How To Clean Your Cutting Boards And Butcher Blocks For Mold And Bacteria
Mold sometimes forms in places where you would least expect it. Today, I want to address one, or should I say two of those places: cutting boardsboth the plastic and the wood variety and butcher blocks.
Now, before I begin with the steps to take to get rid of the mold, I want to talk about how and why mold would grow there in the first place. Because butcher blocks, and wooden cutting boards naturally have divots and grooves on their surfaces, moisture can penetrate and become trapped in these grooves. The food residue and sometimes mold and bacteria from whatever you were cutting, then clings to this moisture and starts to grow mold and bacteria of its own. Its a rather icky process.
On plastic cutting boards, the issue is usually caused by the sandpaper-like surface of the cutting board not being cleaned thoroughly enough between uses.; Many of the foods that we eat have mold and bacteria on their surfaces naturally. If they are not mold- and bacteria-free prior to setting them on the cutting board, both substances can get ground into the cutting boards surface, only to grow even more bacteria and mold as time goes on. Combine this with moisture, and you can really have a problem on your hands. Wood is also a porous material, so mold can grow into the mold, using the natural substance as its food. Thus, a soap and water cleaning, or a harsh chemical, like bleach or ammonia will not fully penetrate it.
Lets fix that problem right now!
Cutting Board Cleaning Method: Essential Oil Vinegar And Water
- Total time: 5 minutes
- Rating: 2/5
The method: In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, and 5 to 8 drops of good-quality essential oil . Shake, spray the solution over the entire board, then scrub with a stiff-bristle brush. Wash clean with dish detergent.
How it went:It took me longer to combine all the ingredients than it did to figure out that this method wasnt going to work. After spraying the entire board, I began to work the mixture around with a stiff-bristle brush but nothing was happening. Once I added dish soap, I could see bits of turmeric turning the soap bubbles yellow. As far as disinfecting goes, this mixture is a good alternative to bleach, but it wont cut the mustard when it comes to stains.
Make Seasoning A Regular Habit
Seasoning might look like an overrated task at times. Why do you need to season a board, or what difference just a small dollop of mineral oil can make? However, the difference between a well-seasoned and under-seasoned butcher block is night and day. A well-seasoned board is rigid and can distribute its weight better. As a result, its strong and doesnt break easily. However, an under-seasoned board is likely to break if too much force is applied.
Furthermore, seasoning helps maintain moisture and fills all the pores in the wood, thus leaving no space for mold to grow. Therefore, season your board once every week before work.
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Wood Cutting Boards Vs Plastic Cutting Boards
There are some advantages to plastic cutting boards, the main one being price. Plastic cutting boards can be purchased for just a few dollars, like this three-pack of assorted sizes from Farberware . Quality wood cutting boards, like this Natural Acacia Wood Cutting Board , can cost as much as $70 or more.
Plastic cutting boards are also non-porous, so bacteria will sit on top of the board as opposed to being absorbed into the surface. However, bacteria often find a home to breed in the little grooves and scars caused by knives. Luckily, plastic cutting boards are easy enough to clean. Just put them in the dishwasher or clean by hand with hot water. It’s also a good idea to scrub them down with a dish brush .
If you are really concerned about bacteria but don’t want to get rid of your plastic cutting boards, use them to cut vegetables only and use wood cutting boards for raw foods. Keep in mind that if your plastic cutting boards start to look worn out, you probably need new ones.
Wood cutting boards are safer to use than plastic despite the fact that wood is porous. The surface of the wood absorbs bacteria, but it will sink down to the bottom layers of the wood and die, instead of staying at the surface and multiplying. But properly maintaining and cleaning wood cutting boards requires some knowledge and work.
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It All Begins With A Rinse
After slicing and dicing away start with a quick rinse to remove food debris. Just make sure other dishes are not in the splash zone in order to eliminate possible contamination, especially if youve been chopping raw meat.
Next, add a dime-size amount of a castile soap, sal suds, or dish soap to a damp dishcloth. Wash and rinse with hot water. The United States Department of Agriculture agrees all you need to clean a cutting board is soap and hot water !
Just resist the urge to dunk the board into a sink of soapy water. This could cause the wood to split or warp, shortening the life of the board.
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How To Use Bleach To Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Board:
Bleach is a popular stain-remover. From clothes to metals, bleach can be used anywhere. Bleach can be an excellent stain remover for your cutting board as well. The steps for washing your cutting board with bleach are:
- In a spray bottle, take one teaspoon of bleach in 500ml water. Close the bottle well and mix the solution thoroughly.
