6 Effective Ways to Clean Cutting Boards

Clever solutions for cleaning and disinfecting your cutting boards.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Baking Soda

Keep your wooden or plastic cutting board clean by occasionally scrubbing it with a paste made from 1 tablespoon each baking soda, salt, and water. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.

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Bleach

Don’t even think about using furniture polish or any other household cleaner to clean a butcher block cutting board or countertop. Rather, scrub the surface with a brush dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach diluted in 2 quarts (2 liters) water. Scrub in small circles, and be careful not to saturate the wood. Wipe with a slightly damp paper towel, then immediately buff dry with a clean cloth.

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Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a surefire bacteria-killer — just the ally you need to fight the proliferation of bacteria on your cutting board, especially after you cut chicken or other meat. To kill the germs on your cutting board, use a paper towel to wipe the board down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide. Ordinary 3% peroxide is fine.

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Lemons

No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells! After all, you use it to chop onions, crush garlic, cut raw and cooked meat and chicken, and prepare fish. To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

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Salt

After you wash cutting boards and breadboards with soap and water, rub them with a damp cloth dipped in salt. The boards will be lighter and brighter in color.

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Vinegar

To disinfect and clean your wood cutting boards or butcher block countertop, wipe them with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Never use water and dishwashing detergent, because it can weaken surface wood fibers. When your wooden cutting surface needs deodorizing as well as disinfecting, spread some baking soda over it and then spray on undiluted white vinegar. Let it foam and bubble for five to ten minutes, then rinse with a cloth dipped in clean cold water.

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