In the kitchen, cutting boards (and cheese boards too by the way) are necessary for safe and sanitary food preparation, providing a surface for chopping, slicing, and dicing. To maintain the board’s usefulness and condition for many years, it’s essential to properly care for and maintain it by cleaning and storing it correctly.
Cleaning is crucial for maintaining hygiene and preventing harmful bacteria from developing on the cutting board. It’s best to scrub the board thoroughly with hot soapy water after each use and rinse it off.
Plastic cutting boards
Plastic cutting boards are a common kitchen tool for food preparation, but proper care and maintenance are necessary to keep them in good condition and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some tips to help you care for your plastic cutting board:
- After each use, clean the board with warm water, gentle dish soap, and a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals as they can damage the surface of the board. Rinse the board off with warm water and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Sanitize your plastic cutting board with a vinegar or bleach solution after each use to inhibit bacteria growth. To make a vinegar solution, mix one part white distilled vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the board’s surface. Let sit for five minutes before rinsing off with hot water. For a bleach solution, mix one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of warm water and submerge the cutting board in the solution for several minutes before rinsing off with hot water and drying thoroughly.
- Avoid chopping on both sides of the cutting board as it can cause warping or cracking over time. Instead, cut on one side while leaving the other side free from contact with sharp utensils.
- Avoid placing hot items on your plastic cutting boards, as this can cause the surface to melt over time. Always use pot holders when lifting pots or pans from a stovetop onto the cutting board surface.
- Periodically inspect your cutting board for knife marks and scratches on both sides. If you notice any significant dents or cracks, replace the board immediately to avoid damaging knife blades from coming into contact with jagged edges.
- When storing your plastic cutting board, ensure it is completely dry before putting it away in an easy-to-find spot. Never store it wet, as this will encourage mold growth over time.
Wooden cutting boards
Proper maintenance of a wooden cutting board is crucial to ensuring its longevity!
- To begin with, cleaning the board with hot soapy water after each use is vital. Use a gentle and mild soap, as harsh or abrasive cleaners can harm the wood. If you prefer, you can also clean it with a vinegar and water solution or a specialized food-safe wood cleaner.
- After cleaning, dry the wooden cutting board thoroughly with a soft cloth or paper towel, never put it in the dishwasher! Drying the board completely will prevent warping and cracking due to moisture buildup.
- To provide additional protection, you can apply mineral oil or beeswax to your cutting board regularly. Mineral oil keeps moisture out of the wood, while beeswax adds an extra layer of protection against grease and stains. Just rub either one onto the surface of the board with a soft cloth and let it soak in for around half an hour before wiping off any excess with a clean cloth.
- When not in use, store your wooden cutting board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If possible, store it vertically to avoid warping over time. Finally, if your cutting board exhibits signs of wear and tear, such as deep scratches or nicks, consider sanding it down with fine-grit sandpaper and then reapplying mineral oil or wax for added protection. With proper care, your wooden cutting board should last for years to come.
Glass cutting boards
Taking care of a glass cutting board is essential to keep it in good condition and make it last for years. Here are some tips to follow:
- Before use, wash your glass cutting board with warm water and mild soap, then rinse and dry it with a soft cloth.
- Always place a wet towel or damp paper towel between the glass cutting board and the surface you’re cutting on to protect both from scratches caused by the knife. Ideally, use separate cutting boards for different ingredients.
- After using the board, immediately clean it with warm water and mild soap (if necessary) and let it air dry naturally on a drying rack or towel. Do not submerge the board in water for extended periods of time as it could cause warping.
- To protect your glass cutting board from scratches and wear, apply some mineral oil every few months. Avoid using abrasive materials and never put the board in the dishwasher. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach regularly as they can cause damage over time.
- Over time, scratches may appear on the board regardless of how careful you are. This is natural and doesn’t indicate a lack of care. However, if the board becomes worn out, replace it to ensure it is always in top condition when needed.
Following these tips will help you enjoy using your glass cutting board for many years with proper upkeep.
By taking some extra care in the cleaning, oiling, and storing of your cutting boards, you can effortlessly preserve their quality and durability. Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of cutting boards for decades if done correctly, making them an indispensable kitchen tool. Since they are a crucial surface for food preparation, it is essential to keep them clean and well-maintained. This article will outline various types of cutting boards, appropriate cleaning methods, and long-term upkeep tips to keep them in excellent condition.