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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Clean Your Wooden Cutting Board



There are many types of cutting boards available for you to use. While plastic cutting boards are a durable, practical, and economical option, granite, glass and marble cutting boards are not the ideal choice for daily use.

Another great option is a wooden cutting board. A wooden cutting board is known to be the most aesthetic and practical option.

A high-quality wooden cutting board can be the centerpiece of your kitchen, all while providing you with the utmost help when you are getting on with your cutting. However, since this kitchen appliance is used so regularly, keeping it clean can be a tedious task.

Wooden Cutting Board Resting

To ease things on your end here is the best way for you to clean your wooden board.

What to Use to Clean The Board


If you have any experience in cleaning a wooden cutting board, then you know that using vinegar is highly recommended. An acid called acetic acid is found in vinegar that aids in disinfecting the wooden board while preventing common food-related bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella.

This is why; using vinegar is a good option. All you have to do is take a soft sponge, apply vinegar on it, and being scrubbing. Cleaning with vinegar will ensure a disinfected cutting board while you destroying all sorts of odors on the cutting board.


After cleaning your wooden cutting board with dishwashing soap and warm water, give it a good rub of damp, soft cloth that has been coated in salt. Salt is a recommended option to clean a cutting board because it has the right kind of roughness that successfully takes away all the stains, odors, and gunk from the wooden cutting board.

For a more effective wooden cutting board cleaning, feel free to add salt in lemon juice or vinegar to clean. This way you will ensure a clean, odor-free and germ-free cutting board.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Known as the ultimate bacteria destroyer, hydrogen peroxide can be the ingredient you need for a clean wooden cutting board. It has the ability to take away bacteria from the cutting board, which means there will be no contaminants on your meat, veggies, and other things you are cutting on the board.

To use hydrogen peroxide, you will need a paper towel that has hydrogen peroxide absorbed in it and start wiping. Keep in mind, after using it; you will need to rinse the board thoroughly.

Baking Soda

At least 3 times a week, you must use a baking soda and water paste to clean your wooden cutting board. Rinse the paste off with hot water to take it off completely. Baking soda is known as a natural, safe, non-toxic product that can clean like no other cleaner.

A reason why baking soda is considered a reliable cleaning agent is that it has a level of mild alkali in it that allows it to take away grease and dirt with water. Just make sure you are not letting the paste stay on the board for too long.


It is normal for your wooden cutting board to smell odd if you are crushing garlic, chopping onions, cutting raw meat, chicken or even preparing fish on it. Luckily, there is a way for you to take away the odor in a simple way. Take a lemon, cut it in half, and begin rubbing it onto the surface of the cutting board. After doing so, take a paper towel, dry it up, and store it in a dry place.

Although the level of citric acid in lemons is not too strong to fully sanitize your wooden cutting board, it has the ability to take away all odors.


If you have a wooden cutting board or if you cut on a countertop, make sure you are never using household cleaners or furniture polish to clean. What you can do is clean the surface with a brush that has a solution on it. This solution will be made of 1 teaspoon of bleach mixed in with 2 liters of water. In small circles, clean the surface, but make sure the solution is not getting penetrated into the wood.

Bleach has the ability to take away and kill harmful bacteria that could be clinging onto your cutting board.

Tips to Remember

Use Your Hands for Cleaning

When you are washing your cutting board, make sure the water is warm, not scalding hot. Along with warm water, add a drop of dish soap and use a soft sponge to cleanse away the gunk. There are dishwashing soaps available that gently remove the contaminants without stripping off the upper layer of your wooden cutting board.

With your sponge, scrub hard enough to take away all food bits away successfully.

The Dishwasher Is Not an Option

As obvious as this may seem, it is important to know that you should not put your cutting board in the dishwasher. The reason for this is that it can cause your cutting board to break. No matter how you are feeling, tired or lazy, make sure you are taking the time out to wash this appliance by hand.

It is also important to know that keeping the board exposed to water and heat for extended periods can lead to cracking, and warping, ultimately to the cutting board’s end.

Air Drying Is the Way to Go

When you start washing your cutting board, you will notice how it expands because wood absorbs water. When it begins to dry up, it will get back to its original size. This is a normal process for wood, only if you are allowing it to air dry. Air drying allows your wooden board to expand and contract naturally.

After washing your wooden cutting board, wipe it off with a towel and set it on the drying rack. Make sure the air is getting to the board on both sides so it dries evenly. Setting the wet board on a countertop is a big no-no.

This is how you can successfully clean your wooden cutting board without damaging it. It’s fairly simple, just make sure you are following the tips we have provided you with.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Brock Yates

Because Brock is the tallest member of the team at 6 foot 5 inches, when he’s not thinking about food, he’s eating his favorites: pizza, burgers, tacos and burritos. He's always experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets and exploring new techniques in the kitchen.

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