A chopping board is where a lot of your food prepping happens – from dicing vegetables to slicing different kinds of meat. And it carries a huge risk of exposing you to harmful bacteria like salmonella and e-coli. Which is why, keeping the cutting boards clean is imperative as part of maintaining basic kitchen hygiene and following a regular cleaning routine can ensure that your chopping boards and your kitchen stays as safe and germ-free as possible.
Here’s a 5-step guide to keep your chopping boards not just clean, but also free from all germs and odors.
Using hot water, a sponge and some dish soap, remove any food particles sticking to the board’s surface. Here, the amount of water you use is important. Run the board under plenty of water that’ll help wash away bacteria and particles stuck on it, especially on the worn and scarred sections of the board which can act as traps for food and germs.
Once you’ve cleaned the surface of the board, the next step is to disinfect it. Soak a cloth in pure white vinegar and wipe the board down thoroughly. Vinegar’s low pH helps kill the bacteria and germs on the cutting board. Remember to use only white vinegar for this, as any other vinegar will leave a smell behind.
If your board has a mold-like smell, then put a cup of baking soda on it and pour a cup of white vinegar on it. The combination will eliminate all stains and odors.
To deodorize your cutting board, sprinkle sea salt all over the board and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, cut a lemon in half and use the pieces to work the salt on the board. Let the mixture of lemon juice and salt sit on the board for 10 minutes, before wiping it off with a damp cloth.
This applies for both wooden and plastic boards.
Wiping the board with a dry cloth and leaving it to dry is a very important step in cleaning your cutting board especially if it’s wooden, as any leftover water on the board can cause the wood to swell up and cause the wood to split. Which is why it’s important to never soak your board in water or put it in the dishwasher.
Conditioning your wooden cutting board is a simple and inexpensive way to have your board looking like new for years. A plastic board however, doesn’t need this step.
Just use a soft cloth and apply mineral oil, walnut oil or almond oil onto the board. It’s a good idea to not use vegetable oils as they tend to turn rancid soon. Wipe the board in motions that go with the grain and cover all areas including the sides and the back. Finally, use a dry cloth to buff the oil into the board.