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Cutting Boards - Care and Cleaning

Updated on September 29, 2014
A good wooden cutting board is helpful in any kitchen
A good wooden cutting board is helpful in any kitchen | Source

Were you aware that outbreaks of salmonellosis have been traced to cutting boards that are dirty and not cleaned for properly? Well neither was I until I came across an article that told of a sickness in a child caused by this very thing. Cross-contamination from dirty cutting boards is a common way to spread bacteria and causes many different types of illnesses.

I also learned that is is a good practice to have one cutting board for vegetables and bread and another one for raw meat and seafood. This will prevent the bacteria from contaminating the food that you will eat without cooking.

I did some research and I am now confident that my cutting boards will meet the standard of germ free (almost) adherence that I would like in my kitchen while cooking for my family and friends. Here are some of the tips that I have learned to help you meet your high standard of cleanliness.

Plastic Cutting Boards

Cleaning Plastic is Easy

  • The best way to clean and disinfect a plastic cutting board is to place it in your dishwasher to be washed with the rest of your dishes. This method is the easiest.
  • If no dishwasher is available use some plain old household bleach and water to clean. 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water in your sink and et the board stay in the liquid for one half hour, Dry and use.
  • When your plastic cutting board gets deep gashes and cuts it is time to buy a replacement.
  • Any time you see mold or mildew on a plastic cutting board it is time to buy a new one and keep in mind that knife-scared plastic boards are resistant to decontamination by hand washing.


Wooden Cutting Boards

Cleaning of Wooden Cutting Boards

Let me start this by saying that wooden cutting boards are the best in my book. Get the best one that your pocketbook will allow and take care of it properly and it will last for many, many years.

Zebrawood and Wenge Cutting Boards
Zebrawood and Wenge Cutting Boards | Source
  • Wooden cutting boards do not go into your dishwasher. Instead, use a small amount of liquid dish soap and hot water to wash your cutting board after each use. Let the board dry and it is ready to be used again.
  • Mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide and use this mixture to disinfect your board.Dry with a clean cloth and you will have eliminated the bacteria that is on your board.
  • Another method is to disinfect your board using white vinegar on a paper towel. this will get rid of any E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus.
  • Rub you wooden cutting board periodically with mineral oil-apply the oil and let it soak in until your board will not take any more-wipe with a clean cloth and it is protected and ready to use.
  • Bamboo cutting boards are harder and much less porous than other woods and more resistant to bacteria than other woods.

Expert Recommendation

"The Meat and Poultry Hotline recommends that consumers use plastic or glass surfaces for cutting raw meat and poultry. However, wooden cutting boards used "exclusively" for raw meat and poultry are acceptable. Use a different board for cutting other foods such as produce and bread. This will prevent bacteria from a meat or poultry from contaminating another food."

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

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Cleaning a cutting board


Rubbing your wooden cutting board with mineral oil will help to retain moisture in the wood.


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    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We are also eating many more meals without meat-thanks for stopping by!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Good tips. Thankfully, we don't have to worry too much about meat-borne bacteria, since we eat mostly vegetarian now, but I do take care with my cutting boards all the same, given the salmonella outbreaks associated with fresh produce in recent years.

      Thanks for a useful and informative article.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I have used hot water and soap on mine also-it depends what I have used it for! Thanks for stopping by :>)

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Love my wooden board and the cleaning does keep it fresh - thanks for the visit.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thanks for stopping by and you are doing the right thing using this for cleaning, I have been doing this for years and it works fine.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      That's good because you are right-cleaning is so important! Thanks for visiting.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm a wooden board user and always have been. I run mine under scalding hot water and scrub it with soapy water. I never knew about the hydrogen peroxide and water either but will remember that one as I always have it on hand.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 3 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for this article. I now know to clean my new wooden cutting board.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like using wooden boards but I am concerned about disinfecting these. Now, I know hydrogen peroxide and water works so thank you for this tip.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      I avoided using these in the past because I didn't think they could get clean enough. Thanks for all these tips on cleaning cutting boards. It puts my mind at ease.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thanks-I just purchased a new one and was amazed at the instructions for the care and cleaning

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 3 years ago from USA

      Good tips for taking care of cutting boards.