What’s the hype over bamboo cutting boards? No hype. They are simply fantastic!
Growing to maturity in roughly four years, bamboo is a remarkably renewable resource. Maple has traditionally been a favorite for use in the kitchen but bamboo has become a staple in the marketplace and is not only stronger than maple, but also considerably lighter in weight.
Caring for your cutting board is easy. Take the initial step in bamboo cutting board care – oil it. The most common application is to pour a little mineral oil on a soft cloth and apply a thin layer to the board. This will help to moisturize it and prevent splitting or cracking.
Bamboo is sensitive to heat and moisture so you never want to put it in the dishwasher to clean it. Instead, try some of these bamboo cutting board care strategies:
Warm Water And Gentle Soap
If you only use it for something less messy, such as slicing a cucumber, you can probably get away with rinsing it in warm water and a mild detergent and then drying it completely.
Salt And Lemon
For tougher stains or odors, you can use coarse salt and half a lemon to clean the board. Generously sprinkle the salt on top and use the cut side of a sliced lemon to scrub across the board. The lemon juice will kill bacteria and freshen the board. Be sure to clean all areas of the board going from corner to corner. If you have thoroughly cleaned your board and a light smell lingers, you can use this same method with baking soda and half a lemon.
Vinegar And Hydrogen Peroxide
Sometimes your board needs a little extra TLC. If that is the case, get two spray bottles. Add ½ cup of white vinegar and one cup of water to one bottle. In the second bottle, add 3% hydrogen peroxide. Don’t add all ingredients to one bottle because it will create a caustic acid that could damage your board. First, spray the cutting board with the vinegar mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse it off, lightly dry it, and then spray the hydrogen peroxide on it. Let that sit for 10 minutes. Gently rinse that off and allow it to dry. After it is completely dry, oil it with a thin layer of mineral oil or unrefined coconut oil, which has antibacterial properties and a long shelf life.
Vinegar And Essential Oils
If you prefer a more natural way to cleaning, you may also add quality essential oils to your vinegar to create a spray. Lemon and melaleuca (tea tree) oils have natural antiseptic properties. Mix your vinegar and essential oil, spray the board, let it sit for 10 minutes, gently rinse, allow to dry completely, and then lightly oil it.
Other tips on how to care for bamboo cutting board include using a different board for raw meats, one for fruits and vegetables, and one more for garlic and onions. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently cross-contaminate other foods on a board where you’ve cut meat.
Finish the same way you started, by oiling your cutting board. There are many vegan products available to help keep your investment conditioned and ready to use. If you sanitize it often, oil it at least weekly. If you use it less frequently, oiling it monthly should suffice.
All that’s left to do now is to toss your plastic cutting boards and get a beautiful bamboo cutting board!