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Can Wood Cutting Boards Go in the Dishwasher?

A cutting board with white and black pepper.

It might be tempting to submerge your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. But, it isn’t a good idea. Wood can splinter, warp and even break when exposed to moisture and high heat in a long washing cycle.

Related To: Do Dishwashers Save Water?

How Can I Clean My Wooden Chopping Board?

Here are ways to clean your chopping board.


A woman cleaning a chopping board.

First, rinse your board with hot water from the tap. Then clean it by hand using warm soapy water. Don’t use scourers or brushes that are too abrasive to avoid damaging the wood. A soft sponge, scrubbing brush, or cleaning cloth with plastic bristles should be used to remove the remaining food stains from the board. Pay attention to any scored marks or light scars.


You need to sanitize your wooden chopping board after cleaning regularly. This ensures it’s completely food safe.

Simply spray a kitchen sanitizer onto the surface of the board. Then wipe away after 30 seconds with a clean, dry sponge/cloth.


You’ve to disinfect your wooden chopping board after cleaning, and especially after chopping or preparing raw meat. I normally prefer chlorine-based bleach to disinfect my board once I dilute it.

I use a teaspoon for every three pints of water for an ideal dilution. Then spread the solution over the board and let it rest on the surface for a few minutes.

Finally, I clean thoroughly with warm soapy tap water and rinse well. Please ensure you remove any traces/marks from the board when using bleaches.


A modern house kitchen sink with wooden chopping board.

Immediately after cleaning and sanitizing the board, pat the underside using disposable towels or a catering roll. Then allow it to dry. I don’t recommend drying it in direct sunlight as that causes the wood to splinter and crack. 

A dry, wooden chopping board should be stored upright to prevent moisture from cumulating underneath. An upright posture help prevents airborne particles like dust from settling on the cutting surface. Be sure to purchase a chopping board rack as it offers the most hygienic storage method.

After cleaning, rub the board with half a lemon when you detect a strong odor. It leaves it smelling fresh and sanitizes the surface, too.

Moreover, seasoning your wooden chopping board is a crucial maintenance tip. But not all boards come seasoned. Therefore, some need seasoning before first use. Season your board when it appears to be losing its seal, and this might be weekly or monthly based on its usage.

Why Should I Oil My Wood Chopping Board?

Wooden Chopping board with pepper and oil.

Your wood chopping board needs oiling to prevent drying, cracking, and warping. Oiling keeps the board’s anti-microbial particles off, too. The oil fills the spaces in the wood fibers and prevents water from entering the wood.

Accumulated water causes splits and cracks. Bacteria hide and multiply in these tiny spaces, too. Therefore, preventing your board from having these small spaces is best to keep it hygienic.

Oil your board using food-grade mineral oils at least twice a month after disinfecting. Any other type of oil can attract bacteria and leave an unpleasant odor. Smear a thin coat of oil on the board’s surface (sides, back, and front) and buff the oil into the board in a circular motion using a soft sponge or paper towel. Finally, let the oil soak in for a couple of hours.

With routine cleaning and care, your wooden chopping board can serve you well for an extended period!

How Can I Clean and Maintain My Plastic Chopping Board?

A person chopping mushrooms in a plastic chopping board.

First, never submerge your thin plastic chopping board in the dishwasher. Doing so might cause it to melt and bend because of the heat. While a thicker one is fine, there is no assurance that it can hold in the dishwasher.

So, you need to be cautious and adjust your dishwasher temperature. This helps protect your plastic chopping board from deformation.

If your chopping board melts, it might ruin other utensils. Though that rarely happens, it’s still a concern you should note. It might appear deformed with twists and bends that shouldn’t be there. Either way, you need a flat plastic chopping board.

Can I Submerge a Large Cutting Board in a Dishwasher?

Some heavy and large cutting boards, such as those made of marble and granite, aren’t fit for dishwashers. Continuous exposure of large boards to warm dishwashers causes cracks. 

How Should I Wax and Oil My Board?

Oiling your board depends on the type of wood and how frequently you use it. Twice a month is a good place for a start, but I would recommend you oil your board whenever it appears thirsty.

It’s simple to tell a thirsty board — sprinkle a few drops of water on your board. It should bead up on a sufficiently oiled board. If the water soaks in the wood or disperses, your board needs oiling and waxing!

How Can a Wood Chopping Board Make People Sick? 

A chopping board with leftover slices.

Using a wood chopping board makes foodborne pathogens move from the food prepared to the board. It doesn’t matter what type of food you’re preparing because all kinds of food carry pathogens, from apples to lettuce to meat.

Therefore, you should clean and sanitize your chopping board to prevent these pathogens from growing to dangerous levels. Pathogens might move to the food being prepared and make you sick whenever you use your board.

How Often Should I Replace My Wooden Board?

It would help if you replace your wooden board whenever it becomes scratched, cracked, or shows signs of wear. It can be replaced every few months if it’s used regularly. I recommend you inspect your board weekly and after peak periods of usage. A wooden chopping board used in the kitchen is likely to be replaced more often.

Can I Submerge a Bamboo Chopping Board in a Dishwasher?

A bamboo cutting board in a kitchen sink.

A bamboo cutting board is lightweight, eco-friendly, and pleasing to the eyes. They’re harder than wood and less porous, which means they can dull the blade of your knife quicker than wood. It requires oiling and handwashing because the bamboo might splinter when not sufficiently maintained.

Unfortunately, some bamboo cutting boards are advertised as dishwasher safe, but they start splintering and chipping after a hot dishwasher cycle.

Final Thoughts

Before submerging your wooden chopping board in dishwater, consider how the material holds up in such heat and wet conditions. A plastic might melt if thin enough, and the wood warps, but glass chopping boards are dishwasher safe.