Your spring strawberries don’t want to taste like onions.
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.
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How to Remove Smells From Cutting Boards
There is a reason we keep baking soda in our fridge. Put it to use on your cutting board for the same reason. Baking soda absorbs odors. For best results:
- 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, then give it a good wash in hot, soapy water.
How to Remove Stains From Cutting Boards
Removing stains from a wood cutting board follows a similar process, but with an added ingredient.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wash the cutting board in hot, soapy water.
A Postscript on 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.