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Here’s How to Deodorize Your Wood Cutting Board

Man cutting onions on a wooden cutting board.
GCapture/Shutterstock

Wood cutting boards seem to absorb more scents than other boards. Although you can easily wash away most smells, things like onions seem to cling. A few ingredients you might already have on hand can pull the funky scent out of your favorite wood cutting board.

Lemon and Salt

Salt is excellent for drawing moisture and bacteria out of your cutting boards. Lemon is a magnificent natural deodorizer. Using the two together allows you a healthy, natural way to remove stinky leftover smells from your wood cutting board.

Start by putting some coarse sea salt on your wood cutting board. It doesn’t have to cover the board completely, but make sure it’s evenly spread. If you use both sides of your board, and both sides are stinky, you’ll want to repeat these same steps on the other side. Let the salt sit overnight, or at least for a few hours if you’re working on it during the day.

Your next step is to take a lemon, halved, and use it to “scrub” the salted board. You want the juices of the lemon to come out as you’re scrubbing. Once you’ve covered the entire board, let it sit for about ten minutes before wiping it down with a damp cloth. Wash as usual, and always be sure to hand dry your wood cutting board immediately.

Baking Soda

Some people don’t like the lemon scent left behind from the above method. If you’ve tried deodorizing your wood cutting board with lemon and salt and find the result too lemony, you can use a baking soda paste instead.

Baking soda is used in trash cans and refrigerators as a way to absorb odors, so it makes sense it would work the same with cutting boards. All you need to do is make a paste using baking soda and water. You’ll want enough baking soda to cover the cutting-side of your board. Mix one part water to three parts baking soda. Cover the board and scrub it in—you want to scrub out the odors. You can also let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes, for tougher odors. Then rinse, wash, and dry.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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