Clean Wooden Cutting Boards Naturally with Lemon and Salt

Tips from The Kitchn

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Every month or so I give my wooden chopping boards a spa treatment by using a few simple kitchen ingredients: lemon, salt and a little elbow grease. Read on for instructions on this simple, effective way to give your chopping boards a deep clean.

I learned to do this years ago when I worked in a community kitchen that had a huge butcher block-topped prep table. The table was wiped down several times a day and always looked clean. But once a week we would do a special cleaning with salt and lemons and I was always impressed by how much cleaner it got the surface. My evidence? The dirty gray sludge that I would scrape away every week, despite the fact that the kitchen was very clean and well kept

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The procedure is simple:

  1. Sprinkle the cutting board with coarse salt.
  2. Using a lemon half with the cut side down, scour the surface, squeezing slightly to release the lemon juice as you go.
  3. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then scrape the gray, dirty liquid into a small bowl using a bench scraper, and discard.
  4. Give the surface a final rinse with a clean wet sponge.

You don't even have to use a freshly cut lemon — a mostly squeezed lemon will do here and it is a great way to use one up from a cooking project. I am also curious about adding baking soda to the mix which I've heard helps to freshen the boards. Has anyone tried this?

(Images: Dana Velden)