How To Clean A Wood Cutting Board: The Complete Guide

A wood-cutting board is a valuable kitchen tool that requires proper care and maintenance to ensure its longevity and hygiene.

Regular cleaning of your wood cutting board keeps it looking great and eliminates bacteria that can contaminate your food.

In this post, we’ll show you how to clean a wood cutting board and provide you some handy hints for keeping it in great condition.

Why Clean A Wood Cutting Board?

Wooden cutting boards are porous and can absorb juices, oils, and food particles, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

Cleaning your cutting board after each use helps eliminate these contaminants and prevents cross-contamination between different food items.

Additionally, proper cleaning helps maintain the integrity of the wood and prevents it from absorbing unwanted odors.

Supplies Needed For Cleaning

Before we dive into the cleaning process, gather the following supplies:

  • Dishwashing liquid or mild soap
  • Warm water
  • Sponge or scrub brush
  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Coarse salt
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Food-grade mineral oil

How To Clean A Wood Cutting Board: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparing The Cutting Board

Start by removing any loose food particles from the cutting board. Use a spatula or the flat side of a knife to scrape off excess residue. Next, rinse the board with warm water to remove surface-level dirt.

Step 2: Scrubbing With A Cleaning Solution

Create a cleaning solution by mixing dishwashing liquid or a mild soap with warm water. Dip the sponge or scrub brush into the solution and gently scrub the entire surface of the cutting board.

Pay extra attention to any stained or soiled areas. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive materials that can damage the wood.

Step 3: Removing Tough Stains

Natural ingredients like white vinegar or lemon juice can work wonders for stubborn stains or odors. Sprinkle some coarse salt on the cutting board, then rub it with half a lemon or a cloth soaked in white vinegar. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

How To Clean A Wood Cutting Board
How To Clean A Wood Cutting Board

Step 4: Drying The Cutting Board

After cleaning, completely dry the cutting board to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood and causing warping or breaking.

Before moving on to the next step, wipe away any excess moisture with a clean cloth or paper towel and let the board thoroughly air dry.

Step 5: Oiling The Cutting Board

To maintain the wood’s natural beauty and prevent it from drying out, it’s essential to regularly oil your cutting board. Apply a food-grade mineral oil using a clean cloth or paper towel, rubbing it evenly across the surface and edges.

Let the oil penetrate the wood for a few hours or overnight, then wipe off any excess oil before using the cutting board again.

Tips For Maintaining A Wood Cutting Board

  • Avoid submerging the cutting board in water or exposing it to prolonged periods of moisture, as this can cause damage.
  • Never put a wood cutting board in the dishwasher, as the high heat and water pressure can warp or split the wood.
  • Sanitize the cutting board periodically by spraying it with a mixture of water and white vinegar, then letting it air dry.
  • Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Sanding the cutting board occasionally can help smooth out any rough surfaces and remove stains.


Cleaning and maintaining a wood cutting board is a simple yet crucial task that ensures both its longevity and the safety of the food you prepare.

You can preserve your wood cutting board in top shape for many years by following the instructions in this article and using the advice given.

Remember to clean it after each use, remove tough stains using natural ingredients, dry it properly, and oil it regularly to maintain its natural beauty.


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