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.