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How To Clean a Wooden Cutting Board

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Take a step back from the dishwasher! Instead, try this do-it-yourself method to clean your soiled wooden cutting boards and obtain safe, immaculate results.

Your busy cutting board is continually hosting meats, vegetables, and herbs. Bacteria, stains, and smells, on the other hand, are sure to make a presence over time. Sanitizing your cutting board on a regular basis is essential for avoiding cross-contamination and food-borne disease. The appropriate disinfection technique is determined by the substance of the board. Plastic cutting boards are simple to clean in the dishwasher, but the soft surface eventually develops bacteria-trapping knife scratches.

Durable hardwood cutting boards do not scratch as easily, reducing the number of germs that accumulate, but they cannot resist a washing cycle. The machine’s high temperatures will distort and fracture the porus wood surface.

So, how do you clean a wood surface? Here’s how to clean a wooden cutting board with items you probably already have on hand.

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How To Clean a Wooden Cutting Board

Scrape It Off

Scrape off any remaining food bits on the chopping board with a plastic spatula and toss them in the garbage. If you used the board to cut raw meat, keep clean dishes away from the sink to avoid contaminating them with salmonella, E. coli, and other tiny pathogens that may have been present on the wooden cutting board.

Once the sink is clean, rinse the top, bottom, and sides of the wooden cutting board in tap water for a few seconds before allowing it to air dry entirely. Do not immerse the board in a sink basin full of water. The soiled liquid can not only penetrate and distort the wood, but it can also recirculate microorganisms onto the surface.

Spritz White Vinegar

Spritz the board with enough white vinegar to cover all visible areas. Allow the vinegar to stay for 5 minutes before wiping it away with a towel.

While white vinegar may be used to clean your wooden cutting board on a regular basis, it is best to follow up with a more powerful antibacterial technique if the board often comes into contact with raw fish, chicken, or other meat. Fill the board’s top with hydrogen peroxide. Then, needing a clean sponge, spread the liquid evenly over the top, bottom, and sides. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to remain for 5 to 10 minutes before washing with water and wiping dry with a clean sponge.

Banish Stains

To remove persistent stains from chicken or pungent smells from foods like fish, garlic, and onions from your hardwood cutting board, generously sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of coarse sea salt or baking soda over all areas of the board. Scrub the grains with a split lemon, squeezing the fruit as you go to combine the salt or baking soda with the citric acid. Allow at least 10 minutes (or overnight if your board is very dirty) for the mixture to sink into the board before washing away the residue with a towel and air-drying.


Conditioning your hardwood cutting board helps extend its life. To begin, dip the tip of a delicate cloth into a half cup of food-safe mineral oil, ideally walnut or almond. (Avoid needing vegetable or olive oil, which can degrade, become rancid, and leave an unpleasant odor on your cutting board.) Working in the direction of the wood grain, buff the oil into the top, bottom, and sides of the board needing the cloth.

Allow the oil to solidify for at least six hours before storing the board in a well-ventilated area. Bacteria that thrive in It conditions will be prevented from growing as a result of this. This conditioning ritual, performed on a quarterly basis, will prevent the formation of cracks in the wood and preserve the beauty and longevity of your wooden cutting board.

Need More On Cleaning Kitchen Accessories?

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Check out the planner!

You can also grab a copy of my cleaning planner, The Get It Clean Cleaning Planner here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks and checklists that can help you get your house clean, and keep it clean once and for all.

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