It can be disappointing when after a lot of thought you buy a new solid wood cutting board only to find black patches on it within weeks. Wooden and bamboo cutting boards, though more hygienic than plastic boards, are highly susceptible to mold.
They are porous and often stored in damp conditions. As a result, they make an ideal breeding ground for mold. Though not dangerous to health, they can be unsightly. And the worst part- they are almost impossible to remove.
We have tried numerous methods like baking powder, salt, vinegar and even bleach. But none of them proved effective at killing the mold. The only method that worked was rubbing with sandpaper to remove a layer of wood/bamboo.
But that being said, there are effective methods that help prevent mold and keep wooden and bamboo cutting boards clean and hygienic. Let us explore them in detail.
Related reading: How I Made My Kitchen Almost Plastic-Free?
Seasoning Your Cutting Board
If you thought seasoning is just for cast iron cookware, then you are wrong. Wooden and bamboo cutting boards too need to be seasoned to protect it from moisture and thereby mold formation.
A new wooden cutting board should be seasoned before use. For that, first apply a thin layer of neutral vegetable oil like sunflower oil, gingelly oil, rapeseed oil, food-grade mineral oil etc. Avoid using coconut oil as it could go rancid quickly. Leave it for an hour till the board absorbs all the oil. Then, using a paper towel or kitchen towel, remove any excess oil present.
This layer of oil will prevent moisture from setting on the wood and causing mold.
Related reading: Best Material For Cutting Board
How To Clean Wooden Cutting Board After Use?
Ideally, use wooden cutting board for fruits and vegetables and use a plastic cutting board for non-veg. Plastic cutting boards can be disinfected in dishwasher and cleaned with boiling water. Wooden and bamboo cutting boards tend to split when cleaned in dishwasher.
Everytime after use, scrub it gently with dishwashing liquid. Wash thoroughly and buff as much water as possible with kitchen towel. Then, hang it so that the water evaporates completely from the cutting board. If you keep it slanting against the wall, water will accumulate at the base resulting in mold.
Instead of scrubbing with dishwashing soap, you can alternatively sprinkle rock salt and scrub with half of a lime.
Once dried, apply a thin layer of oil to keep the board away from moisture.
Unfortunately, wooden cutting boards are one of those things that you have to baby to preserve for long time.
If in case it gets moldy, the best bet is scrub a layer away using steel wool or sandpaper.