Your plastic cutting board, or boards, get lots of use on a regular basis. In many homes it serves as the chopping block for raw meat, poultry, vegetables, cheese, and more.
Some people use their plastic cutting boards as serving tools as well. They make excellent cheese boards and platters for spreads of crudities and cold cut arrangements. Regardless of how you use your plastic cutting board, you no doubt realize how easily it becomes stained. Tomato sauce, pomegranates, avocados and more leave their permanent (or so you think) mark on the plastic.
There are important steps that must be taken to leave these cutting boards in clean and disinfected order. Since plastic is porous, a few steps are needed to ensure it is germ-free. If you employ a maid service, they no doubt already know these steps.
Items Needed to Clean Your Plastic Cutting Board
The following items will be useful in cleaning and removing stains from your plastic boards. You can likely find each of them in your kitchen already, or procure them during your next trip to the grocery store. If your maid service doesn’t bring their own cleaning solutions, make sure these are on hand so they can clean your cutting boards.
- Liquid dish soap
- Small scrub brush
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Dry dish towel
Washing and Disinfecting Your Plastic Cutting Board
Fill your kitchen sink with hot water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap to it. Submerge your cutting board and allow it to soak for a few minutes.
Wash the cutting board with your scrub brush and rinse thoroughly. Lay the board flat on a dry dish towel and pour enough white vinegar over its surface to cover all areas with cutting marks. Allow the white vinegar to remain there for up to an hour. Rinse the cutting board thoroughly and dry it or set it in a dish drying rack to drip dry.
Removing Stains from Your Plastic Cutting Board
While the aforementioned steps will certainly clean and disinfect your cutting board, they likely won’t remove any new or set-in stains. This requires an additional step, a sunny day, and a bit more time.
Cut a lemon in half. Rub the fleshy part of the cut lemon onto the stained areas on your cutting board. Sprinkle table salt over the moistened areas. Scrub the area so the salt drives the lemon juice inside the crevices on your cutting board. Brush off any remaining salt with your hand.
Set the board outside on a picnic table, your back porch, or even on a windowsill that gets direct sun. Allow the board to remain there for a couple of hours if possible. The combination of the lemon juice and the sun should effectively bleach the stain out of the plastic.
If your stains are too stubborn for the lemon and salt method, don’t despair. There’s yet another step you can take. Make a paste of baking soda and lemon juice squeezed from the lemon you previously rubbed on your cutting board. Allow the paste to remain on the board for an hour or so. Rinse the paste and scrub any residue off the board.
While some people prefer to use bleach on their plastic cutting boards, not everyone is a fan of using harsh cleaners on surfaces that will come into direct contact with food. There are a lot of maid services that use cleaning products safe for you and your family—as well as for the environment. Using bleach would certainly take less time, but using the lemon and salt method won’t harm anyone. Once back inside, rinse your cutting board thoroughly. Dry the board, and put it away.
How many plastic cutting boards are in use in your home? Many households use as many as a dozen. Now that you know how to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and even remove unsightly stains from your cutting boards you’ll likely get even more years of use from every one of them.
Did you know you can get extra years from your plastic cutting boards, and save cupboard space, by storing them in an upright position? Laying them flat puts them at danger from becoming warped. Standing them up, and simply sliding one out and back in each time you need one will prevent that from happening. And it frees up much-needed space in your cabinet for other kitchen items.