How to Clean a Cutting Board: 7 Effective Treatments

You should regularly clean and disinfect your plastic and wooden cutting boards; here's how.

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    Vinegar will disinfect.

    Using water and dishwashing detergent can weaken surface wood fibers on cutting boards and butcher block countertops. To disinfect and clean your wooden surfaces, wipe them instead 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. 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. See more uses for vinegar.

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    Hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria.

    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. See more uses for hydrogen peroxide.

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    Lemons will remove odor.

    If your cutting board smells after you chop onions, crush garlic, cut raw and cooked meat and chicken, or prepare fish, get rid of the odor and help sanitize the cutting board by rubbing it all over with the cut side of half a lemon. You can also wash your cutting board in undiluted lemon juice from a bottle. See more uses for lemons.

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    Baking soda will deep clean.

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

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    Salt will brighten.

    If you clean cutting boards and breadboards with soap and water, rub them afterwards with a damp cloth dipped in salt. The boards will be lighter and brighter in color. You can also create a paste of salt and lemon juice, and use it to deep clean your cutting board as needed. See more uses for salt.

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    Bleach will purify.

    For a butcher block cutting board or countertop, you never want to use furniture polish or any other household cleaner. Instead, clean 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. See more uses for bleach.

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