For wooden cutting boards, forget using detergent: discover how to clean them thoroughly with common ingredients

by Mark Bennett

September 26, 2022

For wooden cutting boards, forget using detergent: discover how to clean them thoroughly with common ingredients

For almost every surface and material that we have to clean in our homes, there is a special detergent. They are often very effective but sometimes are very expensive - much more than multipurpose alternatives. Given this, it is true that, for almost all types of cleaning, you can use a DIY alternative (based on products which are cheap and readily available).

This is also the case with wooden cutting boards: these cannot be cleaned with the same product that is used for other wooden furniture, since they come into contact with food substances. So if we don't have a special product for this, what can we do? We can use some remedies based on common ingredients.



The most used traditional cleaning method: lemon, salt and then oil

If you have ever researched how to clean cutting boards, chances are this is the remedy that has been recommended to you. It works for cutting boards that do not have large deposits of dirt on them and that need only a light cleaning, because they are usually well maintained.

  • Cut a lemon in half - or take just a wedge - and squeeze it to release the juice.
  • Sprinkle the cutting board with salt (coarse is best, but fine will do too).
  • Rub the lemon over the entire surface, so as to get the salt into the wood.
  • The two ingredients together degrease and clean thoroughly, sanitizing a little as well. Then dry off without rinsing (or just rinse lightly). When the cutting board is dry, rub a film of olive oil over it (but other oils, such as avocado, for example, are fine too).

Bleach sanitizing

Wooden cutting boards are recommended only for cutting fruit and vegetables, never meat or fish (so it is best to use metal cutting boards for these food types). But if they have come into contact with raw meat or fish, you can sanitize them by using a little bleach.

  • Place the cutting board in a basin or in a plugged sink.
  • Fill with water until the cutting board is submerged.
  • Add a teaspoon of bleach for every two liters of water.
  • Leave to soak for up to 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off thoroughly.
  • Let it dry (and do not put it away until it is perfectly dry).

This is a more drastic remedy, which involves the use of water, and can end up ruining or deforming the wood if this remedy is used too often.

Do you have a favorite way to clean your wooden cutting board?