The chopping board is quite possibly the most used item in the kitchen and is often exposed to a myriad of foodstuffs – from meat, fruits, vegetables to herbs.
It is essential to keep your chopping board throroughly cleansed in between uses, not just because of strong and pungent odours from foods such as garlic and onion which can linger, but also in order to avoid contamination.
The chemicals found in shop bought washing-up liquids can weaken surface wood fibres on cutting boards and butcher block countertops.
That said, whether you have a wooden or plastic chopping board, there are a number of natural and effective disinfectants, which you can make at home using key kitchen essentials, that are anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and affordable.
Bicarbonate of soda/Baking Soda:
Mix one tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of water to form a paste. Give your chopping board a good scrub with the paste, then rinse thoroughly with hot water and dry.
Alternatively create a paste combining 1tbsp of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, 1 tbsp of salt with 1tbsp of water. Apply with a brush or sponge and vigorously rub before washing it in hot water.
Lemon and lemon juice:
If your cutting board smells after chopping onions, garlic, raw meat, or preparing fish, you can get rid of the odour and help sanitise the cutting board by rubbing it all over with the cut side of half a lemon. If you like, you can also sprinkle coarse salt over the chopping board and then rubbing the board with the cut side of half a lemon.
Or you can use fresh, undiluted lemon juice and squeeze it onto the board, leaving it for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.
Vinegar makes a good and effective disinfectant, and is effective against harmful bugs such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.
Spray undiluted white wine vinegar on your chopping board, then leave for a few minutes before rinsing in hot water.
If you also want to get rid of odours from your chopping board, firstly spread some bicarbonate of soda/baking soda over the chopping board and then spray undiluted white wine vinegar. The bicarbonate of soda/baking soda will bubble and foam on contact with the vinegar. Leave it for a few minutes, before rinsing with a cloth dipped in clean cold water.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea