How To Clean Plastic Cutting Board Stains And Scuffs

If you're a moderately busy home cook, chances are your plastic cutting board has seen plenty of action. Through the many bouts of chopping bleeding red beets or bright orange carrots, the cutting board can take on some seriously unattractive coloring. These stains particularly love to settle in all the pits and valleys you've carved into the plastic surface. Looking at these lingering marks raises the question: What else is still clinging to the board that you can't see? 

A quick search online for a way to properly cleanse your cutting boards will often point you in the direction of using a bit of bleach mixed in water. But even in small quantities, bleach can be corrosive and toxic, requiring proper air ventilation and protective measures when handling. Not exactly the fuss-free option we're looking for. Don't panic: There's a fast and non-toxic way to clean your cutting board that doesn't require bleach. Enter the cleaner's powerful foursome of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Used in a three-part soak, spray, and scrub method, you can have a pristine surface in less than 10 minutes. Why does this work? Hydrogen peroxide works very similarly to bleach (per the CDC), killing bacteria and neutralizing stains while the acetic acid in vinegar works wonders on dirt and grime (via Healthline). Meanwhile, the salt and baking soda become an abrasive that can buff off some scratches and reach the grime in those hard-to-get-to cracks.    

Make your own cutting board cleanser

To make your own home batch of cutting board cleanser, start with some classic pantry and cupboard items. Make sure you have distilled white vinegar, 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and salt (many types of salt will work but coarse kosher is best if you have it on hand) available. First, you'll combine a few tablespoons of white vinegar with water and allow your cutting board to soak in the solution for five minutes. Next, spray a bit of hydrogen peroxide onto the board and let it set for two to three minutes. Each of these steps will help dredge up and kill any soaked-in bacteria.

For the homemade scrub, mix salt, baking soda, and water together in equal parts. Vigorously scrub this gritty paste all over the board — you shouldn't have to work too hard as the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar have already done most of the heavy lifting. Once you're satisfied, thoroughly rinse your board and admire the fruits of your labor. It'll sport the cleanest and freshest look since the first day you bought it.