Wood cutting boards are an essential element of every kitchen tools set. They serve many different functions: from chopping veggies or meat; to serving platters and other exotic dishes. It is only natural, thus, that with such a high usage, the wood cutting boards often get stains. But don’t fret! We’ll share with you our time proven and effective methods to get rid of even the most unyielding of stains.
First things first, always wash your wood cutting board with soap and running water as soon as you’re done with it. Let it air dry before storing it in the cupboard. A little disclaimer here: don’t soak the wood cutting board in water, that will only cause it to split, warp or crack. This little habit will go a long way to ensure that your shiny new wood cutting board remains stainless.
Also, when you chop something that has a potent odour, such as onion or garlics (ghastly smell, both of them, if you ask me) a simple remedy of washing the surface down with a little white vinegar will remove any stench. Once it dries, the smell of white vinegar will evaporate away. Leaving behind a fresh looking, odourless wood cutting board. Always remember to let the wood cutting board stand while drying. Otherwise, moisture will become trapped under the surface.
A famous adage goes, “a stitch in time, saves nine!”. And it couldn’t be any truer as far as caring for your wood cutting board is concerned. To maintain its longevity and vitality, always remember to replenish your wood cutting board with a good natural mineral oil. Douse a piece of cloth in the mineral oil and wipe the surface gently. Do this from time to time, and your wood cutting board will keep looking like it was bought yesterday at the mart.
Moving on, most ingredients that you’d need to remove stains from your wood cutting board, are already a staple of your kitchen cabinet. These include: lemon, kosher salt, vinegar, and baking soda (and water, of course!)
If you’ve got fresh stains on your wood cutting board, sprinkle some baking soda on the surface. Work it hard into the surface with a lemon. Yes you read that right, a lemon! Lemons are acidic in nature, and combine well with baking soda to remove even the most stubborn of stains. And as an added bonus, your wood cutting board will smell fresh and terrific! After you’re done, just rinse the board under running water and let it stand to air dry.
Kosher or Coarse salt is another important natural ingredient to combat stains. Like the baking soda method described above, sprinkle the salt over the stained part of the board. And use a half cut lemon to massage the surface vigorously. Do this for 5 minutes and let the board rest for 15 minutes. Afterwards, scrape the salt off, wash the board under running water, dry it off with a towel, and then let it air dry.
Now, let’s say you’ve cut some meat and made a huge mess while at it. Or maybe you were having a little party with friends and spilled some red wine. Such stains can be cumbersome to get rid off. Sometimes even impossible…but we’ve got that covered as well.
You’ll need to buy a 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, available to buy over the counter. And mix one tablespoon of it in one cup of warm water. Then, dab a cotton swab or a piece of cotton cloth in the solution and wipe the stained area. Be careful not to touch it with your bare hands, as it can sting. Again like before, let it air dry and then rinse it off. You may need to repeat this method twice or thrice if the stains are very old or very stubborn.
If you are one of those people who have neglected to regularly clean and maintain your wood cutting board. Then moisture and bacteria can build up in the pores of the wood and before you know it, Mold starts to grow and sets in. A Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms. Imagine preparing your food on a Mold-infested wooden board…Yuck! To get rid of it permanently, you’ll need to perform the following steps.
First, prepare a soapy detergent solution in water. Use a sponge and this solution to scrub the surface of the wooden board. Remember to use circular strokes when scrubbing and avoid saturating the same region.
Next, rinse the wooden cutting block with clear, warm water. Scrape the surface with a metal spatula held at a 45-degree angle. Stroke vertically across the surface of the wooden board to remove as much fungi and moisture as is possible.Wipe it dry with an absorbent towel. And allow it to air dry. This may take up to several hours depending on the local levels of humidity and the air temperature.
You’ll need to buy chlorine bleach and mix 2 teaspoons in approximately half-gallon of clear, warm water. Mix the chlorine and water in a small bucket. Douse a scrubbing brush in this solution, and use it to stroke clean the surface. This will disinfect and sanitise the wooden cutting board. Again, remember to use circular stroking motions. Let the board air dry for around 15 minutes, and then rinse it down with fresh running water.
And finally, using a 100-grit sandpaper, completely wrap the surface of the wooden board. Sand in the direction of the wood grain, and when there is no trace of any Mold or fungi, wipe the sanding dust away with a piece of damp cloth. Rinse it down with fresh water, and then let it air dry overnight.
If you follow the advice given in this article, you can be sure that your wooden cutting boards are here to stay! With proper usage, and timely care and maintenance, a wood cutting board can often last a life time. We wish you all the best on your culinary adventures and please don’t forget to give us your feedback.