If you’re using your wooden cutting board to chop up meat and fish, it can become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus and e. Coli. Although it’s perfectly acceptable to wash your cutting board with standard dish soap and hot water, you might want to take it even further to make sure that your board is thoroughly clean and sanitized. But don’t worry, there’s no need to invest in fancy cleaning products. In fact, you can use several regular household items and cleaners that you’ll probably be able to find around your home.
Vinegar is a great product to start with if you want to restore your wooden cutting board to a squeaky-clean state. Vinegar contains a substance known as acetic acid, which will disinfect your board and help protect against a range of common food-related sicknesses. And, it’s easy to use vinegar to clean your cutting board. Simply apply it to a clean cloth or rag and scrub! Not only will it act as a disinfectant, but it’ll also get rid of any funky odors.
If you’ve been chopping onions, garlic, raw meat or fish and now your cutting board has a strong smell to it, fresh lemons are a cheap and convenient method of getting it clean and removing the smell. To get rid of the odor, all you’ll need to do is cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side all over your board. Then, pat it dry with a paper towel and store it away as normal. Bear in mind that whilst lemons can be a great way to remove unwanted smells, the acid in lemon isn’t strong enough to completely sanitize the board. So, use them alongside another of these products for the best results.
After cleaning your wooden cutting board as normal with hot water and dish soap, salt can be used to remove any gunk and stains that were hard to get off in the sink. Simply dampen a cloth before dipping it in salt and rubbing it all over the board. The salt will act as an abrasive, making it easier for you to get rid of any tough stains. If your board smells bad, you can create a mix of salt with lemon or vinegar to eliminate odors.
Baking soda is another common household good that works well when cleaning a wooden cutting board. To do this, make a paste by mixing water and baking soda together, scrub it all over the board. Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Unlike many chemical cleaners, baking soda is a non-toxic option that’s safe for use in food preparation areas. And, it’s a very effective cleaning agent, as it’s a mild alkali that easily dissolves grease and dirt in the water.
Once you’ve cleaned your wooden cutting board with the cleaning agent of your choice, it’s a good idea to keep it in good condition by applying a wood and food-safe oil. Coconut oil, beeswax, tung oil and walnut oil are some of the best choices. Beware of organic oils with high-fat content as the fat in these oils can spoil, eventually turning rancid and leaving your board smelling bad. When you apply oil, it works by occupying the space in the wood fibers, preventing water from entering your board and leading to cracks.
A wooden cutting board is essential for any well-equipped kitchen. How do you keep your wooden cutting board clean and smelling fresh? Do you use any of these products? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.