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Old 23-08-2005, 03:12 PM
Wayne Boatwright
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On Tue 23 Aug 2005 05:48:55a, Peter Aitken wrote in

"Wayne Boatwright" wrote in message
On Mon 22 Aug 2005 11:37:50p, Cape Cod Bob wrote in

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 10:33:50 +0800, "Raelene"

Hi all,

Just wondering how to go about cleaning a dirty bread/cutting board.
It's been left on the sink & the end touching the stainless steel has
(in parts) gone dark brown & there are spots of mould growing on it.

Also, I have bought a good quality one (round) & was wondering about
'preparing' the board & keeping it in good condition.

Wood is porous. I would give up on the moldy piece, but if you want
to try to salvage it, a swipe with very diluted bleach (1:100) would
be the minimum I would go. Vinegar can be used but it's not as sure
as bleach to kill molds.

As for your new board, wipe with Mineral Oil (available in drugstores
as a laxative), rewipe any areas that become dry within a few minutes.
Let set for 24 hours and wipe thoroughly. Cooking oils are not
recommended as they can turn rancid. Mineral oil is recommended by
all woodworking groups. Here is a situation that you should trust
wood people rather than cooks. ;-) Reapply the mineral oil only when
you see the board start to dry out.

Yes, bleach and mineral oil is definitely the way to go, and it will
work. But I would add another couple of steps, as well.

The wood can tolerate more moisture than a mere swipe, as well as more
bleach for this cleaning process, and rather than give up on the moldy
piece, it's worth the risk.

First, scrub the board well with plain water and a soft bristle brush.
Then soak the board in a stronger bleach solution, at least 1:10, for 5
minutes. Rinse well, and then soak the board in plain water for 10
minutes. Dry with a towel.

Finally, thoroughly wet all surfaces of the board with hydrogen
peroxide and allow to air dry thoroughly.

It's possible that there may still be some traces of the stains, but
the mold will definitely be gone.

Last of all, apply mineral oil generously, then place on a rack in a
225 degree oven for half an hour. Repeat.

Wayne Boatwright **

I would not heat the board in the oven. Why bother? It may cause warping
or splitting.

If it is a treasured or expensive board, I probably wouldn't either.
However, the OP was considering tossing it if it couldn't be
cleaned/treated, so I think there was little to lose. The OP also had a
very good and more expensive board in good condition. This was a "last
resort" treatment.

FWIW, when I used wooden cutting boards (I now use poly), I always put the
board in a very low oven to insure sealing in the oil coating. They never

If it is a treasured or expensive board you might find a local
woodworker with a power planer who can take 1/8 inch off to give you a
nice new surface. Then treat with mineral oil as others have described.

That's a great idea!

Wayne Boatwright **

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four,
unless there are three other people.