Let’s face it. Wood cutting boards are incredibly beautiful and useful items in the kitchen, but they can be a real pain to clean. If only it were as easy as putting them in the dishwasher like you can with plastic boards!
While it does take a little extra work, cleaning your wooden boards actually doesn’t have to be that difficult. Using some items you probably already have handy in your kitchen pantry and a few minutes to spare, you can give your wood cutting board the deep clean it needs to stay useful and helpful for years to come.
In case you don’t already know, that bottle of white distilled vinegar you have is an incredibly powerful antibacterial agent. Because of the acetic acid commonly found – anywhere between 5-20% depending on brand and type – vinegar is extremely useful in doing away with food-based bacteria like E.Coli and salmonella. When you rinse a little on your wood cutting board, you’re helping rid it of any pesky germs that may not have been washed away before.
Lemons and lemon juice are some of the most versatile and useful items you have in your kitchen. Not only do they go great in just about any type of recipe, but it is also an effective ingredient for cleaning and deodorizing your cutting board. The citric acid in lemon juice acts in the same anti-bacterial way that vinegar does, but the citrus smell that comes in each lemon is also an effective way to neutralize offensive smells like garlic, onion, ginger and anything else that might have come into contact with your board over its uses. Just rinse your board with some lemon juice followed by another rinse with warm soapy water, and your board will be smelling fresh as ever.
Above all else, there’s nothing more important you can do for your cutting board than to season it, and there’s nothing better for seasoning your cutting board than coconut oil. Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties that complement those of wood nicely, and its makeup of medium chain triglycerides make it a good fat that will keep the wood fibers hydrated longer than with standard mineral oil. It’s even better when you can combine it with beeswax, but regular coconut oil will do the trick just fine.
For those unsightly blemishes on your boards – the remnants of errant juices, greases and whatever else – there’s baking soda. Also called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a mild alkali that reacts with more dense molecules and loosens their bonds. In the realm of cutting board cleanliness, this means that the baking soda will make your tough grease stains easier to clean away with water after a good scrubbing.
Even with these four all-natural, readily available ingredients, you have all you need to keep your cutting board clean, sanitary and healthy enough to last you for years to come. And since we know that wood boards are good for keeping your knife edge sharp, your knives will thank you too.
Guest post courtesy of Matt Stanley.
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