- Once the solution is done, spray it on both sides of the cutting board, uniformly. Make sure no part is left dry on empty. Afterward, let it stay and dry for at least 30 minutes.
- Afterward, wet a sponge in warm water and wash the bleach away. Make sure the water isnt too hot, and you dont touch the bleach directly.
- Now, mix one tablespoon of dish soap or detergent in 500 ml water and put the cutting board into the solution. Once the solution is thoroughly soaped, please put it in running water and rinse it off.
- Once youre done rinsing, take a towel and dry out any extra water from the cutting board. Afterward, put it somewhere vertically and close to the sun. Make sure it doesnt get wet or come in contact with anything dirty while drying.
WARNING: This is a straightforward and practical step to get rid of spots from your plastic cutting board. However, bleach is extremely corrosive and can damage you if you arent careful. Always wear gloves and make sure you dont put raw bleach in any part of your body. Also, make sure the bottle is closely tied when shaking to prevent the mixture from entering your eyes.
Clean Your Board With Oil
The thing about using oil to clean your board is that you have to use enough to make it stay clean, but not too much that the oil will wipe away the boards flavor. So if you use too much, the oil will end up getting on the board, and you will end up with a dull surface that needs to be re-oiled to keep it clean. If you use too little, the board is left with a grimy surface that wont clean up nicely.
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How To Maintain A Wood Cutting Board
Once youve got it sparkling clean, its important to understand about proper wood cutting board maintenance.Simply from the point of view of health and safety, its important to keep any food preparation surface or utensil free from mold and bacteria. However, show your wooden board some proper care and attention and, unlike plastic boards, it will last you for years or even decades. A well looked-after board will maintain its appearance and even become more pleasing to look at if you show it some TLC once in a while.
Keep your board squeaky cleanAny board thats not cleaned properly will quickly grow bacteria and mold. For this reason, you need to wash your board thoroughly with warm water and detergent after every use. If youve been cutting meat, you may wish to use a very mild bleach solution to make sure absolutely all the bacteria are gone.
2. Never soak your boardUnlike pots and pans, you should never leave a wooden cutting board soaking in the sink.
Soaking your board will cause the wood to swell. Over time, this will lead to warping and cracking. Not only does this look unsightly, but cracks are the perfect place for mold to set up shop.
3. Keep your board oiledOiling your board is vital to keep its appearance and stop it from drying out.
Cutting Board Cleaning Method: Baking Soda Salt Vinegar And Hydrogen Peroxide
- Total time: 10 minutes
- Rating: 4.5/5
The method: Kitchn has a proven method, which calls for two different steps that can be done anytime. First, soak the board in a white vinegar solution or spray it with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Then, make a paste thats one part baking soda, one part salt, and one part water to scrub out surface stains.;
How it went: Yes, this calls for quite a few ingredients, but theyre all things that were all likely to have on hand anyway. I actually liked that there were two different steps because you can do the soak or skip the soak, depending on how stained your board is. The scrub mixture ends up being the perfect consistency: thin enough to spread around on the stained cutting board, but not soupy. I usually know what to expect when using baking soda on a stain it takes a bit of elbow grease, but eventually the stain disappears. Im happy to report that this took a bit less effort than I had been expecting.
How do you clean your plastic cutting boards when theyre extra stained? Tell us in the comments below!
Ashley traded the quiet life of a small town in a big house for the hustle and bustle of the Windy City. On any given day you might find her working on a freelance photo or blogging gig, wrangling her little darling, or walking Chuck the boxer.
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What Kills Black Mold Naturally
Black mold removal is really tough, But not impossible.
First of all, mix two parts baking soda with one part white vinegar and one part hot water. Then, Shake the mixture until it becomes a thick paste. Afterwards, Spread your mixture liberally onto the surface and let it dry. Then, Scrub away the;black mold;and stains, and wipe it down with water or warm water.
Removing Stains From Your Plastic Cutting Board
While the aforementioned steps will certainly clean and disinfect your cutting board, they likely wont remove any new or set-in stains. This requires an additional step, a sunny day, and a bit more time.
Cut a lemon in half. Rub the fleshy part of the cut lemon onto the stained areas on your cutting board. Sprinkle table salt over the moistened areas. Scrub the area so the salt drives the lemon juice inside the crevices on your cutting board. Brush off any remaining salt with your hand.
