How To Clean A Cutting Board

Tomatos and a red onion rest on a table in front of a wooden cutting board that has a chef knife and garlic on top of it

How To Clean a Cutting Board

  1. After every use, scrub the board using dish soap and very hot tap water. Follow this essential method after every use.
  2. Take cleaning cutting boards a step further by submerging the cutting board in a solution of one tablespoon (15 ml) of household bleach to one gallon (3.8 liters) of hot water for five minutes and then rinse once more with soap and water. (Do not use bleach on Dalstrong's Infinity Series Cutting Boards)
  3. If you’re uncomfortable using bleach, take the same approach with one part white vinegar to four parts hot water. Vinegar is a mild acid, perfect for kitchen and household cleaning.
  4. Ensure that you clean both sides of the cutting board.
Wooden cutting board in a clean white kitchen next to three small potted plants on the counter

What You'll Learn:

  1. Are Wooden Cutting Boards safe?
  2. What do I use to clean a cutting board?
  3. Wooden Cutting Boards vs Plastic Cutting Board
  4. Everything you need to know about cleaning a wooden cutting board
  5. Alternative methods to clean a wooden cutting board
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Are Wooden Cutting Boards Safe?

    Large black cutting board with handle rests against a white kitchen wall

    Wood Fibre Cutting Board | Large | Obsidian Black | Dalstrong ©

    Yes, wooden cutting boards are among the most used and most beloved kitchen tools for professional chefs and home cooks alike. 

    Exactly how to clean and care for a wooden cutting / chopping board is a common kitchen conundrum. Knife lovers know. Good wooden boards will last a lifetime with what we at Dalstrong like to call “a little cutting board love.” 

    2. What do I use to clean a cutting board?

    Teak Wood Cutting board surrounded by vegetables and a black dinner plate on a dark table

    Teak Wooden Cutting Board | Dalstrong ©

    Everything you need to do the job is already in your kitchen: baking soda, salt, vinegar, lemon, a generous squirt of sudsy dish soap, and plenty of steaming hot tap water to rinse the board. (Optional cleaner: household bleach.)

    So grab your boards, assemble these natural household cleaners, and let’s get to work.

    Pro tip: Use neutral mineral oil monthly to maintain your board. 

    3. Wooden Cutting Boards vs Plastic Cutting Boards

    A black cutting board with full tomatoes on top of it next to a plate of green vegetables

    Wood Fibre Cutting Board | Medium | Obsidian Black | Dalstrong ©

    We at Dalstrong believe that wooden cutting boards are the best. But don’t fret, boards are useful in a variety of sizes and materials, so if you own both plastic and wood cutting board, keep both. You’ll definitely use them. 

    Wooden Cutting Boards

    Pros

    1. Classic wooden cutting boards are beautiful and substantial, adding aesthetically to any kitchen. 
    2. When maintained properly, wooden boards will outlast their plastic counterparts.
    3. Wood offers an excellent cutting surface for your knives.

    Cons

    1. Wood is porous, and that means that it will absorb bacteria, so keeping cutting boards clean and sanitary is essential. (But not difficult)
    2. More effort required to clean. 
    3. Heavier and take up more space in your kitchen. 

    Plastic Cutting Boards

    Pros

    1. Often inexpensive in comparison to wooden boards. 
    2. Lightweight. Which often makes them the go-to choice for camping, RV & van life etc. 
    3. Most plastic boards are dishwasher safe and therefor easier to clean. 

    Cons

    1. Plastic is non-porous, but the tiny ridges made from knife cuts capture bacteria, too.
    2. They are easy to damage and will often need to be replaced.
    3. Your knife’s blade will get worn down quicker than with a wooden board.

    4. Everything You Need To Know About Cleaning A Wooden Cutting Board

    Two freshly made burgers with tomato and cheese and pickles rest on a dalstrong wooden cutting board beside a serrated knife

    Teak Wooden Cutting Board | Dalstrong ©

    Pro tip: You can use any of these methods with more than one kitchen tool. Try it with wooden salad utensils and rolling pins, too.

    Now let’s focus on what you CAN do to clean, sanitize, and maintain a wooden cutting board while removing stains. Here are 5 popular methods sure to clean and sanitize wooden cutting boards, and even remove black mold stains that occasionally bloom and ruin the appearance of your cutting boards. 

