How to Renew Cutting Boards

There is an ongoing debate over which type of cutting board is safer and best to use: wood or plastic.

Renewing Plastic Cutting Boards

Renew plastic or wood cutting boards with proper care and attention to details.Renew plastic or wood cutting boards with proper care and attention to details.
Regardless of which kind of cutting board you've chosen for your kitchen, there are ways to renew your board and keep it fresh. Proper maintenance of your cutting board will prolong its lifespan, but if you've let the care of your board slip, there are steps that can be taken to rejuvenate cutting board surfaces.

Mix 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of bleach in your kitchen sink. Place the plastic cutting board in the water and allow it to soak for about fifteen minutes. Remove the board.

Place the wet board on a dishtowel. Cover the board with baking soda. Squirt enough lemon or lime juice onto the baking soda to create a paste as you rub the board with a clean toothbrush. Leave the paste on the board for 15 to 30 minutes.

Rinse the paste from the board beneath the tap, and then wash the board in hot, soapy water. Rinse, and allow to dry.

Lay your board on a flat surface to determine whether it is warped. According to Food Service Warehouse, if your board doesn't lie flat, you should replace it to avoid injury. However if your board is only slightly warped, wash it in the dishwasher. Immediately remove the board while hot, and place it on a flat surface.Stack heavy books on top of the board for an hour. Most boards will show an improvement in the amount of bowing or warp.

Renewing Wood Cutting Boards

Sand any light grooves or cuts with a fine-grit sandpaper in a circular motion. If the cuts and grooves on your board's surface are deep, they can shelter bacteria and the board should be replaced.

Wash the board in hot water with liquid dish detergent.

Place a container of mineral oil in a container hot water to warm the oil. When the oil is warm, cover the board with the mineral oil. Allow the oil to saturate the wood. The mineral oil seals the wood so bacteria cannot penetrate and hydrates the wood to keep it from becoming dry and brittle.

Mix 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and scrub the solution into the wood cutting board with a dishtowel to eliminate odors. Rinse the board, and completely dry it with a dishtowel.

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Dishtowels
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Clean toothbrush
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Heavy stack of books
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Mineral oil
  • White vinegar


  • According to Food Service Warehouse, for wood cutting boards re-apply mineral oil when the wood appears lighter in color. If you use your board daily, re-oil once a month.


  • Do not use cooking oils to seal wood surfaces. These spoil and rot on the wood.
  • Do not use bleach on wood cutting boards.

About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.