Set the board outside on a picnic table, your back porch, or even on a windowsill that gets direct sun. Allow the board to remain there for a couple of hours if possible. The combination of the lemon juice and the sun should effectively bleach the stain out of the plastic.
If your stains are too stubborn for the lemon and salt method, dont despair. Theres yet another step you can take. Make a paste of baking soda and lemon juice squeezed from the lemon you previously rubbed on your cutting board. Allow the paste to remain on the board for an hour or so. Rinse the paste and scrub any residue off the board.
How many plastic cutting boards are in use in your home? Many households use as many as a dozen. Now that you know how to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and even remove unsightly stains from your cutting boards youll likely get even more years of use from every one of them.
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How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Board:
If chemicals like bleach arent for you, you can opt for something natural likeHydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural stain remover that can effectively remove tough stains if you let it rest properly. The steps of using hydrogen peroxide only are:
- When using Hydrogen peroxide, always buy the 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution. Theyre safe to the skin and easy to use.
- Mix 2 parts of 3% Hydrogen peroxide in 1 part water and make a solution. The solution shouldnt be too thick that its hard to pour. Make sure you add enough water to wet the entire cutting board.
- Put the solution in a spray bottle or simply pour it thoroughly over the board. Make sure every bit of it is wet, and no part is left dry.
- Keep the cutting board at rest for at least 2 hours. Its better to keep it in the solution overnight. After youre done resting the board, youd see some visible differences already.
- Now, wash the hydrogen peroxide away with detergent and water, similar to removing bleach. Once youre done, let it dry in a safe spot.
- One additional step you can follow after cleaning is to remove all sorts of bacteria and odor. If you have a dishwasher, put it in the dishwasher in a hot cycle. This will make it as clean as new. However, if you dont have a dishwasher, you can give your dishwasher an optional scrub and clean as well.
WARNING: Although Hydrogen Peroxide isnt as harmful as bleach, its still reasonably corrosive. So, make sure you have your safety gear on when youre working.
How To Remove Potent Strains Using Lemon With Salt:
You may combine lemon juice with abrasive, coarse salt for some stain-lifting severe power. Just pay attention to the following instructions to get a fantastic result.
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Why You Should Clean Plastic Cutting Boards Without Bleach
Many people use bleach to clean plastic cutting boards. They choose bleach because it is good at removing stains and kills germs.
Unfortunately, cleaning with bleach can damage your health and corrode surfaces.
- Bleach is a sodium hypochlorite solution which is dangerous to inhale, irritating to the skin & eyes, and toxic to consume.
- Bleach is a strong base with a pH of around 12.;Because of its high pH bleach is corrosive to materials it touches, including plastic.
- Most tutorials;for removing cutting board stains with bleach use undiluted bleach. This advice goes against the manufacturers recommendations
Luckily hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove plastic cutting board stains safely, without damage!
- Hydrogen peroxide is often called oxygen bleach.; It is a great stain remover, surface brightener, and bacteria killer.
- Unlike chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide is not corrosive to surfaces and is non-toxic.
- After use, hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into oxygen and water.
How Do You Remove Black Stains From A Wooden Cutting Board
Cutting boards are one of those weird kitchen products that no one really knows a ton about. We all have them, and we all have multiple of them. We do our very best to keep them clean, but sometimes spots and stains still happen, especially with wooden cutting boards. There are various ways to keep them clean, but one of the biggest questions is how you remove black stains from a wooden cutting board?
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Cleaning Wood Cutting Boards With Dish Soap
Luckily, cleaning a wood cutting board by hand is easy enough. All you need is hot water , dish soap, and a brush or sponge. Rinse the board off with hot water and apply soap. You can use regular dish soap or antibacterial dish soap, if you want. Then scrub away! If you notice any knife marks, scratches or inconsistencies in the wood, make sure to give those areas an extra hard scrubbing.
Make sure to properly clean and scrub both sides of the board. Even if you only used one side to cut ondon’t forget that meat juices can drip and contaminate the other side. Finally, be sure to thoroughly rinse off each side with hot water. Then dry off the board with a cloth or paper towel. You can also drip dry in an upright position.
How To Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting
If you are disturbed by the stains on your plastic cutting board, you will be surprised to know what a Lemon can do to mitigate your pain. Lemon juice is an effective agent that serves the purpose of removing the stains significantly.