Cleaning molds out of wooden cutting boards is not rocket science. These boards require regular cleaning than non-wooden cutting boards (e.g; Plastic cutting board, Glass cutting board, Bamboo cutting board, etc). First of all, we should know how to clean wooden cutting board mold. But only cleaning is not enough. As they constantly come in contact with raw meat and fishes, as well as cesspools of kitchen bacteria, they attract a lot of it to them as well.
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To clean your wooden cutting board remove the food particle using a non-abrasive scrubbing sponge with hot soapy water, rinse the water completely from the board. Wipe the excess water using a paper towel and leave the board to air dry in a shady area.
So, In this article, we’ve discussed a few crucial tips to keep molds off your precious cutting board. Let’s dive in!
What is mold or mould?
Mold is one type of fungus. These small creatures can be black, white, orange, green, or purple and live almost anywhere indoors and outside. Molds flourish on moisture and reproduce through lightweight spores that travel through the air. You’re exposed to mold every day. They’re usually harmless in small amounts. But when they land in a damp place in your home, they can start to grow. They release spores that you might breathe in. If you’re sensitive to mold and inhale a lot of spores, it could make you sick.
Process of How to Clean Wooden Cutting Board Mold?
Rinse the board thoroughly
The first step of removing molds is to clean the board thoroughly. Most wooden boards and butcher blocks are dishwasher safe. But you should not use it to clean your board. Rather, wash them carefully on both surfaces with warm water and your regular dish soap or detergent. Make a mix of 1 part warm water and 2 parts of your cleaning agent, then apply it thoroughly on your cutting board with a sponge to scrub the board. You can also use your kitchen sink to complete this process more easily.
Scrape the surface
After you’ve lathered the board, take a metal spatula. You could also use the blunt side of a knife for. Make fast, angled movements on the chopping board to wipe away the mold. Apply some pressure to make sure everything is off (Avoid excessive pressure too far away from stain for your chopping blocks). Afterward, rinse the board properly with running water.
Dry the board
Drying the board is a very important part of the process. If the board isn’t dried properly or damp on the boards, water might accumulate on it, and mold will form again eventually.
Once you’re done rinsing the wood cutting board, use a towel and wipe off any bit of extra moisture from the board. Later on, put it on vertically on your dish rack and let the air dry it thoroughly. This might take a few hours, but make sure you dry it thoroughly. Once the cutting board is completely dry, move on to the next step.
De-odorize the board
Dealing with odors is another important part. If the odors stay, the board likely has bacteria in it, which will eventually stagnate. We recommend using natural products to sanitize so that the quality of the wood remains intact. Salt, vinegar, and baking soda are common de-odorizing agents that are cheap and easy to use.
If you’re using salt or baking soda, simply sprinkle them all over the wood boards so that the salt is spread across in a uniform manner all over the chopping blocks. Let it stay for a while, and then wash it away.
However, you can use vinegar as the deodorizer as we did. It’s a bit more expensive compared to salt and baking soda; it can do a better job. Soak a few paper towels with white vinegar and put it on top of the board for a while. Afterward, remove the vinegar with some water. This should help get rid of all the smell.
Sanitize the board
Now that your cutting board looks and smells like new, it’s time to remove every bit of problem from your board. In a spray bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of bleaching powder in 500 ml water which will disinfect the wooden board. Now, Close the bottle tightly and shake it well. Bleach is corrosive, so make sure it doesn’t come in contact with your skin. Wear gloves if necessary.
Spray the solution into the chopping board carefully, ensuring the entire board is soaked thoroughly and no part is left empty. Let it sit for a while, and then wipe it clean. Make sure it’s thoroughly clean before using the wood board again. Otherwise, the bleach will seep into the food.
Sand the board
This is optional, but this is more of a last resort when nothing else works. After following all the steps thoroughly, if you still find mold in your chopping board, sanding is the last option.
Take 100-grit sandpaper and gently sand the upper body of the cutting board. Make uniform moves all over the board to make sure no part remains uneven. Once all the mold is removed, give it a rinse.
However, sanding does come at a cost. It will take off parts of the board during sanding. So, we don’t recommend sanding as a regular process, but rather as a last resort when nothing else works.
Season the board
The last step of the mold removal process is seasoning the board. Materials like bleach, baking soda, etc. can dry out the board and make it rough to work with. To prevent the lack of nutrients and make sure the quality is retained, seasoning is necessary.
To season the board, take a light coating of any mineral oil variety in a piece of cloth and lightly rub it over the board. Wipe off any excess residue and let it dry. Once it dries, you can start using it again.