    • After every use, scrub your wooden cutting board using dish soap and very hot tap water. Follow this essential method after every use.
    • Take cleaning a step further by submerging the cutting board in a solution of one tablespoon/15 ml of household bleach to one gallon/3.8 liters of hot water. Soak board in solution for five minutes and then rinse once more with soap and water. (Do not use bleach on Dalstrong's Infinity Series Cutting Boards)
    • If you’re uncomfortable using bleach, take the same approach with one part white household vinegar to four parts hot water. Vinegar is a mild acid, perfect for kitchen and household cleaning.

    5. Alternative Methods To Clean A Cutting Board

    Four slices of toasted bread with cooked mushrooms on top of a black cutting board

    Wood Fibre Cutting Board | Large | Obsidian Black | Dalstrong ©

    How To Clean Your Cutting Board with Salt and Lemon

    1. One of our favorite approaches is to rinse and blot your board dry with a paper towel or clean cloth, and then sprinkle it with salt. Any kind of coarse salt will do, the coarser the better; we’re going for a mild abrasive grit to help remove dirt from raw meat etc. 
    2. Cut a lemon in half  sideways, and scrub the cutting board clean. Scrub along and against the grain, creating a paste of salt and lemon juice. Like vinegar, lemon is a mild astringent that cleans and sanitizes. This is a fantastic method for removing stains, but be sure to clean both sides of the board; you’ll use the entire lemon for an average-sized household cutting board. 

    How To Clean Your Board with Baking Soda and White Vinegar

    1. Whether you have a small board or a butcher block, a very effective cleaner is the combination of vinegar and baking soda. Working on one side at a time, sprinkle the cutting surface with household baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). 
    2. Pour enough white vinegar onto the baking soda to make a reactive, foamy paste, and then scrub the board with a clean sponge. Baking soda is actually a fine salt–as edible as any other cooking salt. 
    3. The mild grit makes for an effective, mildly abrasive cleaner, and the neutral ph in baking soda absorbs odors and lifts bacteria. Let the paste bubble for five minutes, and then rinse the board well. Cooked and raw meat juices in particular will drip, so when you reverse the cutting board to clean the opposite side, make sure to scrub the edges of the board as well. Voila, you have a clean cutting board. 

    Clean your board the natural way - Green Cleaning Just Feels Better

    This volcanic cleaning combo will not let you down. All of these tried and true methods will work well to clean and sanitize every wooden cutting board you own. Plus, every one of these cutting board cleaning methods is completely natural, so you can be sure that no harmful chemicals are absorbed into the wood. Can you use Clorox wipes on cutting boards? We don’t recommend it. Chemical cleaners have their place, for sure, but stick to the safe and real simple methods outlined here for peace of mind.

    And hey–all of these methods are inexpensive, which is good, because the wooden cutting board cleaning rule of thumb runs like this:

    1. Sudsy dish soap and warm water with every use
    2. Sanitize weekly with salt/lemon, vinegar/soda, or bleach/water
    3. Oil monthly with a neutral mineral oil

    Make Your Kitchen a Cut Above

    Real simple solutions are the best, right? No need to be afraid of wooden cutting boards anymore, and definitely don’t let go of a cutting board with an imperfect surface. Just clean it! We know and you know that a selection of wooden cutting boards or a butcher block, scrubbed clean and tucked in next to your gleaming rack of Dalstrong Knives shows anybody who walks into your kitchen that some seriously good cooking happens ‘round here.

    6. Frequently Asked Questions

    • Can I put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher?
      • No. Don’t run your wooden cutting board through a dishwasher. It will eventually crack and warp. 
    • What cutting board is best for knives?
      • Wood. Wooden boards are better for knife edges than a plastic board. 
    • How long should I soak my wood cutting board?
      • No more than a few minutes. You run the risk of ruining it.
    • Should I oil my cutting board with food grade oils?
      • No. Oils like olive oil, avocado or coconut oil can absorb bacteria and mold. Opt for neutral mineral oil instead.

    Check Out Dalstrong Cutting Boards Today

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    You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs. 

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    Written by Jennifer DeBell

    Jenny believes there’s nothing better after a long day of writing than coring apples for a mile-high pie.