The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How do you clean your cutting board/work surface?

scarlett75's picture

How do you clean your cutting board/work surface?

I just finished making some dough for pita bread and I noticed that my wood cutting board is starting to get kind of "gummy". It's probably due to the fact that I use this as my kneeding surface. Normally, I use some dishsoap and cold water to rince it off after use. And, every other use, I pour boiling water over it to kill germs. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be doing something else? What do you do?

stephen198's picture


I do several things:

When done with the board I take my bench knife and scrape it across the entire board at a low angle. This move generally gets all the stuff that is sticking. And it makes it easier to clean.

I then wash using a bit of soap and water. For sanitation, I spray it with a weak bleach/water solution (1 oz bleach in 23 oz water). Then let it air dry.

About twice a year I gently sand it a bit with fine grit sandpaper. Then wash, dry, oil with mineral oil. The idea here is to smooth out the board if the washing and sanitizing brings up the grain or knives leave small cuts.

If it picks up odors, scrub it with half a lemon with salt on it. Then air dry in the sun.

Also, I have one big board that is only for pastry (I even have it labeled). I have used plastic for baking but think the wood boards are better for this purpose.

scarlett75's picture

After reading your comments, I think it might be time for me to try sanding mine. I've never done that and I've had this cutting board for 10 years - might be time. :)

And, I really like the idea of having a diluted bleach spray for sanitizing. Thanks for the tips!

Dirts's picture

Bleach is listed as a pesticide. It changes the molecular form of bacteria and kills it. Pregnant women are warned to never use bleach.  Without gloves it permeates your pores.  I use a natural Thyme based antimicrobial.  You might want to use a Seventh Generation antimicrobal.  Thats what I suggest.  Bleach just adds another problem inplace of the bacteria on the board.  You can spray the board and let it sit  in the sink for awhile before rinsing it.

Do a search on bleach health effects.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

First I wipe the counter space with a clean sponge or damp paper towel to make sure any grit is removed.


One spray bottle with the Hydrogen Peroxide, and one spray bottle with the white vinegar. 

Hold one bottle in each hand and spray the area with both solutions, then wipe with a paper towel, followed by a a wipe down with a damp paper towel to remove the solution.

*Do not* mix the two solutions and keep them in one bottle, as that will wind up making a much stronger acid that is not what you are looking for in an all purpose cleaner.