You know how important a cutting board is in the kitchen, and most probably every one of us uses a cutting board.
It’s probably one of the most important tools in the kitchen, and it’s nearly impossible to cook without a cutting board.
While wood and bamboo cutting boards are one of the favorite choices of a majority of people. But do you know they can be harmful if you don’t clean them properly?
It seems like most of them are just aware and don’t know the importance of disinfecting a cutting board.
So after deep research and learning from various sources on the internet, I have made a detailed guide on how to disinfect a wooden cutting board which can help you a lot.
Cleaning a wooden cutting board is a must for minimizing the spread of bacteria and infections in your kitchen.
Research on cutting board shows cutting board absorbs microbes in the cuts and cracks and slowly contaminate the food on the board.
Usually, the contamination on a wooden cutting board is faster and easier than compared to a plastic cutting board.
No matter whether you are using a wooden cutting board, a plastic one, or acrylic, every cutting board must be cleaned and sanitized properly to stop the growth of microbes.
But before I guide you on how to sanitize a wooden cutting board, there are a few other things that you must know.
Why Disinfect a Cutting Board?
It’s quite important to clean and disinfect a wooden cutting board regularly to stop the spread of microbes.
When juices from raw meat come in contact with your ready-to-eat food such as fruits, and salads, then there is cross-contamination, and the board contains harmful bacteria that can infect your foods.
Research shows that wood chopping boards can spread serious germs to the food, and sometimes the bacteria are resistant, and the infection becomes difficult to treat.
There are many cases where people have died from the infection caused by the cutting boards. So it’s very important to properly clean your kitchen cutting board before you store it.
Even handling uncleaned cutting wood can contaminate your hands, and most of the infections caused are multi-drug resistant.
So, to prevent illness, it’s very important to wash your wood boards and hands after you prepare your food. Also, make sure to use a cutting board oil as this will elongate the life of the wood.
How To Disinfect a Wooden Cutting Board?
Cleaning a cutting board is important to slow down the growth of bacteria and stop the spread of infection in your kitchen.
Here are a couple of ways to clean your cutting board properly. But before you start cleaning, you might need a few supplies like:
- A stiff cleaning brush or a sponge
- White vinegar
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
- Clean and dry towel
- lemon (optional)
- Dish soap
Once you are done with the cutting board, rinse off all the food debris before it becomes dry and sticks to the surface of the board.
You can use a sponge or a stiff cleaning brush to scour the wood as this will help to lose all stubborn and food debris.
In addition, you can likewise use coarse salt to rub the surface of the board after the initial cleaning to clean off food debris.
If you see your board has stains, sprinkle some baking soda over the surface and let the soda sit for a few minutes.
This is the most important step, so read it properly. Now pour some 3% hydrogen peroxide on the surface of the board.
Spread it around clean it with a sponge and let it stand for some minutes. This will help in cleaning the germs from the surface.
Hydrogen peroxide is great for cutting boards that especially have cracks and grooves that usually occur from a kitchen knife.
Once the fizzing stops you can give the board a rinse under hot tap water. This will help in removing the leftover Hydrogen peroxide from the surface.
Note: Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use with food products in a minimal quantity. So while getting H2O2, make sure you see “Food Safe Hydrogen Peroxide”. You can check out the link I have provided above.
If your wooden cutting boards have lingering odors and some stains, then you can use some white vinegar as this will remove all types of smells from the cutting board.
You can fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and use it regularly on the board.
The alternative to white vinegar is to use lemon because lemon is also acidic, and it can help eliminate odors.
Cut the lemon into two halves rub on the surface of the cutting board and rinse it. Wipe with a clean paper towel when it’s done.
2. UV-C Light Sanitization:
Consider using a UV-C light sanitizing wand to eliminate bacteria on your wooden cutting board. This modern method can effectively kill bacteria and germs by exposing the board to ultraviolet light. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage.
3. Choose the Right Wood:
Not all wood is created equal when it comes to cutting boards. Opt for hardwoods like maple, walnut, or cherry as they have natural antimicrobial properties. These woods are dense and less porous, making them more resistant to bacteria absorption.
4. Regularly Replace Old Boards:
Wooden cutting boards have a lifespan. Over time, deep cuts and gouges can harbor bacteria that are difficult to eliminate. Consider replacing your cutting board if it shows signs of excessive wear and tear, ensuring a safer food preparation environment.
Enhancing Kitchen Hygiene:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat or other potentially harmful ingredients.
- Use separate knives for raw meat and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
- Sanitize kitchen surfaces regularly, including countertops and utensils, to maintain an overall hygienic cooking environment.
5. Safe Storage Practices:
Store your cutting board in a dry and well-ventilated area to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Avoid stacking wet cutting boards as this can lead to bacterial growth. Allow them to air dry completely before storage.
