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Kitchen cleaning: How to clean a chopping board

A vital part of food hygiene is cleaning chopping boards - it helps prevent food contamination and keep your home germ-free. Read on for handy tips!


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Keeping your chopping boards clean is an essential part of kitchen hygiene. After all, the chopping board is where you do all your food preparation – from dicing garlic to slicing raw meat. There’s a significant risk of spreading harmful bacteria, like salmonella and e-coli. The good news is that a regular cleansing routine can prevent food contamination and ensure your chopping board – and your kitchen – stays as germ-free as possible.

Here’s a handy video demonstration on how to clean your chopping boards:

For a quick, effort-free cleaning solution you can place plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher – this way no extra washing or scrubbing will be necessary.

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Key Steps:

  1. It’s important to use different chopping boards for different types of food; this will prevent cross contamination and save you from constantly having to wash your chopping board when preparing meals.
  2. Hot water and a dishwashing liquid are essentials for everyday chopping board cleaning.
  3. On a weekly basis, give your chopping boards a thorough clean with a sanitising solution.


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Cleaning Chopping Boards 

When cleaning your chopping boards, bear in mind:

  • The best method for keeping chopping boards clean is to scrub them in the washing up bowl, using very hot water and a dishwashing liquid like Persil Washing Up Liquid.
  • Rinse and dry your chopping board with paper towels, as dishcloths often contain germs from hands and other food equipment and may contaminate a clean chopping board.
  • Running your cutting boards through a dishwasher with a reliable detergent will get you the best results; a dishwasher should not be used for wooden boards as they can warp in high temperatures.

Sanitising Chopping Boards 

To practise a good level of chopping board hygiene, sanitise your chopping board every week, or more often if necessary. Here’s how:

  • The most effective method is to soak cutting boards in a solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine-based bleach to a gallon of water.
  • Leave for half an hour, then rinse thoroughly, and air-dry upright on a rack.
  • Alternatively, use common household ingredients with anti-bacterial properties, like white vinegar, to wipe over the cutting surface before leaving to dry.

Tip: If you notice your chopping boards are starting to smell of onions or raw fish, dip a paper towel in pure lemon juice, or rub half a lemon over the surface and it will smell citrus-fresh in no time!

Preventing Food Contamination

No one wants an upset tummy from contaminated food. Follow this advice to avoid potential problems:

  • Buy hard acrylic or rubber boards, as they are generally considered the most hygienic choice (these are commonly used in restaurant kitchens).
  • Wooden boards should be kept as clean and as sanitised as possible.
  • Consider using beeswax or mineral oil to treat the surface of wood cutting boards every few months, to help form a natural seal against food contamination.
  • It’s safest to use different boards for different types of food. You should have at least two: one for raw meat and fish and one for vegetables, bread and anything that can be eaten safely uncooked.
  • Purchase colour-coded sets of cutting boards, or label your boards yourself, so that you remember which board is which.
  • Throw away any chopping boards that are really cracked, scratched and or visibly dirty. Like all kitchen equipment, cutting boards have a shelf-life and it’s vital that you get rid of old boards to maintain a safe, healthy kitchen.

Be sure to check out our other articles about kitchen hygiene and how to clean dishclothes and sponges for more helpful cleaning tips!

Originally published