Wood Cutting Boards Care Tips
A chopping board is a basic necessity that you need in any kitchen. Wooden cutting boards look a lot nicer than plastic ones, and they make for a great housewarming gift. However, a wooden chopping board does require a lot more maintenance and care than a basic plastic one. When you use kitchen knives on your chopping board, it leaves small cuts in it, and these can harbor bacteria. A quick clean isn’t enough to remove all of that bacteria, and if you have been preparing raw meat on it, this can become hazardous to health.
Cleaning your wooden cutting board in the right way is essential, not only because of the potential for bacteria but also because you can damage it if you clean it incorrectly. If you own a wood chopping board, make sure to follow these cleaning and maintenance tips to ensure that your food preparation is safe and your wooden cutting board lasts a long time.
1. Never Use The Dishwasher
Rule number one for cleaning wooden cutting boards is never to use the dishwasher. A dishwasher is so handy because it allows you to clean all of your utensils and kitchen gadgets with minimal effort, but putting your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher can do a lot of damage. The heat and the water can cause the wood to crack, and those small cracks will become breeding grounds for bacteria. The cracks will also get larger over time, and, eventually, the chopping board will become unusable.
2. Be Careful With Knives
Using standard kitchen knives or a cheese knife with your wooden chopping board is fine, but you need to be careful when using anything else. Large meat cleavers or electric knives, for example, will leave deep cuts on the board. It’s easy for bacteria to get in, but it’s a lot harder for you to clean it out. Using heavy-duty knives will also ruin the finish over time, and the board will need replacing.
3. Cleaning With Dish Soap
Using standard dish soap is the easiest way to clean your wooden cutting boards. First, rinse the board with some hot water and then apply soap. Give it a good scrub and pay extra attention to any knife marks on the board to make sure that you remove all bacteria. If you are particularly worried, use antibacterial dish soap. Always remember to wash both sides of the chopping board, even if you have only used one because meat juices and other bacteria can drip around to the other side. Once clean, rinse it with some more hot water and dry it off with a cloth.
4. Cleaning With Bleach
Cleaning with bleach is another option if you are worried about bacteria. However, it is vital to make sure that the concentration is not too high because this could cause damage to the wood. Add one tablespoon of bleach for every gallon of water and soak the board for a few minutes. This procedure should kill all of the bacteria, and then you can wash it with dish soap as you normally would.
5. Cleaning With Vinegar
If you prefer a chemical-free alternative to bleach, you can clean your chopping board with vinegar. The process is much the same as cleaning with bleach; use a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water instead of the bleach. It is best to use white vinegar, which is appropriate for cleaning. When you soak your wooden cutting board, whether in bleach or vinegar, never leave it for more than a few minutes because the water can warp and crack the wood.
6. Cleaning With Lemon and Salt
Cleaning with lemon and salt is an effective way to maintain your cutting board. You should not use this method for general cleaning, but you should do it around once a month. Sprinkle some coarse salt over the board and then use half a lemon to give it a good scrub. This procedure will remove any stubborn stains and get into the cracks to kill bacteria.
7. Oiling Your Wooden Chopping Board
Oiling a wooden chopping board is essential if you want to avoid warping, cracking, and dryness. This maintenance step should is appropriate once a month after the board has been cleaned with lemon and salt and adequately dried. You need to use oil that specific for wooden chopping boards, but you can easily find this online. Take a cloth or a paper towel and apply a thin layer of oil over the entire board. Rub in small circles to buff the board and, once it begins to soak in, leave the board to dry. It should take a few hours to soak in, but, ideally, you should leave it overnight before using it again.
As long as you follow these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can remove bacteria from your wooden chopping board and increase its lifespan.