How to Disinfect Cutting Boards and Countertops
Try these tips for thoroughly cleaning two of the most-used spots in your kitchen.
Solid countertops and a good cutting board are the unsung heroes of your kitchen. They provide us with valuable space and are used for almost everything involving a meal. Which is exactly why we have to be extra careful about their sanitation.
Cleaning a Countertop
Although you want your countertop to shine, make sure that whatever you use to clean it doesn’t figuratively poison the well. Whether it’s stripping the shine (if it has one) or making it hazardous to drop food on, what we use to clean our countertops can with consequences.
For a surefire way to clean just about any countertop, from laminate to granite, use a mix of rubbing alcohol and water and follow these steps:
- Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove stuck-on grime or food from the countertop
- Spray a solution of equal parts isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water. This mixture will not harm most surfaces and works as a disinfectant. The alcohol itself dries extremely quickly and kills bacteria on contact. If the smell becomes too offensive, there are scented versions of rubbing alcohol available
- Wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth – this is the secret to regaining shine
This solution can also act as a general household disinfectant and cleaner.
Cleaning a Cutting Board
Cutting boards are made of all sorts of materials that are naturally porous and may retain bacteria after heavy usage. Disinfecting these can be a little trickier, as not all are dishwasher safe. If improperly cleaned, your cutting board could hold residual cleaning solutions inside it, making it both hazardous and smelling like whatever you used to clean it.
Take note: Just because a cutting board is made of a certain material does not make it safe to clean with a solution specifically made for it. Remember that this is the surface on which you’re cutting the food you will eventually ingest. Avoid using polish or chemicals meant to make it “pretty,” as this could soak into the board itself.
For wooden cutting boards:
- First, wash the cutting board with Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and warm water after every use. Allow it to dry completely as well. Do not soak or put it through the dishwasher, as this could begin to warp the board itself
- After drying, spray white vinegar on the cutting board, rinse with cold water and let it dry completely. You can also use a heavily diluted bleach solution (1 tablespoon per about 25 fluid ounces). Another option is hydrogen peroxide. Use a paper towel or cloth wet with hydrogen peroxide (don’t pour it onto the board itself) and wipe the surface before rinsing it off
- If your wooden cutting board begins to smell, the vinegar solution often does the trick. If not, pour some salt on it and cut a lemon in half. Rub the lemon and salt into the cutting board to help get rid of both garlic and onion odors
For glass cutting boards:
- Running the cutting board through a dishwasher with a Cascade Platinum ActionPac or cleaning with hot, soapy water should do the trick
For plastic cutting boards:
- Many plastic cutting boards can be run through the dishwasher
- If you’re facing tough stains or stubborn smells, the heavily diluted bleach solution used for wooden cutting boards works as well