Complete Guide: Are Bamboo Cutting Boards Dishwasher Safe?

Bamboo cutting boards are the go-to kitchen products when it comes to environment-friendly options. If you’ve newly purchased one or are planning to, you’re in the right place. We’re about to uncover everything to help you clean and maintain your bamboo cutting board.

Are bamboo cutting boards dishwasher safe?

No, bamboo cutting boards aren’t dishwasher safe. Putting your cutting board in the dishwasher damages its protective coating, potentially resulting in deformities and cracks. That’s because prolonged exposure to heat and water makes bamboo cutting boards vulnerable to damage.

Now that we’ve addressed the elephant in the room, let’s take a look at some other aspects.

What’s the Best Method For Washing Bamboo Cutting Boards?

Step 1: Always scrape off food wastes first. You can do this using a spatula or any other utensil.

Step 2: Using a soft sponge, wash the cutting board’s surface with warm water and mild dish soap. 

Step 3: After a quick wash with soap, rinse it with running water, preferably hot water. 

Step 4: Dab it with a kitchen towel, then position it upright on a stand or against the wall to dry completely. The drying process only takes about an hour or two. 

Note: The best time to wash your bamboo cutting board is immediately after using it. Never soak it in water because that may leave greasy marks and damage your board. And we don’t want that. 

Lifting Stains from a Bamboo Cutting Board

If you follow the steps above and wash your bamboo cutting board right after use, stains don’t stand a chance. However, in case your board gets stained, refrain from using chemical cleaning agents. Instead, open up your spice cabinet and grab coarse salt or baking soda.

All you have to do is sprinkle baking soda or salt on the stain and rub it in a circular motion. You can use a sponge for salt and a wet cloth for baking soda. Or even an old toothbrush! At this point, you may notice the formation of a paste-like substance on your board. Let it sit for up to 5 minutes. Then rinse with water and dry using a cloth or towel. 

Protip: For extraordinary stain-lifting power, cut a lemon in half and scrub the stain off. 

Deodorizing a Bamboo Cutting Board

Disclaimer: you will face moments where your bamboo cutting board may become smelly. And so, you must know how to deodorize it. Sprinkling a bit of salt on it and rubbing a sliced lemon on the board’s surface can help freshen up its smell. Then let it sit for an hour or two. The salt and lemon settle on your bamboo cutting board and remove the unpleasant odor. In the end, rinse and dry the board with a kitchen towel. Don’t forget to dry it properly before storing it.

Does a Bamboo Cutting Board Require Disinfecting?

You’d be surprised to know how easily cross-contamination can take place between your cutting board and the food you consume. We’ve got one word for you: bacteria. Around ten percent of bacteria on a cutting board can transfer to food while chopping. 

An upside of owning a bamboo cutting board is that it has naturally occurring antibacterial properties. However, to minimize the risk of food contamination, you still need to sanitize or disinfect it on some occasions. These include contact with raw meat, poultry, or seafood. 

We’ve discovered two perfect disinfecting methods for you with materials you can easily find in your kitchen:

● Mix equal parts of white vinegar with water. Then, soak a clean cloth in the solution and rub it all over the board. 

● Use baking soda and a wet sponge to scrub the board’s surface. 

Both methods require you to let the solution rest on your bamboo cutting board for a few minutes. After that, rinse the board with lukewarm water and dry it with a towel.

Conditioning Your Bamboo Cutting Board 

Before making your first cut, condition your new bamboo cutting board with mineral oil. Repeat the following method for a week, after which you can season your board monthly:

  1. Warm-up a bit of mineral oil in the microwave or over the stove.
  2. Drizzle and spread it all over your cutting board. 
  3. Once you’ve coated it, experts suggest you let the oiled cutting board stand upright overnight. Avoid drying it with a towel because this is when the oil kicks in and works its magic. 

