A wooden cutting board adds beauty and utility to any kitchen, but you must treat it correctly. Always wash it after each use and let it dry completely before storing it in either a cabinet or on your countertop. However, when the board reeks of garlic or is in need of a good scrubbing, try to keep its beauty intact.
Cleaning Your Cutting Board
Clean your wooden cutting board after each use using one of the following methods:
Dish Soap and Hot Water
- Scrub your wooden cutting board vigorously with your preferred dish soap and hot water.
- Rinse and let dry.
Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
- Spray the board with undiluted vinegar and wipe it with a clean dish towel. Let it dry.
- Spray a clean paper towel with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution and use it to wipe the cutting board. The vinegar acts as a disinfectant, and hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria.
Treat the cutting board with mineral oil to protect it from mold growth.
Bleach and Water
Clean the board with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach added to 1 gallon of warm water. The solution also disinfects the board.
- Pour the mixture over the board and let it sit for 3 minutes.
- Rinse it with warm water and pat it dry with a clean dish towel.
Solid wood boards may be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Wood boards that are laminated or not solid wood cannot be soaked in water or cleaned in the dishwasher. Non-solid wood is porous, which means it will absorb water and then crack when it's dry.
Removing Certain Odors
Remove the lingering odor of fish, onion, garlic and other yummy, but smelly, ingredients from your wooden cutting board with items from your pantry:
Coarse Salt and Lemon
- Liberally sprinkle coarse salt over the cutting board.
- Cut a lemon in half and slightly squeeze the lemon to release its juice as you rub it against the board.
- Let the salt and lemon sit for 5 minutes and then scrape the mixture off.
- Rinse the board with a clean, wet sponge.
Maintain your wooden cutting board with a monthly oil application. Use a clean dish towel to gingerly rub beeswax or mineral oil on the board, following the direction of its wood grain. Allow the board to absorb the oil; then wipe off any excess and allow it to dry overnight.