1887 was an ordinary year—no World Wars, no major scientific discoveries, no internet (of course), just humankind going about their day-to-day activities.
But in the city of Effingham, Illinois, a discovery was brewing—one that would shape modern-day food preparation.
Conrad Boos, a blacksmith, had designed his first butcher block. In the same year, Boos block cutting board was born. This led to the adoption of cutting boards as integral tools in the kitchen arsenal.
Fast forward to today, and wooden cutting boards remain indispensable tools in every household. Whether you’re dicing up fruits, preparing vegetables, or cutting meat, a cutting board is of the utmost importance.
Because of its versatile nature, a cutting board requires special care and attention.
And with an array of cleaning techniques out there, knowing the right method is crucial. This way, you can prepare meals safer, healthier, and save money on new chopping boards, too.
Try This, Not That: Best Cleaning Tips for Your Wooden Cutting Boards
To keep your cutting board in excellent condition, clean it after every use. The best way to achieve this is to implement a consistent cleaning routine. Set aside a few minutes every two days to give your cutting boards a thorough wash.
Remember:“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” — William Durant.
Cleaning Your Cutting Boards Through Sterilization and Disinfecting
Susan Sumner, an Associate Dean and Director of CALS Academic Programs, introduced the disinfecting technique in the ‘90s.
Today, this technique is a standard method of cleaning dirty wooden cutting boards.
For starters, disinfecting comes next, after cleaning your chopping board with dish soap.
However, you want to lower the frequency of how many times you disinfect your cutting boards. We recommend disinfecting your cutting boards twice a week. Again, you want to avoid chemical disinfectants and instead use natural or homemade disinfectants.
Remember: Increased frequency can ruin your cutting boards or weaken the wood fibers.
To disinfect your cutting boards, we recommend using a combination of these two cleaning techniques. Even better, the materials used are easy to find in your local grocery store, and the process is easy even for the average Joe.
Water and white vinegar
Lemon and saltwater
Let’s discuss these cleaning tips in further detail below.
Water and Vinegar
Let’s start with some bad news.
Research from the University of Arizona shows that cutting boards have 200 times more dirt and bacteria than a toilet seat. Yikes!
The big culprit: raw meat.
Now, away with the bad news and onto the good news.
Vinegar is a natural remedy you can use to disinfect your cutting boards.
But, hold on.
What vinegar should you use?
Lindsey Davis from Realhomes recommends using white wine vinegar or any colorless vinegar.
Besides vinegar, you can also use baking soda or hydrogen peroxide for your cleaning.
The process is less cumbersome and works well on wooden cutting boards. That said, follow the steps outlined below to clean and disinfect your wooden cutting boards:
Mix four parts of water with one part white vinegar in a plastic jar.
Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the upper and lower surfaces of your cutting board.
Let the cutting board sit in a drying rack for 5 minutes.
You can also soak the chopping board in the same solution for 5 minutes (optional).
Rinse and dry using a microfiber cloth.
Caution: For the soaking option, don’t soak your board in water longer than 5 minutes, as it can cause warping of the wood.