The proper way to clean a cutting board
30 July 04

bamboo chopping board.JPG

As mentioned, nonporous boards like plastic, bamboo or composite wood can go in the dishwasher, although Gayman recommends making sure to rinse them well to get rid of any remaining food and set your dishwasher to the highest temperature setting.

If you’re hand washing your cutting board, you want to use a kitchen sanitizer to guarantee that you’ve killed all the bacteria,” he says. “Make a solution of one teaspoon of bleach to three cups of water, pour it on the cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes, rinse it off well and let the board air dry.”

Obviously, there are other commercial sanitizers that you could use, but Gayman points out that these include other ingredients that are harder to wash off, so you’re always running the risk of leaving traces of them on your board.

“You never want to put a wooden board [aside from composite or bamboo] in the dishwasher because the excess water and heat could cause splitting or splintering.”

He says if you’re cutting fresh produce, a good scrub in hot, soapy water will do the trick, but if you’re using it for raw meat, clean it with the diluted bleach mixture as you would a plastic board. Most importantly, allow your wooden cutting board to air dry.

“If your wooden board is wet or damp when you put it back in the cupboard, it’ll create an ideal environment for bacteria and other things to grow.”

To get rid of smells and most stains on either a wooden or plastic board, pour one-eighth to one-quarter of a cup of salt on the board and use half a lemon to scrub it; rinse and allow to air dry. While this won’t disinfect your board, it will eliminate any lingering odours from things like onions or garlic.