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Jan 23, 2011 02:37 PM

solution for smelly cutting board?

Does anyone have a solution for getting rid of the smell from my wooden Boos block cutting board? I have conditioned it religiously and kept it dry but it continues to smell like rotten garlic...

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a cutting board (wooden or otherwise) that works well in a small kitchen?

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  1. Baking soda, or lemon juice, vinegar .... followed by soap and water, drying and mineral oil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: knet

      I use white vinegar as a disinfectant after scrubbing with soap and water. Never have had any smelly problems and cut a lot of garlic. If all else fails the OP can sand it down and re-treat

    2. You said you condition it religously and keep it dry. Does that mean you don't wash it with soap and water with a little bleach water once in awhile. It needs to be washed after every major use.

      1 Reply
      1. According to Joe and Ed (the furniture guys) the old timey butchers spread salt on their blocks overnight to remove moisture and odors...This has never worked for me. I use a weak bleach solution spritzed over paper towel on the boards, let it work for an hour, then soap, water, dry. Re-scrape and oil when they start looking really ratty. Some folks keep a small board exclusively for garlic

        1. Like Knet said. Typically, baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar will do the job. Since your board smells bad, there is probably bacteria growth in it. What I will do is to wash it very thoroughtly with soap and hot water, scrub it and scrap it if you can. Then, dry it with papertowel or towels. Then, either apply (a) straight white vinegar or (b) diluted bleach on the board and let the solution sit on top of the board for at least 10 minutes. Make sure you apply sufficient amount on the board. It should look wet and not dry. Finally, wash and rinse the board again.

          The idea is to first remove as much stuffs by washing and scraping, and then use vinegar (acid) or bleach to kill the remaining bacteria below the surface.

          Like everyone else said, you do have to wash the board once awhile. You cannot just oil the board. Finally, what do you use to oil the board. I hope you use minermal oil and not any cooking oil. Avoid using oliver oil, peanut oil, corn oil.... etc.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            What if she just threw the board in the oven at the self-cleaning setting? Would that do the trick?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              it would be a trick for sure...and there'd be a new cutting board purchase in her/his future

              1. re: ipsedixit

                In that case, I would suggest to chop the board into pieces and use it for fire woods. At least you get something out of it.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                You have to wash the board more than"once awhile." It should be wiped with soap, bleach water or vinegar after light use and actually washed after "wet" use like cutting fruits, veggies, meats etc. Wood does have some anti-bacterial properties, but it still needs to be washed. What butchersmight have done in the old days would turn your stomach today.

              3. put the board outside in full sun for 2-4 hours. repeat if necessary. after cutting garlic on a wood board, give it a swipe with a cut lemon, in future.