Why New Wooden Bamboo Cutting Boards Smell Bad?

Why New Wooden Bamboo Cutting Boards Smell Bad?

A clean, ready to slice & dice cutting board is essential in the kitchen. You cannot speed the meal prep if your cutting board is slippery or rancid after regular usage; it should be clean and functional.

But what to do if a bamboo cutting board starts to smell? Do you bin it and get another one, or is there a way to kill those smells?

Luckily, getting rid of a bamboo cutting board’s smells is pretty easy. Apart from the simple rinse, there are other hacks to get those pungent smells out of a bamboo cutting board.

If you want to revive your cutting board’s freshness, continue reading and let me help!

Why Do New Bamboo Cutting Boards Smell Bad?

Experiencing some smells coming out of a heavily-used cutting board makes sense, but what about freshly out-of-the-box bamboo boards that smell?

People often experience these smells and start to question if their cutting board is faulty. However, that’s not true.

The answer to this question lies in the way these boards are constructed. Bamboo sheets are heat and pressure treated for achieving that dark-ish color and a smooth outlook we see on these boards.

These treatments leave bamboo wood with a lasting fragrance that some people hate. So, if your new cutting board is smelling off, start using and washing it to get over that smell.

Why Does A Bamboo Cutting Board Smell Despite Regular Rinsing?

The weird smell of a new bamboo cutting board aside, the real problem begins when you start using it regularly. You might chop garlic, onions, vegetables, and meats on the same cutting board, thinking cleaning it afterward will suffice.

But this practice doesn’t sit well with bamboo cutting boards. When we cut something on a wooden (more specifically, bamboo) surface, the knife leaves small crevices and pits over it. Later, the food drippings, water, and cleaning solutions penetrate these crevices, eventually leaving lingering smells.

If you don’t clean and seal these crevices timely, getting rid of pungent smells from a bamboo cutting board becomes nearly impossible.

Another reason why bamboo cutting boards smell bad is cross-contamination. Let’s say you sliced a beef fillet over a cutting board, hurriedly rinsed it, and used it to make a fruit salad later on.

You’ll doubtlessly experience an almost gag-worthy smell in that fruit salad.

How Do You Get The Smell Out Of A Bamboo Cutting Board?

Now that you know why new and used bamboo cutting boards smell bad. It’s time to remedy this problem. When you know the proper way of handling and maintaining a bamboo cutting board, you can use it for years and enjoy excellent value for your money.

And the best thing about deodorizing bamboo cutting boards is that you won’t have to buy a special cleaner – a few ingredients from your pantry will suffice.

The Lemon & Salt Cleaner

Lemon and salt make an excellent deodorant for bamboo cutting boards. Salt scrubs the small pits and crevices while lemon juice absorbs lingering smells from the wooden surface, eventually making it clean and fresh.

Here’s how you use lemon juice and salt to get rid of nasty smells on a cutting board:

  • Wash your bamboo board with warm soapy water and leave it to air dry.
  • Once it’s dried, sprinkle some sea/table salt over it.
  • Cut a lemon/lime and squeeze its juice over the sprinkled salt. Don’t add too much juice; it should be enough to make a scrub.
  • Scrub the squeezed juice and salt with the lemon across your cutting board.
  • Do this step for 2-3 minutes in a circular motion.
  • Flip the cutting board, spread salt over it, and use the other lemon half to deodorize it.
  • Once both sides have had a good lemon-salt scrub, wash the bamboo board with warm water and leave it to air dry.

This easy and effective method helps with removing most food smells from a cutting board – try it and bring your favorite board’s freshness back.

Baking Soda Paste

If your cutting board is a victim of cross-contamination and mixed smells of meat, vegetables, and herbs, it needs a more potent cleaner.

Follow these steps to kill those pungent smells from your old cutting board:

  • Start with a washed and dried cutting board.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the cutting board; cover all stains and crevices.
  • Pour some water over it and make a paste. The paste shouldn’t be too runny.
  • Use a kitchen towel to rub this paste over the board. Rub both sides to ensure there’s no remaining smell afterward.
  • Leave the baking soda paste on your cutting board and set it aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Complete this process by giving the board a thorough rinse, and you’re good!

Both above-explained deodorizing methods are practical and easy to follow – the next time your cutting board exudes any smell, grab some baking soda or salt and lemon to deal with it!

How to Conceal A Bamboo Cutting Board?

Concealing a cutting board keeps most smells at bay and provides you with a smooth chopping surface. Once you have removed all odors from the cutting board, follow these steps to conceal its surface:

  • Pour a few drops of high-quality coconut oil on the bamboo cutting board.
  • Use a cotton buff/towel to spread this oil on both sides of the board.
  • Once the oil is evenly spread, place the board in an upright position overnight so the coconut oil can penetrate deeper.

Coconut oil is an excellent seasoning solution for cutting boards and other wooden tools; use it to keep unnecessary odors and moisture at bay.

Final Thoughts

Bamboo cutting boards are practical, affordable, and pleasant-looking. But since bamboo boards can absorb moisture and food drippings, they often start to smell bad. Luckily, tackling this problem is easy.

Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners with bamboo cutting boards because they can chip its smooth surface and compromise its performance. If you need an acidic cleaner, use lemon, lime, vinegar, or baking soda instead of bleach. And if you have to scrub a cutting board, use table salt instead of a more potent chemical that might penetrate deeper into the board, eventually risking your food’s safety.

So, follow any of the above cleaning methods, regularly season your cutting board with a good-quality oil, and these smells will never impact your food.

Related Questions:

Are bamboo cutting boards sanitary? Bamboo cutting boards have non-porous and resistant surfaces that don’t let microbes and moisture ruin the board’s performance. However, regular usage can damage bamboo cutting boards. If your bamboo board is smelly or stained, provide it with proper upkeep to retain its usability.

What type of cutting board is the most sanitary? High-quality bamboo cutting boards have antimicrobial properties that make them the most sanitary option for regular usage. Although plastic cutting boards are easier to clean, they still cannot beat wood’s usability and resistance.

Are bamboo cutting boards toxic? No, bamboo cutting boards are antimicrobial and easy to sanitize. You shouldn’t worry about these boards being toxic or potentially harmful. However, be mindful that bamboo cutting boards are put together with strong adhesives that may smell bad. Buy your bamboo cutting board from a reliable manufacturer, and you’re sorted.

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