Scenic Erie Station Village

The All-Natural Way to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board

Woman chopping vegetables on a cutting board

June 2024


Wooden cutting boards are a kitchen staple. They’re sturdy, look fantastic, and are gentler on your knives. But keeping them clean can be a bit of a puzzle. You don’t want to damage the wood or leave it smelling like last night’s garlic bread. The good news? You can clean your wooden cutting board naturally, without any harsh chemicals. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to keep your board spotless and in tip-top shape.

Why All-Natural?

Before we get into the how-to, let’s chat about the why. Wooden cutting boards are porous, meaning they can soak up whatever you put on them. So, if you’re using chemical cleaners, there’s a chance some of that residue could end up in your food. Yuck. Going all-natural ensures you’re keeping things safe and healthy in your kitchen.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Wooden Cutting Board

Step 1: Immediate Cleanup

Right after you use your cutting board, give it a quick rinse under hot water. This helps wash away any immediate residue and food particles. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe it down, but avoid using the scrubby side of a sponge, as it can be too abrasive on the wood.

Step 2: Salt and Lemon Scrub

For a deep clean, grab some coarse salt and a lemon. Sprinkle the salt generously over the surface of the board. Cut the lemon in half and use it to scrub the salt into the board. The salt acts as an abrasive to lift stains and food particles, while the lemon juice works as a natural disinfectant. Plus, it leaves your board smelling fresh and citrusy. Scrub in a circular motion, paying extra attention to any stained or heavily used areas.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After your salt and lemon scrub, rinse the board under hot water again. Make sure to get all the salt and lemon juice off. Now, this part is crucial: dry your cutting board immediately. Wood and water are not the best of friends, and leaving your board wet can lead to warping or cracking. Use a clean dish towel to pat it dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Baking Soda Paste for Stubborn Stains

If you have some particularly stubborn stains, a baking soda paste can work wonders. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to create a thick paste. Apply this paste to the stained areas and let it sit for about five minutes. Then, use a sponge or a cloth to scrub the paste in, and rinse thoroughly with hot water. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and will help eliminate any lingering smells.

Step 5: Vinegar Rinse for Disinfection

To give your cutting board an extra level of cleanliness, a vinegar rinse is a great option. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help kill any remaining bacteria. Simply pour a small amount of vinegar onto a cloth and wipe down the board. You don’t need to rinse it off; the vinegar smell will dissipate as the board dries.

Step 6: Oil Your Board

Wooden cutting boards need regular oiling to keep them from drying out and cracking. Use a food-grade mineral oil or a special cutting board oil. Avoid using vegetable or olive oils as they can turn rancid. Pour a small amount of oil onto a clean cloth and rub it into the board, going with the grain of the wood. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to soak in, then wipe off any excess oil with a dry cloth.

Regular Maintenance Tips

  1. Avoid the Dishwasher: Never put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. The intense heat and moisture can cause it to warp and crack.
  2. Cutting Meat: If you’re cutting raw meat, fish, or poultry, make sure to clean your board immediately and thoroughly. Use the vinegar rinse method to disinfect it properly.
  3. Storing Your Board: Store your cutting board in a dry place. If possible, keep it upright to ensure it dries completely and maintains its shape.
  4. Monthly Deep Cleaning: Even with regular cleaning, it’s a good idea to do a deep clean and oiling session once a month to keep your board in the best condition.

Cleaning your wooden cutting board the all-natural way is not only easy but also ensures that your kitchen remains a safe and healthy space. At Erie Station Village, our kitchens are designed for people that love to cook. Each is equipped with modern appliances – including a dishwasher. You can view all of our floorplans and take 3D tours here.