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Feb 7, 2007 08:02 AM

cutting board - soap or blech?

I just bought my 1st bamboo board. I've read on here both ways of cleaning it. Is onw way better than the other? Since this is my all purpose board (no space for more), I felt weird not using soap on it after cutting raw meat. Also, do you wipe dry or let it air dry? How often are you suppose to treat it with oil? I;ve heard anywhere from few weeks to 10 year. So confused, please help.

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    1. re: Joe Blowe

      I think the OP kinda answers itself...if you don't use soap, you're gonna end up with blech!

    2. If I were using that board for cutting raw meat, I'd certainly be scrubbing it down afterwards with soap, hot water, white vinegar w/salt. Not to clean it with everything I've got would be dangerous, I think.

      As for mineral oil on it, you can trust your eye. When it looks dry, just rub it down a bit. Better than waiting too long, having it crack or dry out, and then trying to supersaturate it. As with most things, a moderate approach - a bit at a time - works out pretty well.

      But, when you're dealing with raw meat, chicken, fish, I'd always go for the soap and water, and then air dry or towel dry. I don't think that matters.

      1. I have a second (cheaper) poly board that I use for any sort of raw meat. Those boards are cleaned with a bleach/water solution (25% bleach) after use. The poly boards can also be placed in the dishwasher for a complete sanitizing.

        I like to wipe all my wood boards with a coat of mineral oil once a week under normal use.

        1. I use soap/water on my bamboo all the time---it seems to dry out faster but really no problems. Bleach isn't really foodsafe so I wouldn't really use it ---it is the best anti-microbial for surfaces that you won't eat off of though----takes 10 mins to really kill anything though.

          1. The bamboo boards are made up of many small pieces of bamboo glued together. Because it is held together with glue, and the wood absorbs water and swells, if you wash it in water or bleach, you will destroy it over the course of a few years depending on use. Applying mineral oil every week for a month will give you some protection and if you buy a metal pastry scraper, you can scape your board clean, but the primary cause of all early cutting board failure is water.