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How do you clean your cutting board/s?

I have a small maple cutting board and a very large maple cutting board. about 24"x30". I thoroughly clean them once a week. I take the large and boards outside and pour straight hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar on them and pour on some fine (cheap) salt. I scrub this mixture on the board with a really course 'scrubby pad'. I then wipe off the board with paper towels and let the boards sit in the sun to dry. I never use tap water to rinse off the mixture. I always save any 'squeezed out' limes and lemons and use them in place of the vinegar if I have any.
What do you use to clean your wooden cutting board/s that I might try?

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  1. I rub coarse salt on them with a little bit of water; rinse under tap water, pat dry and add some mineral oil (if I remember) when dry .

    That's it.

    1. Hot water, dish soap and a scrubby sponge or brush. Rinse well, wipe dry. The idea of using a board that is never washed and rinsed clean really bothers me. PS There are two discussions on this subject on the COOKWARE section....might want to look over there.

      12 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        Distilled water maybe. Tap water never. Most people would be gagging if they actually knew what lives in tap water. Dish soap is LOADED with chemicals. If any one strapped you to a chair and told you they were going to wipe phosphates/petroleum/dyes and perfumes on you you'd call the cops. Those are just a few of the harmful chemicals that you are rubbing onto your cutting board. Using vinegar or lemon/lime juice to 'rinse' off my boards seems to me to be a healthier approach.

        1. re: Puffin3

          "If any one strapped you to a chair and told you they were going to wipe phosphates/petroleum/dyes and perfumes on you you'd call the cops."

          From the above post one would assume you nither bathe, nor use deoderent or perfume.

          1. re: mikie

            You are correct. I never us shampoo/conditioner or store bought deodorants or perfume. Have you ever actually read what chemicals go into these products? For the last ten years we have made our own 100% natural handmade soap/s. We use them for everything from washing our hair to washing our dishes. I don't use deodorant bc I don't stink bc I don't rub man made chemicals on myself. Perfume? What's that? I thought people stopped using that when the first elevator was invented.

            1. re: Puffin3

              I've worked in the chemical industry most of my life, the kinds of chemicals you are talking about really don't phase me. If chemicals bother you, then you are on the right path.

          2. re: Puffin3

            You're kidding right?

            Are you aware that tap water is monitored constantly and bottled water is generally only tested 12 times per year? The standards, regulations, and requirements for bottled water are weaker than they are for tap water.

            There's no need to be paranoid about tap water. If you're going to be nervous about something it should be that obscenely overpriced bottled water.

            Not to mention, tap water is much better for the environment than bottled water in case you're into that sort of thing.

            I encourage you to do your own research apart from all the marketing and hype driven by the bottle water industry. You may discover that you can have a better product in tap water and save plenty of money while doing it! Bottle water is a ripoff. Tap water costs less than a penny per gallon . . . again, that's less than $0.01 per gallon. Save your money!

            1. re: 1POINT21GW

              I personally don't think that there is any problem with most tap water (and I rather dislike the bottled water industry), but your post is way off.

              First, he said "distilled" water, not bottled water. If you don't know the difference, please go research what distilled water is.

              Second, maybe you live in an urban environment and maybe you assume that everyone else in the world lives where tested 'city water' is available. But where I grew up, and where many Americans live, water comes from a well which is rarely tested for purity or potability.

              You really shouldn't stand up shouting that folks need to "do [their] own research," when you haven't bothered to read the post you're criticizing and your assumptions about people's living situations may be erroneous.

            2. re: Puffin3

              <Most people would be gagging if they actually knew what lives in tap water.>

              I think I have a pretty good idea what live in tap water. :) It is not that bad. Human have been drinking water way more dirty than today's tap water since the beginning of... human. In all honesty, tap water is cleaner than pretty much anything in your kitchen. Tap water is cleaner than your beef, your apple, your bread,...etc.

              <If any one strapped you to a chair and told you they were going to wipe phosphates/petroleum/dyes and perfumes on you you'd call the cops.>

              Probably, but if anyone strapped me on to a chair and wipe vinegar and lemon juice on me, I did call the cops too. :)

              <Using vinegar or lemon/lime juice to 'rinse' off my boards seems to me to be a healthier approach.>

              Look, I have nothing against vinegar or lemon juice method, they are great. They are just different than the soap method. They can complement each others. Vinegar is more about using the acid to disinfect. Soap is more about removal of substance. If there is a layer of roast beef or hamburger fat juice on a cutting board, then I think the latter works better.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                <Soap is more about removal of substance. If there is a layer of roast beef or hamburger fat juice on a cutting board, then I think the latter works better.>

                Agree..
                You have to de-grease before you can disinfect..

