Is your chopping board really clean?

Even for those of us who love to cook, few would admit that cleaning up the kitchen afterwards is a highlight. While you may be eager to get the job done and put your feet up, cleaning kitchen utensils and equipment is something that shouldn't be rushed!

Chopping boards harbour 200% more bacteria than a toilet seat, according to NHS direct, so proper cleaning is a must. A quick wipe down won't cut it!

One good idea is to use different coloured chopping boards for meat and veg is sensible as it prevents contamination.

If you're unsure of how to clean your chopping board properly, we asked the experts at the GHI to break it down.

How to clean your chopping board

  • Do oil wooden boards regularly with mineral oil, available from stockists such as Amazon. Follow any care and cleaning tips you find in the instructions or on the packaging of the oil.

  • Do remove food stains on plastic chopping boards by rubbing fresh or bottled lemon juice on them and leaving overnight. If you prefer to use vinegar as a natural solution, mix four parts water with one part white vinegar. Soak the board for a few minutes. Rinse and dry.

  • Do keep chopping boards stain-free and hygienic by always scrubbing them in hot running water or, better still, carefully pour freshly boiled water over them to sterilise them. If they're dishwasher-safe, this is the easiest way to ensure a hygienic clean, but make sure the cycle is at least 65°C.

  • Do use disinfectant on boards that have had raw meat on them.

chopping board care
Kinga Krzeminska - Getty Images

What to avoid...

  • Don't place wooden boards in the dishwasher or soak them in hot water, or they’ll warp and crack.

  • Don't prepare raw meat/poultry on the same board as cooked meat/poultry or fruit and veg without washing them thoroughly in-between.

  • Don't dry your boards with tea towels. When it comes to cross-contamination, tea towels can be a likely culprit. Paper towels are preferable.

What type of chopping board should I buy?

Not sure which type of chopping board to opt for? Here are the pros and cons for glass, plastic and wooden chopping boards.


  • Attractive in modern kitchens.

  • Often heat-resistant, so you can rest a hot pan on it.

  • Odour and stain-proof.

  • Can dull knives and provide less grip when chopping.


  • Lower maintenance as can usually be put in the dishwasher (needs to be washed at 65°C+ to remove the harmful bacteria effectively).

  • Non-porous, so bacteria and odours can be easily removed from the surface.

  • Typically the least expensive.

  • Not heat-resistant.

chopping board care
Jordan Lye - Getty Images


  • Higher maintenance, but if it's well looked after and oiled regularly, can last for years and remain waterproof.

  • Heat resistant.

  • Won’t blunt your knives as quickly as other types of board.

  • Solid and sturdy, providing a good grip when in use.

  • Despite the fact that bacteria can be drawn into the wood, the bacteria can’t reproduce there, so they die.

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