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How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board

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Don’t let your strawberries taste like onions.

Clean your wood cutting board in minutes using these basic household ingredients. 

wood cutting board with cheese and crackers

Yes, You Should Clean a Wood Cutting Board

Cutting boards are a true kitchen workhorse, responsible for the first and last steps of many meals.

Soup generally starts with dicing carrots, celery, and onion. Fruit platters mean slicing and dicing everything from watermelon to strawberries. Chicken and pork tenderloin get trimmed, crudités get sliced, fresh herb garnishes minced, and . . . you get the idea.

If only the cutting board did not smell like all that hard work. For anyone who has taken a bite of pineapple only to get funky notes of yesterday’s garlic or onion, read on.

Keeping your cutting board clean and free of stains and smells only takes minutes, using basic kitchen ingredients you probably already have in your house.

how to clean cutting board with baking soda and lemon easy

How to Remove Smells From of Wood Cutting Boards

There is a reason we keep baking soda in our fridge: to absorb smells. Put it to use on your cutting board for the same reason. For best results:

  1. Wet the cutting board by running it under your kitchen sink.
  2. Generously sprinkle the entire surface with baking soda.
  3. Let it sit for several minutes, then give it a good wash in hot, soapy water.

baking soda and lemon on wood

How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board: How to Get Stains Out

Removing stains from a wood cutting board follows a similar process, but with an added ingredient. The combination of acidic lemon and alkaline baking soda .

  1. Wet the cutting board by running it under your kitchen sink, then generously sprinkle the entire surface with baking soda. Let it sit for several minutes.
  2.  Halve a fresh lemon. Scrub the surface of the cutting board with the lemon, being sure to squeeze out the juice as you go. The acid will work on the stain and neutralize the alkaline baking soda, pulling the color from the board.
  3. Wash the cutting board in hot, soapy water.

roasted peppers on cutting board

What’s Better? Plastic vs. Wooden Cutting Boards

As long as we’re talking about cutting boards and how to remove smells and stains from them, it may be good to quickly cover which type of cutting board to use in the first place.

Though some people think that plastic cutting boards are cleaner and a better choice, studies have shown that wooden cutting boards actually may be your best bet, for cleanliness as well as kindness to your knives. This Serious Eats article offers a thorough analysis.

peeled garlic bulb

Like these tips on how to clean a wood cutting board? You may also enjoy:

how to clean cutting board to get out stains and smells

How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board

Get the stains and smells out of your wood cutting board with these easy tips and basic household ingredients.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Course: prep
Cuisine: kitchen techniques
Keywords:: cooking tips, cutting board, how to clean cutting board, how to get smells out of cutting board, kitchen hacks, wood
Servings: 1 cutting board


  • 1 wooden cutting board
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda


  • Run your wood cutting board under the kitchen faucet to get it thoroughly wet.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the cutting board. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Rub with the halved lemon. Clean as usual.


  • Suzanne

    Helpful tips. I did not know to use baking soda on wood. I tried this and it worked perfectly.

  • thank you for this!!

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