Mold sometimes forms in places where you would least expect it. Today, I want to address one, or should I say two of those places: cutting boards—both the plastic and the wood variety and butcher blocks.
Now, before I begin with the steps to take to get rid of the mold, I want to talk about how and why mold would grow there in the first place. Because butcher blocks, and wooden cutting boards naturally have divots and grooves on their surfaces, moisture can penetrate and become trapped in these grooves. The food residue and sometimes mold and bacteria from whatever you were cutting, then clings to this moisture and starts to grow mold and bacteria of its own. It’s a rather icky process.
On plastic cutting boards, the issue is usually caused by the sandpaper-like surface of the cutting board not being cleaned thoroughly enough between uses. Many of the foods that we eat have mold and bacteria on their surfaces naturally. If they are not mold- and bacteria-free prior to setting them on the cutting board, both substances can get ground into the cutting board’s surface, only to grow even more bacteria and mold as time goes on. Combine this with moisture, and you can really have a problem on your hands. Wood is also a porous material, so mold can grow into the mold, using the natural substance as its food. Thus, a soap and water cleaning, or a harsh chemical, like bleach or ammonia will not fully penetrate it.
Let’s fix that problem right now!
Here are some tried and true methods that I use to get the mold out of my cutting boards and butcher blocks and to prevent it from forming again.
- Liquid, grease and grime-cutting dish soap, like Dawn or Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap
- Rough-textured scouring sponge
- Coarse sea salt
- Lime or lemon, sliced in half, or the juice of one lime or lemon
- First, wash your cutting board thoroughly using the dish soap, the scouring sponge and hot water. Concentrate your scrubbing on the center of the cutting board, where you usually place the food. When you have finished washing the cutting board, dry it thoroughly with a dry dish towel.
- Set your cutting board on a dry, flat surface in your kitchen.
- Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt into the center of your cutting board, or directly onto the flat side of your lemon or lime, if using—obviously, you can use more, if you are cleaning a large butcher block.
- Pour 1 capful of EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate onto the center of your cutting board. It will naturally disperse from the center outwards.
- If you are using a lemon or a lime, use the flat side where you sliced it, to scour your cutting board. The salt will provide the abrasive property to penetrate the divots, the EC3 will clean the mold and bacteria and penetrate the porous surface to prevent further mold and bacteria from forming, and the lemon or lime will deodorize the board’s surface of any food smells. If you are using only the citrus juice, pour one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice onto of the sea salt in the middle of your cutting board. Moving in a circular motion, use your scouring sponge to clean the board from the center outwards.
- When you have scoured the entire surface of your cutting board or butcher block, discard your lemon or lime rinds, if you used them, and rinse the surface of the board clean under hot running water.
- Then, if needed to remove any stubborn salt or lemon/lime pulp, use your scouring sponge and dish soap to wash the board thoroughly.
- Finally, I recommend leaving your cutting board or butcher block in the drying rack next to your sink or out on your counter on a clean, dry dish towel, so that in can dry completely before you put it away. (If it still has moisture trapped in it, and many times wooden cutting boards absorb moisture and take a few hours to dry, it could grow mold inside your cabinet or drawer. After all of that hard work, you don’t want that!)
That’s all for today. I hope you will try this cleaning technique. Let me know how it goes.