Can You Sand Plastic Cutting Boards?

You can sand plastic cutting boards to refresh them and remove those annoying cuts. As time goes by, plastic cutting boards tend to get worn out, and eventually, become unhygienic and unsanitary.

All the marks, cuts, and stains can cause the board to look nasty. But, a plastic cutting board in bad shape may be brought back to life using simple sandpaper.

This is a tested and true trick of the trade-it can be used to treat even the worst-looking boards in your kitchen. Sanding is an easy, inexpensive, and effective method to restore plastic boards.

Below, learn more about how to sand plastic cutting boards and how it helps your plastic cutting boards!

Can You Sand Plastic Cutting Boards?

Sanding is done to smooth down plastic cutting boards and eliminate knife marks.  No kitchen cutting board is resistant to eventual damage.

We use these versatile boards for the preparation of different foods and garnishes. The daily chopping, slicing, and cutting will cause them to wear out.

This is where resurfacing or sanding cutting boards comes into the picture.

Using sandpaper properly helps you remove the damaged upper layer of the board. You then buff and polish the surface with wax to prevent scratches and protect it from moisture.

What Are the Benefits of Sanding?

Sanding your plastic cutting boards has plenty of benefits to offer. Here are some of the major ones:

  • Eliminates the impaired layer

By sanding cutting paper boards, you remove the damaged part and make the board look as brand new. After the removal of this upper layer, it’s recommendable to buff and polish the board using wax.

  • Betters the function of the board

When boards have too many cuts and indentations, they become less effective. They can make even the simplest of food prep tasks a challenge.

Moreover, blades will also become duller when they’re hitting uneven surfaces. By sanding the board, you better the board’s function, keep your blades safe and optimize food prep.

  • Increases the food safety

The cuts and cracks on the plastic cutting board become the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

This increases the risk of cross contamination and food-borne illnesses. So, resolving those cracks is pivotal to improving food safety.

How to Sand Plastic Cutting Boards?

You have two options to choose from. You can sand your plastic cutting boards yourself or have them sanded by professionals.

If you want to do it yourself at home, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper (25 grit through 80 grit)
  • A metal scrubber or a rough steel wool
  • Gloves
  • A scraper or a razor blade
  • A garbage bag
  • Protective eyewear
  • Dust musk
  • A sponge
  • Dish soap

Prep the  board & working surface

Cover the working surface with a cloth or a garbage bag that will collect the debris from sanding.

Set the board using the clamps onto the work surface. Clamp the board snugly because the sanding may create a slight lateral torque on the board.

With the scrubber or wool, scrape the board’s surface. This will eliminate loose burs and begin the cleaning process. The less surplus plastic remains on the board, the less will the sandpaper gum up.

Time for sanding

Wear a mask and eyewear because the sanding creates dust. With the coarse grit, begin to sand the board.

Begin with a 25 grit and continue to 80 grit. Don’t start with a too high grip because the paper won’t be as effective in the removal of the top layer.

Scraping (if necessary)

Scraping may be necessary if the sanding didn’t resolve all the cuts and indentations.

Using the razor blade or a hand plane, carefully scrape the top layer. Resume the sanding until you get a smooth surface.

Clean the board in between the sanding

Periodically, wipe the board with the steel wool or scrubber. This will eliminate burs and dust.

Unlike wood, polyethylene tends to adhere to itself and impedes the sanding process. This is why regular cleaning between the sanding helps.

Clean the board and the edges

When the sanding is done, use a blade to scrape the board’s edges and create a clean bevel.

Then, rinse the board and rub in dish soap using your hands. Rinse it again. Then, use dish soap and a sponge to clean it once more. Rinse it once more and leave it to dry.

The board is ready for use!

How to Maintain Your Plastic Cutting Board in Good Shape?

To keep your plastic cutting boards free of bacteria and in optimal shape, you need to provide them with adequate light maintenance.

Plastic cutting boards have a minimalistic design. They don’t require a lot of complicated maintenance to stay in optimal shape.

Keep up with the three-step rule and you can provide optimal care for all your cutting boards. That is, clean, sanitize, and dry.

Regardless of whether you have a board made of plastic or some other material such as wood, by sticking to a couple of easy to-do’s, you can reduce bacteria exposure and increase food safety.

To clean your cutting boards, use warm water and dish soap.

The next step is the occasional sanitization, especially after working with raw meat. You have several options for sanitization. Some of them are diluted bleach, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, etc.

Apply the chosen option on the whole board and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it off and drying the board. Plastic cutting boards are also dishwasher-safe so this is another option to maintain these boards sanitized.

When you don’t clean your cutting boards properly, you increase the risk of food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.

To reduce the risk of exposure to these bacteria, use separate boards for raw meat prep and ready-to-eat foods like veggies, fruits, bread, etc.

To remove unpleasant odors from foods like fish, onion, garlic, etc. from your cutting boards, wipe the board with a lemon wedge after cleaning and disinfection.

Final Thoughts

If you want to restore your plastic cutting boards, sand them using sandpaper.

By sanding plastic cutting boards with plenty of indentations and cuts, you refresh the surface and make it smooth again.

You can take your plastic cutting boards to a professional shop or you can do the sanding yourself by following our guide.

It’s easy to do and helps you prolong your plastic cutting boards’ lifespan and saves you some money along the way!

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