A wooden cutting board does more than give you a place to prep food – it can also harbor nasty bacteria. Even minor cuts on the board can provide an entry point for germs from raw meat. Eliminate cross-contamination by washing your board after each use and disinfect it at least once per month or any time you use it to cut raw meat.
How to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board
After using your cutting board, scrape any remaining scraps into the trash. Then, fill the kitchen sink with hot, soapy water and submerge the board. Use a sponge to wash both sides, rinse, and dry with a towel.
Never put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. Wood is porous, and the moisture and heat from the dishwasher can cause warping, dulling, and splitting.
How to Sanitize a Wooden Cutting Board
Sanitize your wooden cutting board if it comes into contact with raw meat or smells musty.
(We recommend getting a second, plastic cutting board for raw meat and using your wooden cutting board for vegetables, fruits, and bread. Sanitizing plastic cutting boards is easier since you can place them in the dishwasher.)
Three effective strategies for sanitizing a wooden cutting board are bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice. Wash the board with soap and water before sanitizing with one of these methods.
Disinfect a Wooden Cutting Board with Bleach (Best for Raw Meat Germs)
Add one gallon of water and one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to your sink. Submerge the cutting board and allow it to sit for at least two minutes to kill bacteria on the surface. Drain water from the sink, rinse, and dry.
Sanitize a Wooden Cutting Board with Hydrogen Peroxide
Saturate a paper towel with hydrogen peroxide and wipe down your cutting board, ensuring all surfaces are coated. Let the peroxide sit for about five minutes or until done fizzing. Rinse the board and dry it with a towel.
Sanitize a Wooden Cutting Board with Lemon and Salt
Sprinkle coarse salt on the cutting board. Then, cut a lemon in half and use it to massage the salt into the wood, squeezing the juice out as you go. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes, then rinse well and dry.
Deodorize a Wooden Cutting Board with White Distilled Vinegar
White distilled vinegar has some germ-killing qualities but not enough to disinfect. Instead, use vinegar for light sanitization or to deodorize the board.
Mix half water and half white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the board with the mixture, allow it to sit for a minute, and then wipe clean with a fresh rag.
Oil Your Cutting Board Once Per Month
Extend the life of your wooden cutting board by cleaning it after each use and oiling it once per month with cutting board oil or food-safe mineral oil.
When the board is clean and dry, wipe the oil in the direction of the wood grain using a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Allow it to soak for several hours, then wipe away the excess.