April 17, 2013

How to clean stained cutting board {naturally}


Clean a Stained Cutting Board

I have a nice big wooden cutting board. I LOVE this cutting board so I was super bummed when I stained it cutting strawberries for dehydrating. I should have used a plastic cutting board, but I didn’t even think about it. I should have cleaned it up right away, but I didn’t. So how do you get stains out of a cutting board?

I tried cleaning the stained cutting board with a hot dish cloth and it barely made a dent. Since it’s a food surface I didn’t want to use anything toxic. I found a combination of lemon, salt and baking soda worked pretty great.

Ingredients needed

Coarse, rock salt (that means big chunky salt. If you don’t have this, regular salt will probably work).

Baking soda

Lemon, probably only need half of a lemon


First sprinkle salt on top of the stain.  Using a lemon half scrub the salt. This will release lemon juice onto the stain and the salt will start to “scratch” away the stain. Add more salt and keep scrubbing if needed. For more abrasion you can use a toothbrush (a clean one) or a scrub brush. Be careful for things like steel wood that could damage the wood.


Then sprinkle baking soda over the stain. It will bubble from the lemon juice (exciting, right?). Then use an abrasive sponge or scrubber (I have homemade ones from grandma), scrub the stain. Lots of elbow grease. Lots.

After your done scrubbing – rinse cutting board off and wipe vigorously with a wet dish towel. Like you’re washing a dish. Then wipe down and dry. It’s important to DRY it well, sitting water could warp your cutting board.


TA-DA! It worked awesome at removing the stains from my cutting board. I do still had some remnants of strawberry on my board but it’s very faint. I decided I better save some elbow grease for the other cleaning I have on my list today – but I bet if you were determined this technique could get any stain out.  I bet you could also use some white vinegar – it would add a bit more of a disinfecting quality.

In the future, I’ll save myself the hassle and use a plastic cutting board for those fruits that are more likely to stain my cutting boards. Lesson learned.

How do you clean your cutting boards? How do you remove stains from your wooden cutting boards?

I got this tip from Food.com – they recommend using salt or baking soda, but I recommend using both! 


    Leave your comments here...


  1. After you clean it and dry it, rub it liberally with a food safe oil (I use plain olive oil) to keep it sort of stain resistant. Let it soak in overnight, and you’re ready to go! It makes really easy to wipe off using a damp sponge and it will prevent any other damage to your board.

  2. Deborah Durkee says

    When it’s wet from cleaning, sprinkle with salt to draw out the excess water

  3. Deborah Durkee says

    If it is quite damp, after cleaning, sprinkle it with salt to draw out the water, when dry rub extra salt off

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