How to Remove Stains from Wooden Cutting Board

By The Kitchen Hacker | Cutting Board Tips & Tricks

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A cutting board is an essential item in every household. Since it’s used daily and is in direct contact with your food, it should be maintained well. Otherwise, it might get covered with bacteria harmful for your health, such as E. Coli and Salmonella. 

It’s a usual way to clean it with warm water and standard dish soap, but it won’t sanitize the board and is not ideal for removing stains. However, to actually do the sanitizing and altogether remove stains, you don’t need any special cleaners, and you can do it with items you probably already have in your home. 

One quick tip before we begin - don’t soak a wooden board in water or put it in a dishwasher, since it will cause it to warp or break. So, let’s check some of the best ways to remove stains from a wooden cutting board.

Remove stains by using vinegar and baking soda

Probably everyone has some vinegar at home. It’s pretty useful for sanitizing and removing stains since it contains acetic acid. Not only will it help in removing stains, but it will also do the necessary sanitizing and eliminate any dangerous bacteria.

First, sprinkle the cutting board with baking soda after use. Then, spray it with white vinegar. Leave it for 5 minutes, and then just clean with water. That’s it!

You can also clean a cutting board with just baking soda, which is a completely natural and non-toxic product and can easily dissolve dirt. However, a combination of vinegar and baking soda is much better.

Clean the board using salt

It’s also pretty common to use salt for removing stains. At first, you should clean the cutting board with soap and hot water. Then, take a piece of cloth, soak it with water a little bit and dip it in salt. Use that cloth to rub the whole board down, and it should remove all the stains and do the sanitizing. Also, you can mix salt with lemon juice, to remove all the bad odors.

If you don’t wear kitchen gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after doing this. The salt itself can be pretty drying for the skin.

Remove stains using hydrogen peroxide

Another pretty simple method to clean the cutting board and remove stains is by using hydrogen peroxide. You have to sprinkle the board and leave it for 60 to 90 seconds to kill the bacteria and remove the stains. Then, wash the board with water and dry with a dishtowel.

However, don’t let hydrogen peroxide stay on the board for too long. It can bleach the surfaces and can fade your cutting board.

Using bleach to remove stains

Using bleach is a pretty straightforward yet useful method for cleaning the board and removing stains. Dip a brush in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of bleach and 1.5-2 liters of water and rub the board in small circles. Then, using a slightly damp paper towel, wipe it. After everything is done, don’t forget to dry it with a clean piece of cloth.

FAQs

What should you not cut on a cutting board?

If you often cut raw meat and poultry, you should have another cutting board only for that. This way, you will prevent bacteria from raw meat to contaminate the food that doesn’t need any further cooking, for example, vegetables for a salad. You should consider having a plastic board for fruits and vegetables, and a wooden board for raw protein; this is what most chefs do.

How to fix a warped cutting board?

There are a few ways to fix a warped cutting board, such as the iron method, steam method, force and water method, and so on. It’s not a big deal to fix a warped cutting board, and you can do it using home materials.

Are wooden cutting boards sanitary?

Although most people believe that plastic cutting boards are more sanitary than wooden ones, it’s not correct. Wood has proven to be more hygienic in the long run, than plastic boards. Also, knives can leave scars in plastic which can fill with bacteria.

Does a wooden cutting board kill bacteria?

Yes, they do. Not only that, wood does not hold water which bacteria need, but it also includes antimicrobial compounds, no matter if it’s a standard wooden board or a board made of bamboo.

What cutting board is the best?

Most definitely end grain wood. It heals itself as the surface stays clean, it’s pretty good for your knife-edge, it looks beautiful, and it reminds you of an old-school butcher block.

How to choose a cutting board?

At first, you should avoid glass. Although it looks fancy, it has been known to dull kitchen knives more than any other material. If you decide to choose plastic, make sure you choose the right one and avoid acrylic to prevent knife damage. Also, selecting a wooden board is a classic and low-risk choice. Almost any kind of wood is suitable for a cutting board, especially maple and teak.

Conclusion

These are a few very simple ways how to remove stains from wooden cutting board and remove stains that require just a few minutes of effort. Most of the needed items can be found in any household or bought in the nearest grocery store.

Vinegar is a pretty good choice since it both sanitizes the board and removes stains. Sanitizing is very important since it kills all the possible bacteria dangerous for the human body, such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Salt is also a good solution, but watch out for your hands. Either wear kitchen gloves, or wash and moisture your hands after the cleaning. Salt can make your hands pretty dry.

3% hydrogen peroxide and bleach are both great solutions for sanitizing the board and removing stains, depending on which one you have at hand.

A quick tip - if your cutting board has a strong smell, for example, after you chop garlic, onions, or prepare fish, you can use lemon juice to remove any odor.

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