There’s nothing that looks better in a kitchen than a beautiful wooden cutting board. They’re durable, attractive, and versatile. When you’re not using them to chop your veggies, fruit, meat, fish, bread, or even cheese, you can also use them as a serving tray. Keeping them clean and beautiful is another story.
Wooden cutting boards require a bit more love and attention than their plastic counterparts. You can’t soak them in the soapy water after you do the dishes, and you can’t run them through the dishwasher, or they’ll warp, split, and crack. Here are six safe and all-natural ways to keep your wooden cutting board looking great.
Coconut oil will not only clean your cutting board, it will also remove any lingering bacteria, and restore your board’s natural sheen. Simply take a tablespoon of melted coconut oil and rub it all over your dry cutting board. Leave it for ten to fifteen minutes to soak in and then rub it off with a dry cloth.
Keep in mind that it’s best to use refined or highly refined coconut oil because it has a longer shelf life, so it will last longer. But any coconut oil will produce the same results – just keep an eye on the expiry date in case it goes rancid. As an alternative, you could use olive oil, but it has a much shorter shelf life, and it doesn’t contain the same antibacterial properties as coconut oil.
The acetic acid in vinegar is great for cleaning wooden cutting boards and it also helps eliminate any lingering odors. There are several ways you can use vinegar to keep your board looking great. You can either soak a paper towel in the vinegar and then wipe the entire surface of your board spreading it everywhere, or put some into a spray bottle and spritz your board down.
Once you have the vinegar applied, use some elbow grease to really scrub that board. If you feel that your board needs a deeper scrub, sprinkle a little bit of salt on it and keep scrubbing. After you’ve done that, just set it upright to dry and it will be good as new in no time.
When it comes to removing stubborn stains and deodorizing your board, baking soda is a good choice. Take one tablespoon of water, and one tablespoon of baking soda and make a thick paste. Then scrub your board with it using a cloth, sponge, or even an old toothbrush.
If you want to give your board a little bit of an extra scrub, add one tablespoon of salt into your paste. After you’ve scrubbed your board clean, simply give it a quick rinse to remove the paste and dry it with a clean towel before leaving it to dry the rest of the way standing upright.
If you don’t already have any of the other items on this list to clean your board naturally, chances are that you probably have salt sitting in your kitchen. The good news is that salt is an excellent all-natural cleaner and can draw any trapped bacteria or moisture out of your board, leaving it clean and sanitized.
Simply sprinkle salt all over your board and scrub it with a clean sponge that you’ve soaked in hot water. If you need something more abrasive to remove stubborn stains, use either sea or kosher salt. Once it’s clean, just stand it up and let it dry.
When life hands you lemons, use them to scrub your wooden cutting board. Simply cut your lemon in half and rub it all over your cutting board, squeezing it as you go. Keep in mind that although the citric acid from the lemon will clean your board and remove odors, it won’t sanitize it.
If you want to do something that will clean, sanitize and remove odors, sprinkle two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of salt on your board. Then, scrub it hard with your cut lemon, again, squeezing as you go to really get that citric acid in there until all of the salt dissolves. Once you’re finished scrubbing, leave the paste on your board for about ten to fifteen minutes, rinse it off, stand it up, and let it dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you don’t have any white vinegar on hand, you can easily clean your cutting board using apple cider vinegar. Simply mix three-quarters of a cup of water with one cup of apple cider vinegar and pour or spray it all over your board. Take a soft cloth or sponge and wipe your board in the direction of the grain, making sure the vinegar spreads everywhere.
Once you’re done scrubbing, let your board sit for approximately twenty minutes, before giving it a quick rinse. Don’t worry about the strong scent of the vinegar, as it will dissipate as your board dries. If you really can’t take the smell, try adding an essential oil to the mix to make it more aromatic.
Regardless of which method you choose to clean your board, always be sure to dry it with a clean towel, and to leave it to dry standing upright so it can dry on all sides. That way you’ll be sure to prevent any moisture that can lead to mold and bacteria from getting trapped.
No matter how you slice it, wooden cutting boards are wonderful kitchen tools. By giving them the extra care and attention they need, you can ensure that they are always clean, sanitized, and deodorized, while looking beautiful.