Cleaning & Sanitizing a Wood Cutting Board

Wooden cutting boards can be beautiful display pieces in the kitchen, they can also be useful tools for everyday kitchen activities. Because of their porous surface and texture, wood cutting boards can easily trap and develop bacteria within them if they are not cleaned properly and regularly. Here is our guide for how to clean and sanitize your wooden cutting board.

Before You Start


When you’re ready to start cleaning your wooden cutting board, make sure you have everything you’ll need set aside. A few things you’ll want to have are:

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide
  • A sponge or stiff brush
  • A lemon
  • Salt

Regular Wash


Cleaning wood cutting board in kitchen sink


You’ll want to start the cleaning process by hand washing your cutting board with warm water and dish soap in the sink. Remember to never clean your cutting board in the dishwasher as the wood will warp and break. This is to make sure that there is no stuck-on food residue and also so that you have a clear surface to check for cracks or warping. Be sure to thoroughly scrub both sides of the board, and the handle if there is one, when you wash it. Once it has been sufficiently scrubbed on both sides, rinse it thoroughly and pat it down with a towel or cloth to dry the surface. Set it upright to dry overnight if you are not planning on deep cleaning it. You’ll want to use this method to wash your cutting board after every time you use it.




Once your cutting board has been cleaned normally with soap and warm water, you can set it aside to disinfect it. To disinfect your cutting board without any bleach, try this method:

  • Lay out a towel and lay the cutting board flat
  • Pour the 3% hydrogen peroxide evenly on the board and spread it around with a soft, clean sponge
  • Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit and fizz on the board for about 5 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, or once the fizzing stops, rinse the board thoroughly under hot water.
  • Repeat the process on both sides of the board

This process should be completed regularly if you cut and prepare meat on the cutting board. Meat can leave a bacteria-heavy residue on the board long after washing it, so it is important to make sure your board is disinfected before using it again.


Remove Stains & Deodorize


Lemon and pile of coarse sea salt on cutting board


Your wooden cutting board is now clean and sanitized, the last step is to deodorize it and make sure any stains have been removed from the surface. To do this, follow this method:

  • Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto the surface of the cutting board
  • Use the lemon to rub the salt around the surface of the cutting board in small circles
  • Be sure to rub the lemon in the direction of the woodgrain thoroughly
  • Allow the salt and juice from the lemon to sit on the surface of the board for about 5 minutes
  • Rinse the board thoroughly under warm water
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the board until stains are removed
  • Once your board has been cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized, allow it to dry fully overnight before using it again.

Maintaining Your Wooden Cutting Board

Stack of used cutting boards

Your cutting board can easily get a lot of use during its life. In order to keep your board food-safe and looking its best, there are a couple of things you can do when using it regularly. Here are a few tips to maintain your cutting board between uses and washes:

  • Apply food-grade mineral oil or cutting board oil to your cutting board once a month to avoid cracking or warping from dryness. For best results, buff a small amount of oil into the surface of the board and allow it to set for 24 hours before rinsing the surface of the board of excess oil.
  • Use separate cutting boards for different food types (vegetables, meat, fruit, etc.) in order to keep any harmful bacteria from contaminating other meals and surfaces.
  • When shopping for a wooding cutting board, it is recommended to look for boards made of hardwoods like maple, walnut, or cherry. These woods are hard and have a fine and less porous grain.

How do you maintain your wooden cutting board? Do you have any tips and tricks that you swear by and want to share? Leave us a comment below and tell us about them! If you are in the market for a cleaning service for house or apartment cleaning Chicago, then check us out. We have a variety of services that can meet any of your cleaning and tidying needs. Contact us today to find out how our professionals can help you!


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