How to Clean, Rinse and Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards

How to Clean, Rinse and Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards

With all of us hyper-focused on keeping ourselves, our families and our homes safe and sanitary, we at the Butcher Block Co. wish to share with you some butcher block best practices you should keep in mind every day, including helpful tips to clean and sanitize wood cutting boards.

It’s Important to Clean a Cutting Board Immediately after Each Use
We recommended that you wash any wood cutting board after using it lightly (e.g., for slicing fruits or vegetables). Wipe it down using a clean sponge with mild dish soap and water, rinse and dry. For a more heavily soiled board, you’ll want to follow a more rigorous, comprehensive cleaning regimen.

  1. Use a soft bristled brush, spatula or plastic scraper to remove any particles of food that adhere to the board.
  2. Add a small amount of mild dish soap to a bowl or tub of hot water. Dip a clean sponge or washcloth into the soapy water. Use the sponge or washcloth to clean the surface of the board.
  3. Rinse the sponge or washcloth. Now use it to wipe down the board with clear water.
  4. Once again, rinse the sponge or washcloth, wring it out, and use it to absorb any water that remains on the board.
  5. Finally, using a paper towel or dish towel, thoroughly dry the board’s surface.
  6. If cleaning both sides of a cutting board, be sure to store it on its edge until both sides dry completely.

Our butcher block experts warn that you should never submerge a wood cutting board in water or wash it in a dishwasher, even though you might come across tips online suggesting that the latter practice is acceptable. It isn’t.

Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards Occasionally, and after Handling Raw Meat
It’s wise to deep-clean your wood cutting boards once in a while, and especially after handling raw meat, fish or poultry. Some chefs and homemakers swear by a diluted bleach solution they spread over the board and let stand for several minutes before rinsing with hot water. Bleach advocates recommend a concentration of 1 teaspoon of household bleach in a quart of water.

Another alternative that is highly efficacious is using common first aid antiseptic hydrogen peroxide solution (3%) found in the grocery store.

  1. Pour it directly on the board and spread it around with a sponge. Clean and rinse the sponge.
  2. Let the solution stand for several minutes. Lightly rinse the board with clear water and wipe off the water with a clean sponge.
  3. Use a clean paper towel or dish towel to dab the board dry.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide is a drying agent, so be sure to keep your wood cutting board well oiled to prevent premature drying, cracking or splitting.

sanitize wood countertops

Here Are a Couple of Other Board Cleaning Ingredients You Might Want To Consider

Pure white vinegar (acetic acid), yet another disinfecting agent, destroys some (not all) bacteria and viruses. To apply white vinegar, create a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water. Soak a clean cloth in the solution then wipe down the cutting board thoroughly using the soaked cloth.
For removing grease on a cutting board’s surface try a paste of safe and natural baking soda and water. Simply massage the paste into the wood using a damp sponge. Rinse and dry.

These best practices and every day tips can go a long way towards keeping your cutting boards, chopping blocks and kitchen counters clean and food safe.

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