The Best Way to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board

Armed with these five strategies and some everyday household items, you can freshen, clean and disinfect this kitchen staple.

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The dishwasher may be a foe to wooden cutting boards, but not to worry — you likely already own the everyday products that will get your board extra clean.

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Rinse Immediately After Use

Studies show that a prewash rinse eliminates enough bacteria so that levels are generally safe — but be sure your other dishes aren't in the splash zone (especially if you've been working with raw meat), or you might contaminate them. And resist the urge to plunge the board into your basin of soapy water. Pathogens will transfer to the water, so you won't be able to use it to clean anything else. Plus, since wood is porous, dunking a board could cause it to split and warp.

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Disinfect with 3 Percent Hydrogen Peroxide

Pour the hydrogen peroxide over the board and distribute it all over the board with a clean sponge. Let it stand for a few minutes as it fizzes and kills germs, and then wipe it off with the clean sponge.

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Remove Stains with Coarse Salt or Baking Soda

Dry the board completely and sprinkle it with a good bit of salt or baking soda. Scrub out the stain using a sponge or a brush dipped into hot water. Or, for extra stain-lifting power, use a half of a lemon to do the scrubbing — the acid gives the abrasive baking soda or salt extra oomph.

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Deodorize with White Vinegar

Got a stinky board? Keep a spray bottle filled with white vinegar and spritz your cutting board whenever it needs to be refreshed (a squeeze of lemon works well here too). The vinegar neutralizes odors and works as an all-natural disinfectant.

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Sanitize Using Diluted Bleach

An occasional extra-deep cleaning is a good idea, particularly after working with raw meat, fish or poultry. Add 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart water and spread the solution over the board (you don't want to fully submerge the board, but you might place it in a basin to help contain the liquid). Let stand for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.

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