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Cutting boards are indispensable in the kitchen. And for good reason, they make the act of cutting a vegetable or fruit easy, almost pleasurable. The firm foundation, the sharp slice a knife makes through said edible and the final thunk of the knife on the wood- a muted, heavy sound.
Keeping cutting boards clean is essential to maintaining good hygiene in the house. It implies clean, germ-free cooking, and don’t we all know the importance of that?
The ways to clean a cutting board are many, and of varying degrees. You have your perfunctory swipe with a standard dish-cleaning liquid or you could be talking about a thorough cleaning procedure- one that siphons off the surface built-up dirt and grime.
Ways to Clean a Cutting Board
1. Dish Soap
The most commonly used ingredient for cleaning wooden cutting boards is dish soap. The process is simple- all you need is hot water, soap, and a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristles might damage the wooden patina of the board.
A slow, thorough scrubbing is recommended with special attention to scuff marks so as to not aggravate them further.
Rinse clean and wipe dry.
This for cleaning a cutting board if it has been used to chop up raw meat or poultry and you want to make sure that all the bacteria are removed.
Add one tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water, and make sure the cutting board is completely submerged. Let it soak for a few minutes.
Rinse and wipe clean.
If you require some heavy-duty bleaching and do not fancy using a chemical product, try your hand at vinegar. One part white vinegar for four parts of water ought to suffice for an average-sized cutting board.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a viable alternative to vinegar. Allow the cutting board to soak in the solution.
It is important to not let the soaking last too long. It may lead to wood warping.
4. Lemon and Salt
A good old homemade recipe to keep cutting boards fresh- give them a good scrubbing every month with a mix of lemon and salt.
The lemon bleaches, owing to the component of citric acid while salt being abrasive, works as a natural scrub.
5. Baking Soda
A baking soda and water paste can be used to clean and disinfect cutting boards. It must not be left on for too long.
Ways in Which To Care for a Wooden Cutting Board
1. Avoid the dishwasher
What might seem a convenient way to clean cutting boards, is actually a surefire way to encounter disaster.
Dishwashers are an absolute no-go when it comes to cutting boards- the prolonged exposure to the heat and swirling water will most likely cause the wood to warp, crack or split.
A way to keep wooden cutting boards going for a long, long time is oiling. Almost akin to what a massage might be for the human body, oiling is a way to replenish and preserve the wood naturally. Additionally, it forms a cohesive outer layer on the wood that makes dirt and grime come off easily.
Oiling is ideally, an overnight process.
The oil should be applied everywhere and liberally.
3. Do not let stains build
The first rule to stain removal- do not let them dry! And if you have, address them as quickly as possible. Once the stain becomes older, it is that much more difficult to get them out effectively.
The same thumb rule applies to cutting boards as well.
4. Do not use harsh chemicals
Wood is a delicate material and does not bear up well to products laden with chemicals. Chemicals cause the natural finish to deteriorate and may also lead to unwanted staining and bleaching. Additionally, chemicals and harsh scrubbing can lead to permanent scuff marks, warping or cracks.
5. Air drying is recommended
When a cutting board is washed or soaked, it naturally absorbs some of the water and contracts. Air drying allows the wood to expand as part of an organic procedure, as the water evaporates.
The time window allotted is also essential- it not rushed.
Propping it upright against a wall is the recommended way to air dry- it allows all sides to be exposed to the air.
6. Vinegar can be used as a Deodorizer
A cutting board is used to chop up a variety of things, some of them with odors that are the opposite of pleasant. If the underlying odor is not periodically gotten rid of, it could affect the resultant taste of the food you cook.
Pungent stenches can be battled by using a white vinegar spritz. Vinegar has a distinctive tart odor that is an effective deodorant. Let the vinegar sit on the wood for a few minutes before you rinse the board with water.
7. Condition the board
A process post oiling, conditioning is equally important when it comes to ensuring the well-being of a cutting board. Wood conditioners can either be store-bought or concocted at home.
The conditioner has a specialized beeswax coating that sits on top of the wood and makes it resistant to water and moisture staining.
As with everything else in life, wooden cutting boards will only be effective, durable, and generally pleasing to look at if well cared for. It is not rocket science neither is it a lot of elbow grease- it merely is a series of simple steps that take up, at the most, a quarter of an hour.
Get cleaning, I say!