It is important to properly care for your chopping boards. Your chopping boards are where you prepare your food. They are where you put meals together and chop all those vegetables. If they are not properly cared for, cleaned, etc., then your meal quality goes down, and you run the risk of illness.
So, obviously, caring for chopping boards is important, but how do you care for them? The following are some simple steps or rules for proper cutting board care:
Plastic Chopping Boards
If your cutting board is plastic, then after each use, you must wash it in the dishwasher so that it will be sterilized. If you do not have a dishwasher then good hot water clean with a disinfectant like Zoflora should help.
Cleaning wooden chopping boards daily
If your chopping board is made from wood, you will want to hand wash it immediately after use.
You will want to clean it with hot water and a bar of mild dish soap, then you will need to dry them completely.
Do not put wooden chopping boards away wet; this is an invitation for bacteria to form.
Monthly cleaning of wooden boards
With wooden chopping boards, you will also want to periodically clean them with coarse salt. Scrub away with this salt; it acts as a natural abrasive. You should use lemon juice, which kills odours and has bleaching properties.
However, lemon juice is an acid and can damage the wood, so after you clean it with the lemon juice, be sure to rinse it off really well, rub it off with a damp cloth, then let it dry.
Tips to keep wooden boards clean
Do not put wooden cutting boards into the dishwasher and never soak them in water. Why? Wooden cutting boards will absorb the water, and this can cause them to crack, split, or even develop mould. It also means that bacteria will get down into the inner fibres of the board and make them not as sanitary. So, rinse, dry, wash by hand.
To keep your wooden cutting board from drying out, you will want to rub it periodically with food-safe mineral oil. Be sure it is food safe, or you could poison yourself, or at least make yourself very sick.
Oil brand new boards once a week for a month, then every month for a year, then after that, you can oil it whenever it feels like the wood is parched. To oil the boards, you will want to use a ball of fine steel wool to rub the oil in, then let it sit for five minutes or so, then wipe the excess oil off with a dry cloth.
Any other Cutting Boards
No matter what kind of cutting board you use, if it develops a deep scratch, hard-to-clean groove, or a crack, it is time to replace it. Throw it out. Why? These scratches, cracks, and grooves harbour bacteria that are harmful to your health.
This is why I love glass chopping boards as they last well and do not collect bacteria in the same way.
Now you know how to care for your cutting boards properly, it is not a difficult process, but it is an important one, so never underestimate the power of a clean work surface, especially when it is a surface used for preparing things that will enter your body and fuel your existence.
Your cutting boards are as important to get clean as your silverware, so do not take shortcuts, rather do a thorough job, and be especially careful with your wooden cutting boards. When in doubt, throw it out, and get a new one; this is a safe practice and a good habit to get into.
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