Nifty Trick: Cutting Board

I love having a wood cutting board. My mother had one, grandmother had one, and now, I have one. It brings back memories of helping in the kitchen when I use one, so I don’t want to get rid of it. I only use mine for vegetables though, since I’m worried the meat juices will permeate in the wood (I have a Microban one for meat). However, if I cut an onion or garlic on mine, even if it’s waxed really well, the odor permeates into the board and it will not come off.

I finally found a way to kill the odor, completely. Simply baking soda and fresh lemon juice.

Cutting Board Trick
Wet your cutting board, generously sprinkle baking soda on it, and then, squeeze the juice of one lemon on top of the baking soda. It will be reminiscent of the volcanoes you made in 5th grade science class and fizz up. Using your hands, just blend the mixture into a paste and cover the board with it. Allow it to fully dry and then rinse off the paste. Voila! Instantly neutral smelling cutting board!

If you have any nifty tricks to share in the kitchen, feel free to comment. I might even feature yours in a future nifty trick post!


  1. this is awesome! I live in a house built in the 50s with original everything in the kitchen (except a couple appliances). There are three built in slide out wooden cutting boards, that I LOVE to use (only for veggies) because they offer so much extra ‘counter’ space in my little kitchen.
    I can’t wait to get home and clean them like this!

    Here’s a question though–do you know how I could go about waxing them? I don’t know if they ever have been. Maybe it’s kind of gross that I’m even using it, but I’d love to know if I can do more to protect the board and my food!

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      There is a wax that I bought at Williams Sonoma in a good sized tin. I use that once every two weeks after the board completely dries from taking the odors out. :)

  2. I use garlic and onion every day. I have had an issue getting the odor out of it, but this worked really well. I always have left over lemon, so I’m saving them in the fridge to rub it against the board. Thanks for the tip.

    I use vegetable oil for my cutting board. What is the difference between the wax and oil? Is wax better for it? TIA.

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      I don’t know the difference. I’ve never tried oiling a board before. :( I would think they both serve the same purpose: avoiding the wood from drying out/splitting though. :)

  3. This is a great tip! I love cleaning with baking soda (it is magic, pure magic) but I didn’t know I could use it for getting stinkiness out of my cutting board.

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