Cleaning Your Stained Cutting Boards – Kitchen Shortcut

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on May 10, 2011

Several weeks ago, I mentioned stained cutting boards.  And a number of you threw out some ways to clean them.  After doing some research and experimenting in the kitchen, I figured out what works best for my strawberry stained wood cutting boards!

Step 1- Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the cutting board and then gently squeeze some lemon juice over the salt.  Use the flat side of the lemon to rub the salt and lemon juice around the stains.

The acid from the lemon juice will also help with disinfecting!

Step 2 - Sprinkle some baking soda over the lemon juice and rub gently with a kitchen towel.  Rub for a few minutes, in small-ish circles.

Step 3 – Rinse the lemon juice and baking soda from the cutting board for a minute or two under lukewarm water. Pat dry and then air dry.


What has worked for you in getting those pesky stains out of your cutting boards?!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephany May 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Fantastic . . . I’ve always wondered this myself. Even though no-one else uses my cutting boards, I’ve always found them ugly and embarrassing! Good Tip – Thanks!!! :)


Jessica May 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I use plastic only, because I can throw then into the dishwasher or hot soapy water with bleach. I have a supermarket chain in town that sharpen all my knives for free, so I don;t worry about dulling my knives on them :)


Alison P May 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I have stains from fresh basil and rosemary on my one cutting board so you will see me jumping across the room so that other people don’t see the disgusting stain. I screamed- no don’t use that one. My husband said “Is that for the chicken so we shouldn’t use it for other things?” Sure, let’s go with that while company is there. My cutting boards are plastic so I am not sure if the same thing is going to work but I am going to try it :) Thanks for another great tip!!!!!!!!!


Chaya May 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Thanks for this tip. It is invaluable. I am off to try it.


ATL Cook May 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Bar Keepers Friend–works on counter tops too.


Cindy May 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I got two thin plastic cutting boards from IKEA and they are red. So no worry about red stains!! They clean AND sanitize in the dishwasher. You want the kind that are not brittle so they don’t dull your knives.


Susie's Homemade May 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

Does it work on plastic cutting boards too?


Rebecca C. May 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Thank you! We had strawberries a few days ago and I forgot to immediately clean the cutting board, so it looked like someone was killed on it! Now there is only a very small area where you can see the stain, and it is just a darker part of the wood. I can deal with that!

I LOVE my wooden cutting board, but I don’t always remember to clean it right after using it, especially since we mostly just cut veggies on it (our meat cutting board is plastic).


Chuck the nerd May 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm

After the wood cutting board is dried, would applying some food safe mineral oil also be useful? I’ve done this with a wooden pizza peel and mineral oil really brings out the wood’s grain.

A quick google search for data rich / non-salesy information included this link from Fine Woodworking…


onemom February 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I’m afraid of oiling my cutting boards. Mineral oil is not something I want to ingest and food-derived oils, e.g. olive oil, go rancid.


Greg E December 31, 2011 at 11:47 am

The only change I would make is that I had to rub the baking soda pretty vigorously. I also rubbed it w/ the grain of the wood. Overall, this worked like a charm.

On a side note, why would anyone comment on this page about using a plastic cutting board. Is it really germaine to the conversation? Besides, why would someone even be on this webpage if they didn’t need to clean a stain off of a wood cutting board?


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