Maintaining and adequately caring for a cutting board can significantly increase its lifespan. This is particularly important when you have a bamboo cutting board as these kind of boards require exceptional care and high maintenance to avoid damages and cracks. In this article, we would specifically learn about how to clean and maintain a bamboo board – essentially a guide to bamboo cutting board care. But before going into that, why don’t we first examine what a bamboo cutting board is?
Bamboo Cutting Boards
Bamboo is a renewable resource used in making cutting boards because of its durability and resistance to bacteria. It makes boards that are light-weighted and environmentally friendly.
Bamboo cutting boards are beautiful and attractive; they can be used by almost anybody. They are used to cut simple food items like bread and fruits.
Bamboo cutting boards are made by shredding bamboo then constructing it into a board with the aid of glue. Some bamboo cutting boards are made from toxic glues that contain formaldehyde, which can seep into food over time. When considering a bamboo cutting board, check if the board is made from toxic substances.
Bamboo boards have hard surfaces that do not allow fluids to pass through them. For this reason, you wouldn’t have bacterial or microbial growths on the bamboo cutting board. Bamboo boards do not retain water in them, and they do not get stained quickly. They are relatively cheap, and they last for a long period.
Bamboo cutting boards are also susceptible to heat and water. They also dull knives quickly leading to frequent sharpening.
You should note that the same bamboo board shouldn’t be used for different purposes. For instance, the board you use for raw meat should not be used for other types of food. Why? This is because harmful germs from raw meat can seep into your bamboo board. Harmful germs that can contaminate other food and lead to sickness.
Now that you know what bamboo cutting boards are, keep reading to learn how you can take proper care of them.
Cleaning a Bamboo Cutting Board
The following steps are required to clean a bamboo cutting board perfectly:
• Step 1: Wash the Bamboo Board
Even though bamboo boards are strong, they should never be placed in the dishwasher because the heat emitted would damage the oil coating protecting it, and this would make the board lose its shape.
Instead, they should be hand-washed with mild soap and warm water for only a few minutes. Then rinse them properly under running water and make sure no food particles are left, especially on the edges. Hot water should not be used because it can damage the board.
Coarse materials should not also be used to wash the board. If you want to remove large food particles, you can simply use an item of soft clothing.
• Step 2: Disinfect with Vinegar
If you use the same bamboo cutting board for raw meat and vegetables, then you would need to disinfect it. A solution of vinegar and warm water can be used. Apply the solution on the board, rinse it thoroughly with water, and dry it gently with a soft towel. Chlorine bleach and three percent hydrogen peroxide solution can also be used to disinfect bamboo boards.
Even though bamboo boards can be disinfected, using the same board for both functions is not advisable.
• Step 3: Remove Stains and Odors
This process should be done after washing and disinfecting or sterilizing the board.
To remove stains, gently rub coarse salt or baking soda on the stain using a damp or partially wet towel.
To remove odors, you can use lemon to rub the board along with coarse salt after which you rinse properly and dry. Using lemon can also help to kill bacteria in the board.
Chemical agents should not be used to remove tough stains or odors from the board.
• Step 4: Dry the Bamboo Board
After washing the board, clean it with a dry, soft, and clean kitchen towel. Then, allow the board to stand on its end so that all the moisture in it would be drained. This might take a few hours, but it helps to keep the board hygienic.
A bamboo cutting board is highly sensitive to water so it should not be left in the sink, else, it would absorb a lot of water and eventually begin to develop cracks, making the board lose its attractive look.
• Step 5: Lubricate with Mineral Oil
Food grade mineral oil should be used to lubricate your board once or twice in a month, depending on how often you use it.
Heat the oil so that it is warm enough and not hot for easy penetration into the board. Rub the oil evenly with a soft cloth on both sides of the board and also the edges.
Let the board stand on its edges for a while so that the oil can get soaked in properly after which you clean off any excess oil left on the board.
Lubricating your bamboo cutting board helps to prevent it from absorbing moisture and cracking due to dryness.
• Step 6: Store in a Cool, Dry Place
Bamboo cutting boards should be stored in an environment that is cool, dry, and has enough air to circulate the board. The best position to place your board is horizontal; this helps the board to maintain its shape and also prevent it from getting warped.
Furthermore, storing your bamboo cutting boards in places like the basement is not advisable because it would not get enough air around it and this would make molds appear on it. Exposing the board to excessive sunlight, heat, and water would cause damage, and the board would lose not only its shape and beauty but also its sturdiness.
Bamboo boards should not be kept with sharp objects that can cause scratches on its surface.
Bamboo cutting boards are great cutting boards and would be a good choice if you are considering getting a cutting board for yourself. Just like any other cutting board, they have their strengths and weaknesses.
Bamboo boards are durable, light, strong, and very affordable. You can get one for as low as $4. They are also highly resistant to bacteria, which makes them very hygienic.
Although bamboo cutting boards are not easy to clean and maintain, they are worth the time you spend to clean them. They are user-friendly and would last for as long as you want if you take proper care of them.