6. Educate on Cutting Board Rotation:
Educate your audience on the benefits of rotating cutting boards. Designate specific boards for specific tasks, such as one for meats and another for fruits and vegetables. This practice can minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
How To Clean a Bamboo Cutting Board?
The bamboo cutting board is becoming more popular in recent days and knowing that bamboo isn’t wood: it’s grass we must know how cleaning a bamboo cutting board is.
Even the bamboo cutting boards are stronger and more durable as well as are more hygienic cutting board material, but you can still clean and beautify the board and add perks.
Bamboo cutting boards are less prone to infections because it doesn’t develop pores even though there are stains. In total, it requires less extra care compared to a wooden one.
Also, the moisture can’t ruin the bamboo, the more water you pour it gets absorbed, and likely it splits, wraps, and dries out.
However, it requires proper cleaning after cutting meat as the juices of the meat stay on the board.
So first, you must never soak and wash your bamboo board in a dishwasher. Always try avoiding them.
Washing a Bamboo Cutting Board
- Rinse the cutting board immediately after the cutting is over.
- Add some baking soda to the stains and leave it for about 5 minutes before you start washing.
- Make sure you don’t scrub because bamboo is much softer than wood, so better use a microfiber cloth and warm water to lose the food debris.
- Now wash the board immediately with dishwasher soap.
- Rinse with warm water and dry it out with a clean towel.
- You can store your cutting board once you finish.
Disinfecting and Deodorizing
The best and most powerful deodorizer and disinfectant for a bamboo cutting board is lemon. Lemon is powerful, and it can quickly sanitize and refresh your cutting board.
Cut a lemon into two parts and scrub the front and back sides of the cutting board. Now rinse under normal water and let it finish drying up.
How Often Should You Clean Your Cutting Board?
Well, the answer to this question depends upon how much you are using your cutting board.
If you are a chef and regularly cut raw meat, then it’s recommended to wash it immediately after your cutting is finished.
However, if you are someone who doesn’t use the cutting board regularly or else you just use it for cutting green vegetables, then you don’t have to bleach and clean it with baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.
Instead of that, you can use normal water or warm water to clean your cutting board.
Wooden Cutting Board Care
To avoid the dryness, cracking, and warping of your wooden cutting boards the best way is to use oil on your board every week, as oiling the board can help to prevent moisture from entering the wood.
Wooden cutting boards are quite sensitive and If you don’t maintain them properly, they won’t last long.
Before applying any of the oil on the board, clean and dry it properly. Don’t just wipe the extra water because the oil cannot penetrate deep into the wood if the wood is wet.
Take some Mineral oil or danish oil and apply a generous layer of oil over the surface and the board.
Make sure the board should be dipped wet with the oil on all sides. Most of them have a doubt about How to remove stains from wood? Well, using cutting board oil is one of the best ways to remove stains from wood.
You can use a towel to ensure an even spread. Now let the wood soak in the oil and let it dry for about 6 to 12 hours depending upon the oil you are using.
Wrap-Up on How To Disinfect a Cutting Board
I hope the guide on how to clean a wooden cutting board has helped you out in finding the right way to disinfect your cutting board.
Cleaning a cutting board in a proper way might consume your time but it’s important to clean your cutting board every time you are using it.
Each type of cutting board requires cleaning and maintenance. So it’s important to know how to treat a cutting board to avoid the growth of microbes and prevent damage.
Your kitchen equipment deserves extra attention, so you must treat and clean all your kitchen equipment properly for good health.
With just a few minutes of care, you can keep your wooden cutting board in good condition for years to come. You must also keep your working area surface sanitary.
The process is quite simple and it can easily become a regular part of your kitchen maintenance work.
Now, I have given you all the best ways to disinfect your board, now you can start cleaning.
FAQ: How To Clean a Cutting Board
I have seen a lot of people face some issues with cleaning their cutting board and they ask me questions from various online platforms. So, I thought of answering them.
Well, if you also have a question related to this article, then you can ask in the comment section. I will try to give the answer as soon as possible.
Q1. Is it safe to use bleach to clean cutting boards?
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common bleaching agents. It’s safe for sanitizing wooden cutting boards if you are using them in a low quantity for about 3% H2O2.
Bleaching your cutting board is a powerful and the best way to clean a wooden cutting board to kill germs, especially after cutting raw meat.
Q2. Is it okay to wash wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher?
A dishwasher is unsafe for cutting as they are prolonged and exposed to heat and water, and your board might suffer from cracks and warping. Instead of using a dishwasher, you can use the method that I have mentioned above.
Q3. Should I oil my cutting board?
It’s important to oil a cutting board at least once a week to make it waterproof and let the moisture stay away from absorbing the wood.