So what’s the trick? Mineral oil has dual purposes. It acts as a hydrator and a barrier for the bamboo. It basically gives the board some necessary moisture while forming a seal to keep excess water out. Plus, it leaves a beautiful, smooth, and shiny finish. 

Benefits of Owning a Bamboo Cutting Board

If you haven’t purchased a bamboo cutting board yet, you might be wondering what separates it from the other options. Why not a cutting board made of plastic, glass, or classic wood? Keep reading to find out!

Durable and Hard

What makes bamboo the perfect material for a cutting surface is that although it is lightweight, it is harder than most wood. A bamboo cutting board is more resilient to scratches and overall damage compared to any wooden board. It ensures a smooth cutting experience, but at the same time, it is soft and will not damage your knives. Overall, bamboo is far more long-lasting than any other material.

Hygienic

A chef’s knife generates pockets for moisture, food particles, and bacteria; these can accumulate on your board and travel into your food. If hardwood such as maple is vulnerable to this, don’t even get us started on plastic. Bamboo is dense and sturdy enough to resist knife scarring, which makes it a hygienic option. However, disinfecting your bamboo cutting board is still advisable, and you’ll find instructions towards the end.

Water-Resistant

Bamboo cutting boards aren’t as water-absorbent as wood. Therefore, they’re less likely to crack or warp, with an emphasis on less likely. It isn’t a sure chance. Keep reading to discover why and pick up tips on preventing any unintended damage.

Green, Renewable, and Earth Friendly

Wood can take up to fifty years to grow, but bamboo is more of grass than wood. It grows in comparatively less time and can be harvested within 3 to 6 years after planting. Once harvesting is complete, it regrows without replanting, springing new bamboo shoots out. 

Another thing: bamboo is 100% biodegradable and can easily be regenerated, so it is an ideal eco-friendly choice.

Easy Maintenance

Bamboo cutting boards are relatively easier to maintain than others, but are they dishwasher safe? No, they aren’t.

Here’s the deal: to make a cutting board out of bamboo, manufacturers need to flatten it. A glue and pressure treatment completes this function. But putting your cutting board in the dishwasher damages its protecting coating, potentially resulting in deformities and cracks. Why? Heat and water. Prolonged exposure to both makes not only bamboo but any kind of wood or plastic vulnerable to damage. 

Now, if you’re convinced, we’ve compiled a list of notes to help you take care of your beautiful bamboo cutting board.

Storage Tips

If you want your bamboo cutting board to last a good while, keep the following storage tips in mind:

  • Clean your board immediately after use.
  • Store it in a cool and dry place with plenty of air circulation. Heat can cause damage to the board, while humidity can lead to molding.
  • Hang it away from extreme heat. Anywhere near your stove is a no-no!

FAQ

Are there any serious health risks of not disinfecting my cutting board?

Yes. Cutting boards can harbor harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella if they aren’t cleaned and disinfected. You may end up with food poisoning and experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Can I use olive oil on my bamboo cutting board?

No, and while we’re at it, cooking oils altogether aren’t suitable to condition your bamboo cutting board. Olive, corn, and sunflower oils go stale and yield extremely unpleasant smells. You should avoid substances that might turn rancid because your cutting board comes in direct contact with your food. Protect it at all costs!

Can I disinfect my bamboo cutting board in the microwave?

No, please don’t. Although some studies indicate that ‘brief cooking’ a wooden cutting board at a high setting in the microwave is an effective way to kill bacteria, this doesn’t apply to bamboo. Too much heat will damage the board or cause warping, and you can’t kill cross-contamination pathogens otherwise. 

Do I oil both sides of my bamboo cutting board?

Yes. Oil both sides of the bamboo cutting board and the edges.

When should I throw away my bamboo cutting board?

Don’t. When your bamboo cutting board is old and dried out, you can give it a renewed look. Rub both sides with fine-grit sandpaper until the old surface is gone. Then wash with soapy water and dry with a cloth. In the end, reseason or condition the board to freshen it up. It’ll be as good as new!

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