The Best Way To Clean A Wood Cutting Board

Our house seems to be made of cutting boards! Under the sink,  We have wood cutting boards that are square, round, bigger round, and rectangle. We also have a fair share of plastic ones too. However, my go-to cutting board is always one of the wooden ones, which is why we need to know how to clean a wooden cutting board. They are just my preferred cutting board: Is it weird to say it feels better under my knife? More stable, maybe? 

We have a variety of boards for all sorts of kitchen and household duties, like sliding a pizza off the oven rack or serving several cheeses to guests. We know some cooks keep their nonporous boards for their meats and don’t cross-contaminate.

No matter your preferred material for your kitchen cutting board(s), it’s always time to clean them! Today you are going to learn my tips for how to clean a wood cutting board.

Check out our office-to-kitchen hack. When my office downsized a few years back, they sent us home with a variety of office supplies. These file organizers tend to take up a lot of desk space, but we didn’t want to just throw them away. It occurred to me one day that we were always fighting to keep cookie pans, cutting boards, grill baskets and the like upright and stowed so we could get to them easily, so I thought, hey, let’s try this. We’ve never looked back. We keep one inside the house, and the other in the garage for backup bacon cookers, more cutting boards, muffin pans, pizza pan, splatter shield, etc.

If you want an “official” one, though, this one is a best-seller on Amazon, and looks pretty handy. It’s no desk file organizer, though, so who knows how it will turn out for ya! 😉

How to clean wooden cutting board

  • 1
    Scrape any excess food off of the cutting board
  • 2
    Rinse the board with hot water
  • 3
    Wet scrubby sponge with hot water and dish soap
  • 4
    Scrub all sides of the cutting board
  • 5
    Rinse the board thoroughly with hot water
  • 6
    Hand dry the board with a kitchen towel as much as possible
  • 7
    Allow the board to air dry before returning it to storage

Tip: When drying a wood cutting board, place it in a rack or prop it up so that both long sides of the board are exposed to air.

Important tips:

DO NOT leave a wooden cutting board in a sink of water, even partway. (That goes for wooden bowls and utensils, too, by the way.)

DO NOT put a wooden cutting board in a dishwasher. We had a small one split right in half when we accidentally loaded a little round one to get dishes “cleared away for company” and forgot it was in there when we ran it. It only took once through the cycle and it split in half when  we went to use it.

How to disinfect a wood cutting board

  • 1
    Pour hydrogen peroxide on the board and spread it around with a cloth 
  • 2
    Allow the peroxide to sit and fizzle for a few minutes; this sizzle and white foam are killing germs and sanitizing your board 
  • 3
    Rinse the cutting board thoroughly with hot water 
  • 4
    Hand-dry the board with a clean kitchen towel 
  • 5
    Allow the cutting board to air dry before returning it to storage 

How to remove an odor from a wood cutting board

Wood is an absorbent material, so even though wooden cutting boards have been treated for long-term use, they can still temporarily take in cooking smells. This tends to happen after we have cut onions. Thankfully there is a fairly simple way to remove that stinky smell from our beautiful wood cutting boards. We definitely would not recommend typical household cleaners like Formula 409 or bleach on wood.

Option 1

  • 1
    Clean your cutting board as shown above 
  • 2
    Wipe down your cutting board with white vinegar. Be generous when wiping and really rub it in 
  • 3
    Allow the vinegar to dry naturally 

Option 2

  • 1
    Clean your cutting board as normal 
  • 2
    Clean your cutting board as normal 
  • 3
    Sprinkle coarse salt all over the cutting board 
  • 4
    Cut a lemon in half
  • 5
    Rub the salt all over the board using half a lemon
  • 6
    Rinse the cutting board with hot water
  • 7
    Dry the cutting board with a kitchen towel
  • 8
    Allow the cutting board to air dry before returning it to storage

How to oil a wood cutting board

It is a good idea to oil a wood cutting board about once a month. This really helps the wood from becoming too dry, keeping the board from developing cracks.

✅ This is the cutting board oil that we use.

  • 1
    Disinfect your cutting board 
  • 2
    Allow the cutting board to fully dry 
  • 3
    Apply a small amount of cutting board oil with a damp rag 
  • 4
    Rub the oil in and all around on the edges and both sides 
  • 5
    Leave the cutting board out to dry overnight  

One final thing to note about wood cutting boards is that they can often last you a long time, perhaps even decades. The key factor is to take care of them and keep them dry. Also, if you wind up with a deep cut or scrape in the board, you can sand it out. Wood cutting boards are very forgiving and are kinder to a knife than a plastic cutting board.

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