Skip to content

How To Clean Wood Cutting Board

Wood cutting boards are not only a staple in every kitchen, but they also add a touch of rustic elegance to your culinary space. However, with regular use, they can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and foodborne illnesses if not properly cleaned and maintained. So, if you’re wondering how to keep your beloved wood cutting board in pristine condition, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning and sanitizing your wood cutting board, ensuring that it remains not only visually appealing but also safe for all your food preparation needs.

Cleaning a wood cutting board may seem like a straightforward task, but there are certain techniques and precautions that need to be followed to achieve optimal results. From removing tough stains and odors to preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms, we will cover it all. So, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, join us as we delve into the world of wood cutting board maintenance and discover the secrets to keeping your culinary companion in top-notch condition. Get ready to elevate your kitchen hygiene game and embark on a journey to a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable cooking experience!

how to clean wood cutting board


How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board

Cleaning your wood cutting board is essential for maintaining its longevity and ensuring food safety. Regular cleaning prevents bacteria buildup and extends the life of your board. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning your wood cutting board.

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have the following supplies:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Sponge or soft cloth
  • Vinegar or lemon
  • Coarse salt
  • Mineral oil or cutting board oil

Having these supplies ready will make the cleaning process more efficient.

Step 2: Scrub the cutting board

Start by rinsing the wood cutting board with warm water to remove any loose debris. Then, apply a small amount of mild dish soap to a sponge or soft cloth. Gently scrub the surface of the cutting board, paying attention to any stains or residue.

If there are stubborn stains or odors, you can create a paste by mixing equal parts coarse salt and lemon juice or vinegar. Use this paste to scrub the affected areas, then rinse with water.

Step 3: Sanitize the cutting board

Sanitizing the cutting board is crucial to eliminate any bacteria or germs. You can use a diluted bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. Mix one tablespoon of bleach or hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of water, then use a sponge or cloth to apply the solution to the cutting board.

Allow the solution to sit on the board for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. This step will ensure that any remaining bacteria or germs are eliminated.

Step 4: Dry and oil the cutting board

After cleaning and sanitizing, it is important to dry the wood cutting board completely. Use a clean towel to remove any excess moisture from the surface. Then, allow the board to air dry in a well-ventilated area for a few hours.

Once the cutting board is completely dry, apply a thin layer of mineral oil or cutting board oil to protect the wood. Use a clean cloth to spread the oil evenly across the surface, including the edges. Let the oil soak into the wood for a few hours or overnight, then wipe off any excess oil with a dry cloth.

Step 5: Maintain the cutting board

To keep your wood cutting board in optimal condition, there are a few maintenance tips to follow:

  • Regularly oil your cutting board to prevent drying and cracking.
  • Avoid soaking the board in water or exposing it to excessive moisture.
  • Avoid cutting raw meat directly on the board to reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Periodically sand the surface of the cutting board to remove any deep stains or scratches.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure the longevity and cleanliness of your wood cutting board.


Cleaning a wood cutting board is a simple yet vital task that should be done regularly. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can keep your cutting board clean, sanitized, and in excellent condition. Remember to gather the necessary supplies, scrub the board thoroughly, sanitize it, dry it properly, and maintain it regularly. Following these steps will help you maintain a safe and hygienic cutting surface for all your culinary needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about how to clean a wood cutting board:

1. How often should I clean my wood cutting board?

It is recommended to clean your wood cutting board after each use. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and maintains the board’s durability. After using the board, wash it with hot, soapy water, and then rinse it thoroughly. Allow it to air dry completely before storing.

Additionally, it is a good practice to sanitize your wood cutting board regularly. You can do this by applying a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water to the surface of the board. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse and air dry.

2. Can I use bleach to clean my wood cutting board?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach on a wood cutting board. Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage the wood and leave behind a strong odor. Instead, opt for natural cleaning methods like hot, soapy water and vinegar solutions.

If you are concerned about bacteria, you can also use hydrogen peroxide as a natural disinfectant. Simply pour a small amount onto the board, spread it evenly, and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and drying.

3. How do I remove stains from my wood cutting board?

To remove stains from a wood cutting board, start by sprinkling coarse salt onto the surface. Gently scrub the salt into the stain using a lemon or half of a cut lemon. The acidity of the lemon helps to lift the stain. Rinse the board with warm water and dry it thoroughly.

If the stain persists, you can create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge. Rinse well and dry completely.

4. Can I use oil to clean my wood cutting board?

No, using oil to clean a wood cutting board is not recommended. Oil can create a sticky residue on the surface and promote the growth of bacteria. However, oiling your wood cutting board regularly helps to maintain its condition and prevent cracking.

After cleaning and drying your cutting board, apply a food-grade mineral oil or any other food-safe oil to the surface. Use a soft cloth to rub the oil into the wood, covering all sides and edges. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe off any excess oil before using the board again.

5. Can I put my wood cutting board in the dishwasher?

No, wood cutting boards should not be put in the dishwasher. The high heat and moisture can cause the wood to warp, crack, and lose its natural oils. Hand washing is the best method for cleaning a wood cutting board.

Use hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or brush to scrub the surface. Rinse it well and dry it thoroughly. Remember to never soak the board in water or leave it to air dry standing upright, as this can lead to warping. Always store your wood cutting board in a dry, flat position.

how to clean wood cutting board 2


How to Care for a Wood Cutting Board

In conclusion, maintaining a clean and sanitary wood cutting board is crucial for both the longevity of the board and the safety of your food preparation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your cutting board remains free from harmful bacteria and stains. Regularly cleaning your board with hot soapy water, disinfecting it with vinegar or bleach, and periodically oiling it will not only remove any lingering odors or stains but also protect its surface.

Remember, a well-maintained wood cutting board not only enhances the aesthetics of your kitchen but also promotes a healthier cooking environment. By implementing these cleaning techniques into your kitchen routine, you can enjoy the benefits of a clean and bacteria-free cutting board for years to come. So, don’t forget to prioritize the cleanliness of your wood cutting board and make it a regular part of your kitchen cleaning routine.

Go Top