Keep Cutting Boards Clean With This Parchment Paper Hack

Cutting boards might just be one of the most frustrating items to clean in the kitchen. They are often large, clunky to handle, and require a decent amount of upkeep to keep their surface pristine. Luckily, there are countless hacks that can help you fight this issue, such as using white vinegar or salt to neutralize bad smells. However, none might be as effective as covering the cutting board with parchment paper, a common heat-resistant item already found in many home kitchens.


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To perform this hack, start by cutting a large sheet of parchment paper. You want to use enough to cover most (if not all) of the cutting board. Once you've cut and placed your parchment paper down, simply place your food on it and begin prepping your meal. The sheet will prevent any juices or residue from dripping onto your cutting board, and can be tossed directly after use. This will save you from having to scrub the cutting board later, saving you precious time and cleaning resources.

That's not the only benefit of the parchment paper hack either. You can flip raw proteins without the need for utensils or your fingers by just folding the sheet in half, allowing you to season and handle other kitchen equipment without needing to wash your hands beforehand. This trick can be especially useful for wooden cutting boards, which are more likely to allow harmful bacteria to seep into their surface.

Ways to keep parchment paper from sliding around

When using the parchment paper hack on your cutting board, you must ensure that the sheet remains in place as you prepare your food. Cuts are one of the most prevalent issues that can occur in any kitchen, and it only takes one bad slip to create an injury that necessitates a trip to the hospital. If your cutting board is thin enough, try to use some binder clips to hold the sheet securely. These common office items should be sturdy enough to hold parchment paper down, are relatively affordable, and come in a variety of sizes for your kitchen needs.

In the case that you have one of those thick wooden cutting boards that resemble slabs, taping down the ends of the sheet onto the board can be another viable way to keep things from moving around. You want to try to use duct or masking tape, as they are sticky enough to adhere to the shiny side of your parchment paper. This part of the sheet contains a glossy silicone coating that gives it non-stick properties. If your parchment paper has a side that does not have that silicone film, try taping it on that side instead.

More advice for how to keep your cutting board clean

If you can't source any parchment paper at the grocery store or simply ran out at home, use wax paper to cover your cutting board instead. It not only has a matte surface that will not absorb the liquid from your food, but is generally sold for cheaper at most grocery stores.

Many home cooks use aluminum foil to keep their kitchens clean, but it can also work as a substitute for parchment paper in a pinch. However, keep in mind that using aluminum foil severely limits the types of foods you can work with, as it can start to leach chemicals out when it comes in contact with acidic ingredients such as tomatoes.

In the case that food does manage to dirty up your cutting board, mild dish soap should be more than enough to wash off any residue and foodborne microbes. Any stuck-on bits can be scraped off with a steel spatula, and you can remove most foul scents from its surface with some lemon juice or baking soda. If you're working with a wooden cutting board, oiling it can help prevent it from developing cracks on its surface, which make it harder to clean and allow pathogens to hide inside.