While I have several different types and compositions of cutting boards, this post is specifically written for how to clean wood cutting boards. As everyone knows, a good quality cutting board is considered to be one of the most valuable tools you will ever have in a kitchen. It is, essentially, a workhorse. From chopping onions to slicing meat, it is hard to imagine preparing meals without one. That being said, it is very important to keep it clean and germ-free.
There are many ways to clean a wooden cutting board; however, the one technique that I have found to be the easiest, quickest, and most efficient is simply by using coarse salt and a lemon. The reason I prefer this method is simple. The salt acts like a mild abrasive – loosening any food, debris or liquid left in the wood. The best salt for this application is coarse salt, not table salt – which is smaller in size and more refined. Coarse salt is just that – coarse, and will do a better job of thoroughly cleaning the wood.
A wooden cutting board can (and will) absorb odors, especially when chopping strong vegetables like onions or garlic. This is when using a lemon is most appropriate, as it is one of the best and most natural deodorizers we know of. You only need one-half of a lemon per every wood cutting board, so the cost-factor is very inexpensive. Save the other half of the lemon for other uses, or simply toss in the refrigerator to help neutralize any possible odors there – or in the freezer.
After cleaning and deodorizing your cutting board, don’t forget that you still need to periodically condition the wood to keep it looking its best. One needs to use a quality, food-grade mineral oil to keep wood cutting boards from cracking and drying. Maintaining your boards in this fashion will help hydrate and seal the wood, and in return … will extend their useful lifetime.
So, now that you know my reasons for liking this method, let’s get ready to clean! Have six minutes? That’s how long this whole process will take, including the five-minute wait time.
- Sprinkle coarse salt over your entire wooden cutting board.
- Rub the salt into the board with ½ of a lemon. (Obviously, skin side up.)
- Let the board sit for five minutes to allow for deodorizing and cleaning.
- Rinse the board with lukewarm water. Dry the board with an absorbent towel and store in an upright position.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of lemons. They are great for neutralizing odors, and when combined with coarse salt … they make cleaning wood cutting boards quick, easy, and very affordable! (It’s also a great way to use old lemons that are past their prime.)