a man is cleaning a cutting board

How to Clean a Cutting Board

One of the most sought out kitchen tools is the cutting board. Cleaning them on a regular basis makes our life easier and healthier. If you avoid cleaning the boards, their appearance would be too bad to even look at and can become habitats for bacteria to grow. This leads to dangerous cross-contamination.

Irrespective of whether you're using wooden cutting boards or the reasonably priced plastic cutting boards, knowing how to clean and care for them is essential. If you adopt the best cleaning practices, they can aid you in the long run by increasing the board’s life span.

How to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board 

A man is cleaning a cutting board

Several reasons can be attributed for the popularity of wooden cutting boards with the primary one being their classy appearance. They are better for your knives as wooden boards do not dull them of their sharpness as fast as plastic boards.

On top, they don't get as many scrapes from regular use when compared to plastic. And as they are made of wood, cleaning these looks a little different from most kitchen tools.

How to Clean After Each Use 

Wooden cutting boards should be hand washed with warm water and dish soap. As wood is a naturally porous material, it can easily harbour germs and cause food contamination if not cleaned in a proper manner.

You must also make sure to pat dry it with a dry kitchen towel immediately after washing as the wooden boards can split or warp up easily as the wood fibres swell. They swell when they sit wet for a long time because of moisture absorption. Also, clean any crevices where food and bacteria may sneak in.

How to Deep Clean Wooden Cutting Boards 

If you are in a mood to clean up, deep cleaning your wooden cutting board can be an excellent idea since all the sour smell coming can be removed. For this:

  • Sprinkle a cup of baking powder over the board, and spoon in a cup of white vinegar gradually over it.
  • Set aside for a few minutes and give the board a proper wash. With this step, you will remove all the stains from your board.

If you want to make the board shine even more, you can season it. When seasoned, you can prevent warps and cracks on the board. Brush the board generously on all sides with food-grade mineral oil or beeswax. This prevents water from entering the board and warping it in its natural state.

a woman is seasoning a cutting board

Keep it aside for a few hours or overnight and allow it to stand straight so that it dries properly. Later, wipe it with a dry cloth. Make sure not to use olive oil or vegetable oil to season it, as these can become rancid.

How to Clean a Plastic Cutting Board 

Plastic cutting boards are popular because of their reasonable price. Plastic is a non-porous material and doesn’t allow both water and bacteria to seep in easily when compared to wooden boards. However, a much-used plastic cutting board can still be a host for bacteria if not cleaned properly.

How to Clean After Each Use 

Though it is dishwasher-safe, plastic cutting boards can last for a longer time if it is hand washed. To clean plastic boards,

  • Make a cleansing solution made of one teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water.
  • Spray or apply the solution over the board and scrub it with a soft sponge.
  • Wash the board with hot water until the soap solution goes. Allow the board to stand so that it dries faster.

How to Deep Clean Plastic Cutting Boards 

A woman is cleaning a cutting board

For deep cleaning plastic boards, you need to make a paste by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of water. The solution needs to be applied only occasionally, as it will help to remove all the surface stains with just one session.

If you notice loose plastic particles popping up on the board's surface, use a steel scouring pad to smooth things out.

How to Clean a Bamboo Cutting Board 

Another popular choice among users is the bamboo cutting boards. They have an appearance similar to wooden cutting boards but are less susceptible to warping, splitting, and scrapes as bamboo have a higher density. This means that are more barriers for the bacteria to get inside.

How to Clean After Each Use 

Bamboo cutting boards can only be hand washed as the chance of getting damaged by splitting and warping is higher if put in the dishwasher.

For cleaning bamboo boards:

  • You can use a cleansing solution made of dish soap and water or with just white vinegar.
  • With a soft scrub, brush the surface of the cutting board using hot or warm water.
  • Next, with a dish towel, pat dry it to avoid letting the water soak into the board.

How to Deep Clean Bamboo Cutting Board 

A man is cleaning a cutting board

For making bamboo cutting boards last longer, you can brush the surface with food-grade mineral oil or beeswax. With this step, you will prevent drying out while not allowing water to enter the board.

Between these oil treatments, you can also rub a lemon slice over the board’s surface, which can freshen up and remove any residue stuck to it because of lemon’s acidity.

How to Clean a Butcher Block 

Butcher boards were initially used in butcher shops. But they have become popular for home use as they can be used for multiple purposes ranging from heavy-duty chopping blocks to table tops to chopping boards.

How to Clean After Each Use 

For cleaning butcher block:

a woman is cleaning butcher block
  • You need to first scrape all the residue from it with the help of a scraper or spatula.
  • Then dip your washing cloth in a cleaning solution made of mild dish soap and hot water.
  • Scrub the surface and then wash the cloth. Wipe the block with it.
  • Finally, with a dry dish towel dry the surface thoroughly.

If you wish to clean it deeply, you need to use a cleaning solution made of hydrogen peroxide and water. Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with 11 parts of water in a spray bottle and apply it over the block. Allow it to work for 15 minutes and then wash it with a wet cloth. Pat dry with a paper towel.

For Freshening the Butcher Block 

To neutralize the odours coming from the butcher block, spray the surface with a white vinegar solution. Once a minute has passed, dry it thoroughly. Another option to expand its shelf life is to apply the surface with food-grade oil on all sides generously. Allow it to the season overnight and dry it in the morning with a clean kitchen towel.

Each type of board requires different cleaning treatments. We will eliminate all the germs and stains only with the right procedure. So do the necessary ones and relax.

Terry Reece
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