How to clean a white plastic chopping board

If, like me, you have one of those white plastic chopping boards in the kitchen, youíve probably already noticed how difficult it can be to keep it clean and more or less white.  Before I talk about how to clean your plastic chopping board, letís get a little bit of an understanding of why it is important to keep a chopping board clean in the first place.

Plastic chopping boards are probably the most hygienic cutting board you can buy.  Unlike the wooden ones they can be cleaned in dish washers at high temperatures and sanitised in ways that would make a wooden one warp or otherwise become damaged.  Glass or marble chopping boards are also relatively easy to keep clean, but are a little more impractical due to weight, sharp edges and their fragile nature.  Plastic boards are generally pretty cheap as well so they make good sense.

Despite some claims that plastic chopping boards harbour less bacteria than their wooden counterparts, various tests have indicated that this isnít quite the case.  In fact in an older plastic chopping board with lots of surface scratches there are more nooks and crannies that may allow moisture to collect and it is this which allows bacteria to multiply.on an unsanitized board.  Incidentally, the wooden boards arenít as unhygienic as people may think; the capillary action of dry wood means that germs end up beneath the surface where they soon die.  Plastic boards on the other hand will retain surface moisture easily unless dried thoroughly and this provides a perfect breeding ground for the nasties!

Cleaning and sanitizing your white chopping board

If you have a dish washer you should use this to clean your plastic chopping board as the high temperatures will kill off any bacteria.   If you do your washing up by hand then you should regularly disinfect it either with a mild bleach solution, boiling water or some other disinfectant such as those used for cleaning baby feeding equipment.   Always keep your chopping board dry as this helps prevent bacteria from multiplying.

How to get your chopping board white

White plastic chopping boardThis is something that I'm perhaps a little obsessive about.  On a regular basis I like to get my chopping boards back to the nice white colour they were when I first bought them.  The chances are that even with a dish washer your boards will still develop a discolouration or stain with regular use.   Hand washing certainly doesnít prevent this from happening, so itís to the  rescue with good old Hydrogen Peroxide (aka Bleach).

Use a bottle of thick bleach and liberally paint it on all over the board.  I generally do one side at a time.  Once youíve coated the board just leave it for around 20 minutes or half an hour.  Rinse the bleach of thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) and youíre plastic chopping board should be back to a brilliant white colour again.  As ever, make sure it is completely dry before putting away.

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