                Warm soapy water should be fine if your not cutting up raw proteins.

              2. re: Puffin3

                if anyone strapped you to a chair and scrubbed you with vinegar and salt, you wouldn't be too happy either. (acetic acid, sodium and chloride, oh my!) And tap water, now that's cruel and unusual punishment. I think someone's tin foil hat got too hot whilst watching for black helicopters ?

                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                  Some people might pay good money for that........

                  1. re: Robin Joy

                    ! I'm getting a pleasant visual....thigh high boots, a scrubby in one hand and a cat-o-nine in the other

                2. re: Puffin3

                  My dish soap does not contain phosphates, dyes, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Cocamide DEA and the scent comes from lemon oil. Fine for me..

              3. You must mean household hydrogen peroxide solution, which is diluted to 3%.

                Your procedure seems somewhat obsessive to me. I merely wipe off with a damp paper towel after use, and with white vinegar every few weeks. I use peroxide only occasionally, but especially when there is a possibility of contamination from chicken. This is rare, because I prepare chicken on a separate board.

                1. After general use a rinse in hot water followed by scrubbing with a scrubby, soap and hot water.

                  If used for poultry I do the previous plus a spritz of white vinegar which is allowed to sit for 10 min then rinsed with hot water.

                  1. Dishsoap, warm water and a dish rag after each use

                    That is all that is needed.

                    1. Dry "crumby" kind of stuff I brush off with my hand into the sink. Wet stuff I wipe off with a paper towel.

                      I do have a separate plastic board I use for raw meat. It gets washed with hot water and dish washing detergent after using.

                      1. Hand wash with plenty of soap and warm/hot water. Rinse and hand dry.

                        1. < I thoroughly clean them once a week. I take the large and boards outside and pour straight hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar on them and pour on some fine (cheap) salt.>

                          :) You don't need to use hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and salt at the same time. I don't even know what that will do. Just use one.

                          For me, most of the time, I just use soap, water, and a brush really.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I witnessed an experiment years ago. Some one poured some 'household' hydrogen peroxide on a wooden cutting board that had had some sort of fresh meat cut on it previously. In all the tiny knife cuts on the board the peroxide began to foam. The foam was wiped off and more peroxide was poured on. It also began to foam. After a few treatments like this the foaming stopped. Whoever showed us this explained that the foam was caused by the peroxide killed the bacteria. If you ever have say an infected sore dab some peroxide on it and watch it foam. Same thing.

                            1. re: Puffin3

                              Yes, hydrogen peroxide is great for disinfection. I love it. One thing truly good about hydrogen peroxide is that it degrades into water and oxygen. So there is no after taste like vinegar or salt. In other words, you won't have to rinse if you don't want too. Problem with hydrogen peroxide is that it is more expensive than vinegar or salt or bleach...etc.

                              What I was saying earlier is that it is fine to use soap, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar....etc. Just use them consecutively, not a the same time. For example, you can use soap, then rinse, then vinegar, then rinse, then hydrogen peroxide, but don't pour all three in at the same time. I probably didn't make it clear the very first time.

                              1. re: Puffin3

                                Wiki has a good write-up on hydrogen peroxide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen...

                                This man-made chemical, being both an oxidizer and a reducer, can produce foam as long as it comes into contact with something it can react to. Foaming does not demonstrate it's killing microbes. If one has an open wound that's infected, better smear it with over-the-counter antibacterial gel. Using peroxide impedes healing. My doctor scolded me when she found out I had been pouring peroxide over my wound which would not heal.

                                It's one thing to use 30% peroxide to disinfect in hospital settings. It's another to use 3% to clean a cutting board at home. The board probably is nicely deoderized, but I doubt if it's devoid of bacteria after a peroxide wipe or even a soak.

                                This brings me back to the discussion of Chinese BBQ cutting boards. They are scraped with the very cleaver that's been chopping it; they are wiped by rag that's not dry. They are generally big and heavy and I doubt anyone makes it a habit of carrying them to the sink for frequent and thorough washings. The surface of such a chopping board is unlikely to be sterile. However, the flora it hosts probably is less diversed than what exists in one's mouth. Pathogens? Unlikely. I have not heard any instances where folks got sick from eating them BBQ meats. The whole idea of LU (the method of cooking the BBQ) is to preserve the food. The salt and spices in the marinate are pretty potent in keeping microbes at bay.

