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How to clean wood cutting boards the right way

Citrus, salt and baking soda are just a few of the natural ingredients you can use to clean your cutting board.
Close-up of woman chopping carrot on cutting board
"Make sure you are sealing your cutting board with mineral oil every month if it is wood," Melissa Maker told TODAY Home. Cavan Images / Getty Images stock
/ Source: TODAY

A wooden cutting board can make for a perfect accent in an open kitchen. Something about chopping up vegetables on a plank made from organic material feels both luxurious and very chic at the same time.

But let's get real: Once you've moved on to the messier stuff, like meat, that cutting board starts to lose its crisp, clean appeal. So, how do you clean a large wooden cutting board, how do you clean a wood chopping block and how do you remove stains from a wooden cutting board?

Great news! There are so many ways to clean every kind of cutting board mess.

"Make sure you are sealing your cutting board with mineral oil every month if it is wood, it helps the board last longer and ward off stains and bacteria from setting in," Melissa Maker, author of "Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster — And Loving Your Home Every Day" told TODAY Home.

"To clean, wipe off all debris with a damp cloth and sprinkle board with coarse salt, about a 1/2 cup should do. Halve a lemon and use the fleshy side to scrub the board in a circular motion, working from left to right, top to bottom. When done, give the board a quick rinse or wipe down and blot dry."

Check out some of our favorite methods here including Maker's lemon-and-salt method and read on for even more we weren't able to fit into the video!

How to clean a wooden cutting board

Here are five easy methods for cleaning and maintaining a wooden cutting board.

  1. The homemade paste: If your mess requires something a little more TLC, you can make a DIY cleaning paste to take care of it. Combine one tablespoon baking soda, one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon water. Cover the board in the homemade paste and scrub away any grime.
  2. The lemon-and-salt method: This option's super easy and smells great. All you need is a lemon and some salt. Sprinkle salt liberally over the cutting board. Cut a lemon in half and rub the salted cutting board with the cut side of the lemon. Rinse off with water.
  3. The paper towel trick: For a quick clean, all you need is two paper towels, a little vinegar and some hydrogen peroxide. Dampen one paper towel with white vinegar and wipe down the board. Then dampen the other paper towel with hydrogen peroxide and wipe the board again. So quick and simple!
  4. The heavy-duty option: After cutting meat or seafood on a wooden cutting board, you'll want to enlist this heavy duty cleaning hack. Combine one teaspoon of bleach with two quarts of water. Cover the board in the bleach solution and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  5. The quickest method: This procedure is very quick, which is part of the reason why we love it so much. It's also great at removing stains (we're looking at you, red onion). Once the cutting board is completely dry, sprinkle salt all over the surface. Scrub the board using a clean sponge soaked in hot water. That's it!

This article was originally published on Sep. 21, 2017.