Cutting boards. We all have them, yet none of us really know how to clean them properly. We know there could be bacteria all over the thing, but outta sight, outta mind, right?
Wrong. Keeping your cutting board clean is important and should be a priority. Just like you clean your glassware, pots and pans, you should aim to keep your cutting board spick and span on a regular basis. It'll keep your food uncontaminated, your kitchen from stinking and your stomach settled.
Below, check out our tips for taking care of your dear old cutting board, wooden or plastic, so you can enjoy your food with ease.
Wooden Cutting Boards
According to Epicurious, how you use your wooden cutting board dictates how you should clean it. If you've been chopping things like veggies or nuts, run the board under hot water, apply dish soap to a gentle sponge or brush and scrub the surface for a few minutes. Let the board air dry by standing it up against the wall.
If you've been using it to chop raw meat, Food Network recommends disinfecting the board with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Pour it over the surface, spread it around using a sponge and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a clean sponge to wipe off the excess liquid when the time's up.
But as a rule of thumb, you should avoid cutting raw meet on a wooden cutting board. Bacteria can seep into the crevices of the wood and fester, contaminating the surface. You should also avoid putting a wooden board in the dishwasher, as it will dry out the surface, causing it to crack and splinter.
To remedy a dehydrated board, the pros at John Boos recommend oiling the surface with a food-grade oil once a month. Olive oil is not a good choice, because it goes rancid quickly. Mineral oil and beeswax, on the other hand, do a good job at moisture replenishment. Spread the oil around the surface with a soft cloth, leave it on for 24 hours and remove excess liquid with a towel the next day.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Martha Stewart notes that, unlike their wooden counterparts, plastic cutting boards can go in the dishwasher. You must use the hottest setting to ensure the wash completely rids the cutting board of bacteria. Plastic cutting boards are also less porous than wooden boards, so they are better for handling raw meat.
If you're looking to hand wash your board, run both sides under very hot water and scrub with dish soap and a sponge. Next, spray a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons chlorine bleach to one pint water all over the plastic and let it sit for 2 minutes. This will kill all impurities. Rinse the bleach solution and store the newly clean board upright to dry.
Ridding Wooden And Plastic Boards Of Odors
Lemon and salt are safe to use on either board type to rid the surface of any harsh odors. Pour grainy sea salt onto the surface of the board and using a half of a lemon, scrub the salt all over. The acidity will help cut any unpleasant stench. The salt will also help absorb odors.
Now that you've finally learned how to clean your cutting board, see how you can keep it from sliding when you use it next:
Also on HuffPost: