How to Clean, Remove Stains, Sanitize, and Store Your Cutting Board

A wooden cutting board on a dark counter with a small knife sitting on top.
  • 0.25
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
Chlorine bleach
Kosher salt
Nylon scrubbing sponge
White vinegar
Liquid detergent

Your kitchen cutting board gets a lot of use and this means that it gets a lot of exposure to bacteria. Proper cleaning of the cutting board is essential to your good health, so whether you use a wood or a plastic cutting board, you should know how to clean and sanitize it after every meal.

Cleaning the Cutting Board

After using the cutting board to slice, dice, or chop all kinds of neat goodies, use a metal scraper or spatula to scrape away any remaining bits and pieces of food. Throw the scrapings into the garbage disposal, garbage receptacle, or trash. Then, you’ll want to wash the board thoroughly with hot, soapy water. If your dishwasher reaches a temperature of at least 165°F, you can probably place a high-density plastic cutting board into the dishwasher instead of washing it manually. Moreover, if your dishwasher has an antibacterial cycle, use it to clean the board. Allow the board to air dry when it’s finished.

Removing Stains from the Cutting Board

If your cutting board has stains on it, you can use a simple procedure to try to remove them. Wet the stained area with water and sprinkle it with kosher or sea salt. Allow the salt to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

The next day, add a little clean water to the salt to create a paste. Scrub the paste on a stained area with either a nylon scrubbing sponge or a clean toothbrush, and then rinse with fresh water. Repeat the process to remove all of the stain. Follow this up with another hot, soapy scrub and another rinse before letting the cutting board air dry.

Sanitizing the Cutting Board

Plastic and wooden cutting boards can be sanitized using a diluted liquid chlorine bleach solution. Combine one teaspoon of bleach to one quart of water, and pour the solution onto the entire surface area of the board, allowing it to sit undisturbed for several minutes. Rinse the board clean with water. Let it air dry or use a clean cloth soak up the water.

If you prefer, you may use a vinegar solution in place of the bleach solution. Simply combine one part vinegar to five parts water, and use it in the same manner described above.

Storing the Cutting Board

Once the cutting board has completely dried, it is time to store it. Cutting boards should be stored vertically or in an upright position to avoid moisture getting trapped underneath and to prevent the accumulation of dust or grime on the cutting surface.