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I was prepping this afternoon, as I often do, getting everything in order to make dinner, when I realized something. My cutting boards are dirt-tay.
In denial, I started grabbing my veggies and herbs from the fridge and pulling out my favorite chef’s knife to chop up a delicious medley of fresh ingredients. But, I couldn’t ignore the obvious. My poor cutting boards were in bad shape. One stilll covered in little pieces of dough I had rolled the night before. As well as some stained green color which I’m guessing was from cookies or play dough. Guilty!
My cutting boards are loved and used at least twice a day. I’m guilty of a quick wipe down and off to the next task. Par for the course of a mom of four busy little ones. Today, was the day, to give them some lovin’. A good cleaning is what they deserved. Cutting boards suck-up everything, which is why I don’t cut raw meat on my wood boards. I also cut my onions and oranges on different blocks, so I don’t transfer flavors. I don’t want onion flavor in my lime sorbet.
How exactly do you go about cleaning porous wood chopping blocks or cutting boards?
I learned this amazing trick some years ago. A trick I’m going to share with you, today. You never want to use a chemical cleaner, even green cleaners, on your boards, because they suck-up everything. Wood is like a sponge. You want to draw out anything that could cross contaminate, leaving your board clean, sanitized, and ready for use. One simple ingredient does just that, salt.
Now, when it comes to salt it doesn’t need to be high-quality. Save the good stuff for cooking. A simple, non-iodized salt will do (like this). I prefer to use a sea salt. Its granules are bigger and I feel like I get that “salt scrub” effect. Salt naturally draws out smells and flavors that might have seeped into the wood while cutting peppers, for example.
Cleaning with salt is super simple. Here’s how to achieve a clean cutting board or chopping block in a few simple steps:
How to Naturally Clean a Cutting Board or Chopping Block
- 1/3 cup salt
Measure 1/3 cup of salt.
Thoroughly wipe the cutting block and sprinkle salt liberally across the surface.
Once it's spread out, walk away and leave the salt to do its cleaning. A few hours will work. No time? That's alright. You can still get a nice clean board from what I'm about to show in the next step.
Wet your hands. Start rubbing your hands on the board. The salt with clump and form a slight paste. Use the salt to scrub the surface of the board. You'll also achieve soft hands. Think, spa salt scrub.
Wipe the board thoroughly with a cloth.
Seasoned, clean, and ready-to-use!
Now, chop away. Dinner doesn’t make itself, or so I’m told.
More DIY cleaning recipes: