Can Wooden Cutting Boards Go in the Dishwasher?

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If you want to prolong your wooden cutting boards’ lifespan, keep them away from your dishwasher.

Wood that’s frequently exposed to high temperatures, long dishwasher cycles, and moisture has a higher risk of warping, cracking, and breaking.

Wood is a popular material for cutting boards and other kitchen utensils. Most wooden cutting boards today are constructed of glued-up edge grain or end-grain wooden blocks.

The cracks which develop in the wood if you wash them in the dishwasher become the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, microbes, mold, etc.

This isn’t something anyone wants to happen with their favorite wooden board, so it’s best to wash it in the sink.

Spices, herbs and wood cutting board on dark wooden backdrop.

Can Wooden Cutting Boards Go in the Dishwasher?

If you want to know if wooden cutting boards go in the dishwasher, the answer is “no, no, no!”

Wood is a natural material that can suffer damage if exposed to high heat, excessive moisture, and prolonged washing cycles. And, all of these three factors are combined in a dishwasher.

If a wooden cutting board is constantly washed in the dishwasher, it may eventually crack or develop indentations that can harbor bacteria from food and water.

This increases the risk of food-borne illnesses and reduces the hygiene in the kitchen, which is never a good thing.

To prevent ruining your precious wooden cutting boards, it’s recommendable to wash them by hand. Use hot and soapy water in the sink and scrub it well. Then, rinse it off and leave it to dry.

Sanitization and oiling are also recommendable (occasionally) for optimal hygiene.

How to Clean My Wooden Cutting Boards?

One of the safest methods for cleaning wooden cutting boards is washing them like any other dish: lots of hot water, dish soap, and scrubbing.

Sanitization is highly recommendable (diluted bleach or vinegar) if the board has been used with raw meat. In addition to these methods, wooden cutting boards require the occasional oiling with food-grade oil.

This prolongs the lifespan of the wood, prevents cracks and warps from dryness, and closes the wood’s natural pores. When we leave boards unoiled for long and suddenly expose them to water, they may warp!

Wood wax for cutting boards is also recommendable if you notice that the board has developed cuts from the knife use.

Thanks to proper cleaning, sanitization, and oiling of your wooden cutting boards, there’s a lower risk of bacteria and food-borne illnesses.

Never use vegetable oils for oiling your wooden cutting boards and utensils because they can go rancid and cause a terrible odor to be released from the board. Use food-grade mineral oil for best results.

How to Clean Stubborn Stains from Wooden Cutting Boards?

After learning that dishwashers are a no-go for your wooden cutting boards, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to clean stubborn stains if you can’t use the deep cleaning cycles that these machines provide.

But, don’t get disappointed just yet: you already have what you need in your kitchen cabinet to scrub away stubborn food stains.

According to studies, a prewash rinse helps remove bacteria. Avoid soaking your wooden cutting boards in water for too long.

This increases the risk of the board developing cracks and warps. Hydrogen peroxide makes an excellent tool for the disinfection of wooden cutting boards.

Pour several drops over the board and spread it all over using a clean sponge. Leave it for several minutes to do its magic before you wipe it off and rinse it well.

If the board has stains, dry it entirely and sprinkle salt or baking soda. Then, scrub the stain with a sponge or a brush that has previously been dipped in warm water.

Another great stain remover is half a lemon. Scrub the board with the lemon to get out most of the lemon acid’s abrasive properties.

Moreover, if your board has absorbed unpleasant smells, you can use white vinegar to deodorize it. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the whole board when it needs it. Vinegar is a great odor neutralizer and disinfectant.

From time to time, it’s also essential to deep-clean your wooden cutting boards, especially when you use them with raw meat, poultry, and fish.

Mix a tsp of bleach with a quarter of water and spray the board with it. Leave it for several minutes before you rinse it off well.

Which Cutting Boards Are Dishwasher-Safe?

Wooden cutting boards may not be suitable for the dishwasher, but there are boards made from other materials that do pretty well when cleaned in this way.

One of them is a plastic cutting board, as well as most acrylic and composite cutting boards.

These boards are suitable for dishwasher conditions, without the risk of damage as it’s the case with wooden, bamboo, or glass cutting boards.

Since they can go in the dishwasher, they’re easily sanitized and therefore, highly recommendable for use with raw meat.

Ideally, you would have at least one of these boards and any other that’s your favorite in your kitchen, like a wooden or a bamboo one. They’re practical, easy to care for, and long-lasting.

Final Thoughts

Wooden cutting boards are a wonderful addition to any kitchen, that’s for sure. However, they’re not ideal.

Namely, wooden cutting boards aren’t dishwasher-safe.

Exposure to high temperatures, strong cleaning products, and hour-long cycles all contribute to cracks and holes. If you keep on washing them like this, the board will eventually decline in quality and performance.

This is why wooden cutting boards should be washed in the sink, using dish soap, sponge, and warm water instead. Regular sanitization and oiling of the board are also recommendable as part of the maintenance.

By following the right cleaning guidelines, your wooden cutting boards will last for a lifetime!

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