How To Clean and Care for A Bamboo Cutting Board?

How To Clean and Care for A Bamboo Cutting Board

I was using a plastic cutting board some time ago, which was pretty convenient, but daily use had heavily stained its surface – the neat freak in me couldn’t keep going with that discolored board.

I decided to get a bamboo cutting board for a change, and it’s one of the best kitchen purchases I have made. This new cutting board has antimicrobial properties, it absorbs less moisture, and it’s durable – a total steal.

Since I really liked this board, I wanted to take good care of it. So, I started searching for safe and reliable bamboo cleaning options. And luckily, everything I needed to clean and maintain the bamboo cutting board (and other similar utensils) was already in my kitchen.

If you also want to know what keeps a bamboo cutting board clean and shiny, keep on reading, and I’ll share some handy hacks with you! 

Dealing With Stains

First things first, daily use can leave a cutting board with stubborn stains that call for quick action. If your bamboo cutting board is also discolored, here are the three methods you can do to fix it:

Dish Soap

When a stain is new and wet, you don’t have to try anything new to remove it.

  • Use 1-3 squirts of liquid dish soap on the board and use a soft sponge to spread it.
  • Rub the dish soap in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes, and that will do.
  • Rinse the cutting board under tap water and wipe its surface with a kitchen towel.
  • Place this board in an upright position for a while before storing it.

This easy cleaning method only works for surface stains; anything stronger than that requires a more effective remedy.

Baking Soda

Baking soda deals with stubborn and dried stains pretty well. If your bamboo cutting board is old and stained, here’s how baking soda can help you:

  • Sprinkle a gentle amount of baking soda on the cutting board and use a damp cloth to rub it
  • The moisture will form a paste over the cutting, which might foam a bit.
  • Leave this paste on your cutting board for 5-10 minutes and use a coarse sponge to rub it.
  • After rubbing, rinse the board and quickly dry it to keep the moisture from absorbing.

Coarse Salt

If you don’t have baking soda, you can use coarse salt to remove stains from a cutting board.

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt on your cutting board and scrub it with a scouring pad/sponge.
  • Use elbow grease to clean the deeper stains and complete this cleaning process by rinsing the board.


Never place a wet wooden/bamboo cutting board in the upright position because this can cause warping. Always towel dry the cutting board and hang it afterward!

Removing the Lingering Smell From Bamboo Cutting Board

Raw meat, poultry, and seafood can leave bad smells on your cutting board – no one likes that. If you feel your bamboo cutting board is ruined because it smells like fish, I have a solution for that! Here’s what to do:

  • Spread some sea/table salt on your bamboo cutting board
  • Cut one lemon and squeeze its juice onto the salt
  • Scrub the cutting board with the half cut lemon for 5 minutes
  • Set the board aside for some time and rinse it with warm water

Lemon and salt work like magic to remove nasty smells; try and see yourself!

Disinfecting the Bamboo Cutting Board

When a cutting board comes in contact with raw ingredients, it is prone to get contaminated. That’s why you should frequently disinfect your board to keep it safe.

Vinegar & Water

  • Mix one part vinegar with one part water and stir this mixture
  • Soak a cotton cloth in this solution and rub the cutting board with it
  • Thoroughly spread the vinegar-water solution on your board and let it rest
  • Rinse it with tap water, and you’re good to go.

Vinegar is a safe and reliable disinfectant for kitchenware; you shouldn’t be concerned about it.

Baking Soda & Water

Baking soda also works as a disinfectant with bamboo cutting boards. Sprinkle some baking powder on the cutting board and use a sponge to spread it evenly.

After the powder dries, wash the board with fresh water and wipe it with a kitchen towel. 

Why Should You Season A Bamboo Cutting Board and How to Do it?

Applying a thin layer of oil on the cutting board is called seasoning or conditioning. Some boards come pre-seasoned, while others require thorough oiling before we start using them.

Seasoning a cutting board is a simple process:

  • Soak a cotton buff in food-grade mineral oil (don’t use cooking oils), and rub it on the cutting board.
  • Cover both sides of the board with oil while moving the buff in a circular motion.
  • Hang the cutting board for 24 hours and let the oil absorb beyond the superficial layer.
  • The next day, use a dry cloth to wipe excess oil and use your bamboo cutting board as you please.

Here are some advantages of conditioning a bamboo cutting board:

  • The oil layer stops water from absorbing
  • It smoothens the cutting surface
  • It prevents scratches
  • It keeps wood from splitting

If you feel the seasoned oil layer has stopped performing, reseason the cutting board by following the same process. This little tip can keep your cutting board new-like and support your chopping/cutting skills as well.

Final Words

Bamboo cutting boards aren’t high-maintenance; they are built to endure regular wear & tear in the kitchen. But, when you start using a cutting board regularly, small scratches and stains start appearing on its surface.

If that’s the case with your cutting board, follow any of the above cleaning hacks to regain its original form.

Moreover, a little care goes a long way. Season your bamboo cutting board upon arrival to make it more practical and durable. Conditioning prevents water from penetrating the deeper layers of your cutting board, eventually making it rough-tough.

Don’t put your cutting board in the dishwasher, and avoid harsh chemical cleaners if you wish to use it for a considerable time. Ta-Da!


Can you use olive oil on bamboo cutting boards?

No, you should not use olive oil to condition cutting boards. Cooking oils go rancid with time and start impacting the food you cut on them. Therefore, you should always use food-grade mineral oils or specialized cutting board protectants to seal your board. 

Can you wash bamboo cutting boards in the dishwasher?

Hot water and dishwashing detergents can ruin a cutting board, so it’s a no-no. If you put a cutting board in the dishwasher, it can get warped or imbalanced, and you won’t like that. Besides, cutting boards are hardly that dirty to be put into a dishwasher, so manual washing will always suffice. Use a regular dish soap and manually wash your cutting board.

Can you use Clorox wipes on cutting boards?

Clorox wipes contain bleach which is not suitable for kitchen utensils. If your cutting board is heavily stained or stinking, use baking soda, coarse salt, or regular dish soap to clean it. Avoid using harsh chemicals because they can penetrate the cutting surface and contaminate your food.

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