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Can You Wash Cutting Boards With Soap? Bleach?

A Knife, cutting boards and spices.

Cutting boards are a staple in restaurants and home kitchens. These tools come in handy as solid places to chop vegetables, fruits, and meats. But what’s the best way to clean a cutting board?

Do you need soap, bleach, baking soda, or special products? Let’s find out more below.

How To Clean The Cutting Board

A woman washing a cutting board in a sink.

Soap and water are usually all you need to clean a cutting board and are generally the best way to clean it, as they will remove most dirt and debris.

However, you may need to use bleach to disinfect the board, particularly if it has come into contact with raw meat.

Washing

To clean a cutting board with soap and water:

  1. Wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water.
  2. Rinse the board with clean, hot water.
  3. Dry the board with a clean towel or air dry it.

Disinfect

To disinfect a cutting board with bleach:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of bleach with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water.
  2. Pour the mixture over the cutting board.
  3. Let the board sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Rinse the board with clean, hot water.
  5. Dry the board with a clean towel or air dry it.

How Often Should I Clean The Cutting Board?

 

A person with protective gloves cleaning a cutting board.

Clean your cutting board regularly, as dirt and bacteria can build up over time. It is especially true if you use the same board for both raw meat and other ingredients.

Wash your cutting board after each use, and disinfect it on a weekly basis.

If you want to keep your board in good condition, keep it clean and germ-free.

Use these tips to clean and care for your cutting board, and it will last you for years to come.

What Happens If I Don’t Clean The Cutting Board?

A cutting board with left over food.

If you don’t clean and disinfect your cutting board regularly, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

These bacteria can cause food poisoning, and they can be particularly dangerous for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. 

So it’s vital to keep the board clean.

Raw Meat On The Cutting Board

You should also avoid using the same board for raw meat and other ingredients, as this can cross-contaminate the food and make you sick.

Cutting boards are not expensive, so you should have two different ones for meat and produce.

Raw meat may contain harmful bacteria, such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella.

If you do use the same board for both raw meat and other ingredients, make sure to wash it thoroughly with soap and water, and disinfect it with bleach before using it for other ingredients.

Cutting board with different sizes and colors.

Many years ago, I worked in some restaurant kitchens. I noticed they had a good system for cutting boards. They would use green cutting boards for produce and red ones for meat. It is a full-proof way to prevent cross-contamination.

Washing Built-in Cutting Boards

If your house is designed with a built-in cutting board, you’re in luck. These can be easily cleaned with soap and water, as they are usually made of non-porous materials that won’t absorb bacteria. You can’t move this type of board to the sink, but you can clean it right where it is.

To clean a built-in cutting board:

  1. Wet a sponge with hot, soapy water.
  2. Scrub the board with the sponge.
  3. Rinse the board with clean, hot water.
  4. Dry the board with a clean towel or air dry it.

You should always clean your built-in cutting board.

Can I Put The Cutting Board In The Dish Washer?

Dishwashing liquid in a box together with cutting boards.

You can put the cutting board in the dishwasher, but it’s not the best way to clean it.

The high temperatures of the dishwasher can damage the board, and it may not get as clean as it would if you washed it by hand.

If you do decide to put the cutting board in the dishwasher, make sure to let it air dry completely before using it again.

Wood Vs Plastic Cutting Boards

Wooden bamboo and a plastic cutting board.

There is a lot of debate about which type of cutting board is better, but it comes down to personal preference.

Wood cutting boards are more durable than plastic, and they’re also less likely to dull your knives. However, they can be more difficult to clean, as they can absorb bacteria.

Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean than wood, as they can be put in the dishwasher. They’re also less likely to damage your knives. However, they’re not as durable as wood, and they can dull your knives over time.

So, which type of cutting board is better? It depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a durable board that won’t damage your knives, go for wood. If you’re looking for an easy-to-clean board that won’t dull your knives, go for plastic.

No matter which type of cutting board you choose, you will need to clean and disinfect it.

Caring For Your Cutting Board

A woman cleaning a chopping board.

With proper care, your cutting board can last for many years. Here are some tips for caring for your cutting board:

  • Wash the board with soap and water after each use.
  • Disinfect the board weekly 
  • Don’t allow the board to soak in water, as this can cause it to warp.
  • Don’t put the board in the dishwasher, as this can also cause it to warp.
  • If the board starts to show signs of wear, sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper and oil it with a food-safe oil to restore it.
  • With proper care, your cutting board will last for many years.

Conclusion

Soap and water are usually all you need to clean a cutting board, but you may need to use bleach to disinfect it.If you don’t clean the board regularly, it can become a health hazard.

If you’re not sure how to clean the cutting board, or you don’t have time to do it regularly, consider getting a new one. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to find.