How to Clean a Cutting Board

A cutting board is probably one of the most used items in a busy kitchen, and as such it has a lot of contact with food-borne bacteria. Even if you only use the board occasionally, bacteria can set up home there if the board isn't cleaned and sanitized after each use [source: Keenan].

Here we present several effective ways to keep your cutting board clean and bacteria-free. Remember, regardless of the method you use to clean a cutting board, keep the board dry when you're not using it.


  • Scrub the board with hot water and soap, then rinse and dry it thoroughly [source: Heloise]. Avoid submerging a wood cutting board in water, because if the board soaks up water, it may crack as it dries.
  • Disinfect the board by wiping it with full-strength white vinegar. This is a good method to use if someone is allergic to chemical cleaners.
  • Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide on a paper towel, and wipe the board. If you do this after cleaning the board with vinegar more bacteria will be killed.
  • Pour a mild bleach solution on the board. Let the board stand for several minutes before rinsing [source: Heloise]. Either let the board air dry or dry it with paper towels. Alternatively, you can use a weak vinegar solution.

To remove strong odors from the cutting board, try the following:

  • Rub the cutting board with either course salt or baking soda. Let the salt or baking soda sit for a few minutes, and then rinse the board.
  • Sprinkle the board with salt and then rub half a fresh citrus fruit all over the board. Wash the board with hot, soapy water [source: Heloise].
  • Spray undiluted vinegar on the board and then rinse.