side to cut on. Contaminates can easily spread to both sides of the board, so skipping the back of your cutting board is a bad idea.
When you’re satisfied that your board is clean, rinse the wood thoroughly to remove all the soap. Then, dry the board with a clean towel or paper towel. Or you can place the board in a drying rack in an upright position to air dry.
Disinfect the Cutting Board with Vinegar
If you regularly use your cutting board to cut meat or poultry, it’s a good idea to take the time to disinfect it when you’re finished using it. You could use bleach to disinfect the board. But if you’d like a more natural solution, try disinfecting with vinegar.
Mix one-part vinegar to four parts water and soak your wooding cutting board in the solution for a few minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the timer while your cutting board is soaking. Allowing the wood to soak for more than a few minutes can cause damage to the board.
After the board is finished soaking, remove it from the water and rinse the vinegar solution away before drying thoroughly or allowing the board to air dry in an upright position.
Deep Clean Your Cutting Board with Lemon
Cleaning and disinfecting your wooden cutting board after each use is essential to keeping it safe to use. But your wooden cutting board will also need a good deep cleaning every once in a while to ensure there is not bacteria growing in the wood.
The best way to deep clean your cutting board is to use a combination of salt and lemon. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt over the top of the board. Using a lemon cut in half, scrub the salt down each side of the board with the fleshy side of the lemon. Let the salt and lemon juice soak into the wood for around five minutes, then wash the solution away with a little bit of soapy water. Rinse the board and dry before storing.
Tips for Caring for Your Wooden Cutting Board
Although washing your plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher is a great way to clean and disinfect them, you should never put wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher. The heat and excessive amounts of water in your dish-washing cycle can cause your board to crack and warp, which provides places for bacteria to grow each time you use your cutting board.
If you notice stains forming in your cutting board after cutting fruit or colorful veggies, address the stain immediately by scrubbing the board with soap and water.
Tips for Cleaning Your Cutting Board
- Make sure your board air dries evenly by always placing the board in an upright position to dry. Start by wiping visible drops of water from the board, then place the board in a dish drying rack so that both sides of the board are evenly exposed to moving air.
- Oiling your wooden cutting board with food-grade mineral oil or cutting board oil once a month will help prevent drying, cracking and warping. Use a soft cloth to buff the oil into the board and allow the oil to soak into the wood.
- Never use olive oil or vegetable oil to season your wooden cutting board. These fatty oils can go rancid, permanently damaging your cutting board.
- Remove shallow cuts, stains, and knife marks from your cutting board by gently sanding the surface with fine-grain sandpaper. After sanding, be sure to clean and oil your cutting board to create a new protective layer over the sanded area.
- Keep food odors at bay by spraying the board with a little bit of vinegar after cutting smelly foods, like onion or fish.