Whenever you use a cutting board, wood or any other type, care must be taken to keep them sanitized and maintained. Below are 5 popular methods to try; you decide which is best for you. Also, keep reading to find out how to eliminate garlic and fish smells.
Hot water and soap – Scrub board with hot water and soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly. (NEVER submerge cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood is porous and will soak up water causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.)
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, and is especially good for people with chemical allergies. Tip: Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
Hydrogen Peroxide – 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a bacteria-killer. 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.
Bleach – Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.
*All cutting boards, and other food surfaces, should be kept dry when not in use. Resident bacteria survive no more than a few hours without moisture. Keep moisture of any type from standing on the block for long periods of time. Beware of moisture collecting beneath the board if you leave it on the counter. If you can, prop one end up when not using your board.
To rid garlic, onion, fish, or other smells from your cutting board:
Coarse salt or baking soda – Rub the board with coarse salt or baking soda. Let stand a few minutes and wipe salt or baking soda from board, and then rinse.
Lemon – Another very easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odors.
Vinegar – Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
*Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the board. Scraping removes 75% of the moisture that builds up on a wooden cutting board. An occasional sanding will return a wooden board to a smooth luster. But never scrub a wooden board with a steel brush (a steel brush will ruff up the finish and should be avoided).