                                I have to confess though: I bleach my cutting boards and kitchen towels weekly. On a daily basis, it's just commercial dish detergent and warm tap water to clean and degrease.

                                1. re: borntolovefood

                                  <My doctor scolded me when she found out I had been pouring peroxide over my wound which would not heal.>

                                  That is actually. You can use hydrogen peroxide the very first time, but you cannot continuously use it or you will have a very hard time healing.

                                  <This brings me back to the discussion of Chinese BBQ cutting boards. They are scraped with the very cleaver that's been chopping it>

                                  Yes.

                            2. I follow a very simple process that has worked well so far:

                              First, no matter what I've been cutting, I brush or scrape any debris from the top of the board. Second, if I've been cutting veggies or fruit, I wipe the top down with a damp cloth and dry the board. If I've been cutting meat, I use lightly soapy water on a scrub pad and gently and quickly scrub down the top. I rinse with a wet sponge, and dry quickly with a towel. I store the board on end, so it can dry out well. Whenever the board looks dry I treat with mineral oil, and every three for four treatments I follow with a beeswax coating. I don't worry about food smells on my board. If I mince garlic on the board, and it smells like garlic for a few weeks, who cares. My kitchen smells like garlic much of the time I am cooking anyway. I've never had a food oder transfer to a food I cut on the board.

                              In the end, if you have an end-grain maple board, trust its properties. The wood will draw pathogens into itself, where they will dry out and die. We get so worked up about cutting board sanitation, yet many butcher shops will chop meat on a block all day long, and, as I understand it, rely on the wood and sprinkled salt to kill all manner of pathogens over night.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: jljohn

                                Does anyone have first hand knowledge of how those Chinese shops selling BBQ duck and pork clean their cutting boards? They have those big butcher blocks and all I've seen them do is wipe off the board with what looks like a wet towel.

                                1. re: Puffin3

                                  I'm almost positive they scrub them down with hydrogen peroxide, salt, lemon or vinegar and other good stuff. Don't worry! I sure wish we had a bbq duck store around here.

                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    I have a Chinese wood block.

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7513...

                                    For most Chinese BBQ restaurants, they clean it by scraping it with the BBQ cleaver knife during the day. I can ask what they do after work, but I believe they scrub it with a rough brush or steel scrubber.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      I wonder what the health inspectors require of restaurants now days? When I was involved with restaurants there was a 'special' jug of some sort of cleaner that had to be used every day. I don't remember what was in it. Any thoughts?

                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                        Are you talking about the famous blue liquid for sanitation? I forgot the name

                                        Most restaurants prepare diluted bleach for disinfection as well. That is prepared on a daily basis.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          My grandparents had a deli. Poppy scrubbed EVERYTHING down at the end of the day with a bleach solution. That smell of bleach-clean reminds me of the store. :)

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Not straight! I guess I just like the smell of clean at the end of the day in the store. I know, that just sounds goofy, but olfactory memories are powerful. :) Or I'm a freak.

                                              Here's a confession. Know how I clean my cutting boards? Soap and water only.

                                        2. re: Puffin3

                                          <I wonder what the health inspectors require of restaurants now days?>

                                          Up here in Toronto,plastic boards are the norm..small enough to fit in the dishwasher or hand washed with a diluted soap and bleach solution.

                                  2. Plastic goes in the dishwasher ,wood gets a scrub with coarse salt and a half lemon or lime. Once a month a spritz with a weak bleach solution and after rinsing and drying, a coat of bee's wax and mineral oil.

                                    1. Bon Ami, hot tap water, and a cheap "scrubby sponge". Thirty-some years, it's been working. Plastic, wood, bamboo, all good. Maybe I should boil distilled water next time? Use Bleach? Oh, and I often use the same board for vegtables and chicken . . .

                                      1. Soap and water.

                                        No need for anything else. Hot, soapy water will get your wooden cutting board perfectly clean. Wood and bamboo have natural antimicrobial properties that, for reasons still not completely understood, make it a perfectly clean surface to cut on even if meats are cut on it.

                                        So, simply wash your cutting boards with hot, soapy water and you'll be just fine.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                          Yep. I just prefer BA because it doesn't have a strong fragrance like most dish soaps.

                                        2. I only use my wooden board for veg and use a board I can throw in the dishwasher for proteins. Pretty much just soap and water on my wooden board for that reason.