How To Clean A Wood Cutting Board After Raw Meat

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 02/01/21 •  4 min read

The cutting board is essential in any kitchen.

In fact, many chefs out there testify that you can never have too many of them in the kitchen.

And it’s easy to see why, considering how important they are in keeping your countertop safe, keeping things sanitary, as well as keeping things neat in the kitchen.

Without a doubt, the best type for any kitchen is a wooden one, and the key to keeping things clean is proper maintenance, especially after cutting raw meat.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to clean your wooden cutting board after raw meat, along with a couple more tips on maintaining one.

Read on to learn more.

Effective Methods to Try

It’s not just your hands that need proper sanitizing when prepping food in the kitchen.

In fact, all your equipment, from your knives and pots to your cutting boards, need to be in pristine condition to prevent food poisoning.

This is true especially after you cut, slice, chop, and prep raw meat, since there can be many bacteria in the ingredients before cooking.

And it’s also important to remember never to put any wooden tools in the dishwasher, and this is especially true with chopping boards.

There are many ways out there for you to try. And we’ll go through them in this section.

Good ‘Ol Soap & Water

This is the most convenient method to clean your kitchen gear.

To do this, all you need is hot water and dish soap.

This could be antibacterial dish soap or regular dish soap; both would work very well.

To start, run the hot water onto both sides of the chopping board to rinse as much residue as possible.

After that, apply some soap and use a brush or a sponge to start scrubbing.

Pay extra close attention to the areas with knife marks or scratches and give those areas a good scrubbing.

Make sure to soap and scrub both sides even if you chopped on one side since residue can soak through to the other side.

After scrubbing, turn the water back on and rinse!

To finish things off, make sure to dry the material with a clean towel before storing it.

Using Bleach

If you sliced raw meat and really want to make sure all the bacteria are eliminated, you can use bleach.

Put a tablespoon of it in a gallon of water and let the board soak in it for a couple of minutes.

Once that is done, rinse it and dry it with a clean towel before storing it.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the same way to clean a wooden board. Just make sure to adjust the ratio of the solution.

The right proportion is one part vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to four parts water.

Remember to only soak wooden kitchen tools for no longer than a couple of minutes to prevent warping, cracking, or damaging them.

Using Lemon & Salt

This should be done at least once a month to really maintain your board.

This method involves sprinkling coarse salt (you can use sea salt or kosher salt) onto the surface.

After that, cut a lemon in half and rub it onto the surface (make sure to cover both sides).

Once you’ve given the board a good rub with the fleshy side of the lemon, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse and dry with hot water and a clean towel.

Maintenance Tips

Besides regular cleaning, you will also have to season your board from time to time to make sure it will keep its qualities.

This means applying some oil to the surface to rehydrate and nourish the wood.

The best oil for this is coconut oil since it is shallow in unsaturated fats and won’t give the wood a rancid smell.

When you’re seasoning a wooden board, make sure only to use oil that is low in unsaturated fats, as these can get oxidized very quickly and leave a rancid smell.


And that concludes our guide here.

While many people think that plastic cutting boards are more sanitary, it’s actually the opposite.

Aside from being more sanitary, wood is much more durable, aesthetically pleasing, and usable in a professional kitchen, which is why most chefs out there will be found with wooden chopping boards.

But to make sure you’re clean in the kitchen and to eliminate the risk of accidental food poisoning, you need to make sure your equipment is clean and well maintained.

Your wooden cutting board will always be in tip-top shape and ready for use with these tips and methods!

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.