How to Maintain and Sanitize Wood Cutting Boards

Whichever kind of cutting board you use, all cutting boards should be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Some of the various techniques recommended for wood cutting boards are as follows (you decide which is best):

Hot water and soap - Scrub board with hot water and soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly. NOTE: NEVER submerge wood cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood is porous and will soak up water causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.

Vinegar - To disinfect and clean your wood cutting boards, wipe them with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against harmful bacteria. Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing. To learn more about studies using vinegar for disinfecting cutting boards, check out this very interesting scientific article: The Microbiology of Cleaning and Sanitizing a Cutting Board by O. Peter Snyder, Jr., Ph.D.

Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a bacteria-killer. First use a paper towel to wipe the board down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide.

Bleach - Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with this sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.


Lemon - Another very easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the surface of the wood cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odors.