4 All Natural Ingredients for Cleaning Your Wood Cutting Board
While they are beautiful and incredibly useful items to have in the kitchen, wood cutting boards (e.g. walnut, maple, olive etc), unfortunately, have one minor drawback to them: they cannot be put in the dishwasher when they need a good cleaning. Thankfully, there are a few simple and all natural ingredients you can use to give your wood cutting board the deep clean it deserves.
While it does go well on salads, another thing that vinegar is really well known for is its ability to kill bacteria! Regular white distilled vinegar typically contains about 5% of acetic acid, which is highly effective in killing foodborne bacteria like salmonella, E. Coli and others. Who knew that rinsing your wooden cutting board with some vinegar from the pantry could be so good?
For plastic and wood cutting boards alike, staining can be both an aesthetic and health concern. A stained cutting board is one whose wood fibers haven’t yet been cleaned of the excess fats, grease, and juices that may have run off in earlier food prep. Thankfully, another common ingredient, baking soda, is a perfect help here. Baking soda is also called sodium bicarbonate, which is a mild alkali that makes it easier for stains to soften and be more easily cleaned with water. This is true not just for your cutting board but also for clothing!
There are few items in the world that are as versatile and useful as lemons. As a highly acidic fruit, the juice from lemons can act in the same way that vinegar does, but it also carries a very agreeable citrusy fragrance that can help neutralize more pungent odors that may have made it onto and into your cutting board. If you ever start to notice your board smelling like onions, garlic or raw meat, then rinsing your board with lemon juice will help you both kill food-borne bacteria and deodorize the smells that may be arising.
The ingredients above are useful particularly in cases where your board needs a deep cleaning, but it’s always a good idea to regularly season and maintain your wood cutting board as well. Unfortunately, most commercially available seasoning oils are derived from petroleum byproducts and barely make the grade as food-safe.
There is, however, an excellent all-natural option: coconut oil. As a fat featuring primarily medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil has unique antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent oil to use for reviving and rehydrating the fibers in your wood cutting board. Even better is combining beeswax with coconut oil, but even coconut oil standalone is an excellent option. A regular monthly or bi-monthly seasoning with some all natural coconut oil will yield a board that is healthy and long lasting for years to come.
And there you have it! With these four simple ingredients that are probably already in your pantry (or are easily available at the grocery store), you can care for and maintain your wood cutting boards better than a dishwasher ever could.