5 Easy Steps To Clean & Disinfect A Cutting Board

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You use your cutting board to cut all kinds of food – meat, fruit, veggies, cheese, etc. and if not cleaned properly, your board could be a harbor for bacteria. Gross! Whether your cutting board is plastic or wood, you’ll definitely want a clean one that won’t cultivate bacteria. Here are five easy steps to clean and disinfect a cutting board.

  1. Wash With Water
    If the cutting board has crumbs or large pieces of food on it, wipe it down with a warm, wet washcloth over a trashcan or your sink. If it fits, you may want to just place it in the sink and run warm water over it as you wipe it down. Dry the board, completely.
  2. Disinfect With Vinegar
    Vinegar contains acetic acid, which disinfects against Staphylococcus, E. coli, and Salmonella. Simply pour a small amount of vinegar onto your cutting board and wipe it down with a dry rag or a paper towel. Don’t worry, the smell won’t last long!
  3. Kill Bacteria With Hydrogen Peroxide
    To kill all the bacteria that is trying to hide in your cutting board, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto it and wipe it down with a paper towel or a dry rag.
  4. Eliminate Odors With Salt And Soda
    Get a small bowl and make yourself a paste of baking soda, water, and salt – 1 Tablespoon each in equal parts. With a damp rag, rub the paste into the cutting board. This will help eliminate any odors and keep the board looking bright and clean. Rinse the paste off thoroughly with warm water.
  5. Refresh With Lemons
    Although you now have a clean cutting board, it is possible that there is a lingering smell; partly from the regular use of the cutting board, and partly from the vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. To get rid of the odor and refresh your board, cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side of the lemon all over the cutting board. Rinse after and pat dry with a paper towel, repeat if necessary.

Additional Tips

  • Always rinse and dry your board immediately after use. By doing so, bacteria will have less of a chance to linger.
  • If you are cutting something that could stain your board, such as strawberries or tomatoes, try to remove them from the board as soon as possible so they won’t have time to leave a stain.

Posted in Cleaning Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted by: Cyndee DAgostini
4 comments on “5 Easy Steps To Clean & Disinfect A Cutting Board
  1. Monica says:

    If my wood cutting board looks dried out , is it ok to rub it with vegetable oil?

    • Improvements Editor says:

      Hi Monica,
      Vegetable oil with spoil over time so it is not recommended. They make oil specifically for cutting boards that doesn’t spoil – that would be a preferred option. But you can also try:

      • Mineral Oil
      • Beeswax
      • Coconut Oil (Refractionated)
      • Carnauba
      • Baking Soda
      • Lemon Juice
      • Tung Oil
      • Linseed Oil


  2. DAVE says:

    can disinfective handy wipes be ok to use on cutting board?

    • Amandah Blackwell says:

      Hi, Dave! Thanks for your comment. We don’t think so. For both plastic and wood cutting boards, you can wash them with dishwashing detergent and rinse with hot water and air dry. Here are cleaning tips for both types of cutting boards.

      Wood Cutting Board

      Wash, wipe or rinse the cutting board with dishwashing detergent and water, then apply a solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water. Let it stand for 2 minutes. Rinse the cutting board with a solution of 2 teaspoons of regular bleach per gallon of water. Do not rinse or soak overnight!

      Another tip is to use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide on a wood cutting board. Pour it on the surface, spread it around with a sponge and let it sit for 1-3 minutes. Wipe off the excess liquid with a CLEAN sponge and let it air dry.

      Tip: avoid cutting raw meat on a wood cutting board because bacteria can seep into the crevices and will contaminate the surface.

      Plastic Cutting Board

      If you have a dishwasher, check to see if your cutting board is dishwasher safe and then place it in there on the highest setting.

      Another tip is to sanitize with liquid dishwashing detergent and hot water. Soak in a solution using 2 teaspoons of regular bleach per gallon of water. Let stand 2 minutes, then air dry.

      Tip: use a plastic cutting board to cut raw meat.

      Bonus Tip

      Use lemon and salt to rid either board of harsh odors. Pour grainy salt onto the surface. Using a half of a lemon, scrub the salt all over. The acidity cuts any unpleasant stench. The salt also helps to absorb odors.

      We hope these tips help!

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