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How to Prevent Wooden Cutting Board Mold
These are the simple steps of cleaning mold off your cutting board. However, prevention is better than cure, and following a few simple rules can keep your cutting board free from mold for a very long time.
Here, are 6 steps on how to prevent mold from wooden cutting board steps.
Choose the right chopping board
First and foremost, choosing the right chopping board is very important for easy maintenance. Most cheaper wooden chopping boards are made of softwood that is damaged by the strokes of your knife. The knife leaves Porous on the board due to its soft build, allowing food materials to get stuck. The food later stagnates and forms mold.
For this reason, we recommend using hardwood chopping boards. Woods like maple, walnut, cherry, etc. are stronger and can deal with the regular wear and tear from big knives. So, choosing a chopping board made of a hard category of wood is the first step to having a mold-free cutting board.
Use multiple cutting boards
Having more than one cutting board is not only a smart move but a hygienic one as well. When cutting meat, fishes, or any sort of protein, the residues or remainings from them can stay on the board. Afterward, when the same board is used for chopping herbs or something like bread, the residues can seep into those items, eventually causing cross-contamination.
So, we recommend having a few boards for different actions. Have a good-quality, well-seasoned board for cutting proteins and raw items. Use the older boards to cut things like herbs and loaves of bread since they don’t require a lot of technical effort. Chopping boards with the container would be a good choice for you
Clean the board regularly
Although cleaning isn’t the best way to get rid of mold, they’re fairly effective. Every time you’re done with your butcher block it thoroughly with water and detergent. Regular cleaning will make sure nothing harmful remains on the board, and it’s safe to use again.
Dry it properly every time
Drying is just as important as cleaning. If your board has water stagnated in any parts, the water will eventually dry and cause mold. So, making sure the board is completely dry is very important. After every wash, dry it with a towel and then let it dry in the dish rack. Make sure it doesn’t stay wet for too long.
Make seasoning a regular habit
Seasoning might look like an overrated task at times. Why do you need to season a board, or what difference just a small dollop of mineral oil can make? However, the difference between a well-seasoned and under-seasoned butcher block is night and day. A well-seasoned board is rigid and can distribute its weight better. As a result, it’s strong and doesn’t break easily. However, an under-seasoned board is likely to break if too much force is applied.
Furthermore, seasoning helps maintain moisture and fills all the pores in the wood, thus leaving no space for mold to grow. Therefore, season your board once every week before work.
Store it properly
Storage is an important part of preventing molds as well. If you have a dish rack, keep it at the top of the rack, positioning it vertically. This will dry it quickly and prevent it from coming in contact with dirty dishes.
If you don’t have a dish rack, keep it in a cool, dry place away from moisture and dirty dishes. You can put it in a cabinet drawer and clean the place after taking it out every time.
FAQs about How to Clean Wooden Cutting Board Mold:
1. What causes mold to develop on wooden cutting boards? Mold can develop on wooden cutting boards when moisture and food particles are left on the surface for an extended period. The porous nature of wood allows bacteria and mold spores to penetrate the material, leading to mold growth.
2. How do I know if my wooden cutting board has mold? If you notice black, green, or dark spots on the surface of your wooden cutting board, it is likely mold. Sometimes, mold may also cause a musty or unpleasant odor. It’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent the mold from spreading and contaminating your food.
3. Can I still use my wooden cutting board if it has mold? It is not recommended to use a wooden cutting board that has mold on it. Mold can be harmful to your health, and using a contaminated cutting board may transfer the mold to your food, leading to potential health risks.
4. What is the best method to clean mold off a wooden cutting board? To clean mold off a wooden cutting board, start by scrubbing the surface with a mixture of white vinegar and water using a brush or sponge. Rinse it thoroughly and then apply a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing again. Finally, dry the cutting board thoroughly to prevent future mold growth.
5. How can I prevent mold from returning on my wooden cutting board? To prevent mold from returning on your wooden cutting board, make sure to keep it dry after each use. Avoid soaking the board in water and always dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Additionally, it’s a good idea to periodically apply a food-grade mineral oil or beeswax conditioner to seal the wood and create a protective barrier against moisture and mold.
Molds are a major problem for most kitchens. They’re dirty and extremely unhygienic. They create the risk of cross-contamination, which can lead to a plethora of diseases.
However, wood is more susceptible to bacteria due to the natural elements in it. However, they’re easier to use and a lot more versatile when compared to other cutting board materials. Also, dealing with molds in wooden chopping boards isn’t rocket science either. We’ve discussed free simple steps to both clean and prevent further molds from building up. We hope you find this article helpful!
If your wooden cutting board has already molded and you are looking for a way to get rid of the rust, watch this video
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