The problem is that the sharp knives have caused many cuts all over on my plastic chopping board. Now, I can see the minute vegetable remains in the cuts on board.

What's the way to "easily" get the dirt out of those cuts?

  • 4
    Are you sure it is "pieces" of vegetables? Some vegetables (e.g. peppers) can dye the cuts and scratches on a plastic board, especially if the plastic is of the softer kind, but this doesn't mean the board is dirty. I used to have plastic boards and I ran them regularly through the dishwasher and sometimes scrubbed with an acid solution. They still had a reddish tint, stronger in the cuts.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 19, 2011 at 10:38
  • 1
    @rumtscho you're right in that it could just be dyed, but reports have shown difficulty in cleaning a plastic board with deep grooves without a dishwasher (which she doesn't have) - so it could be food.
    – rfusca
    Oct 19, 2011 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


If the dishwasher and hand-scrubbing cannot remove stains, professionals sometimes use a simple solution: we apply pure bleach directly to the board and scrub it in with a stiff-bristled plastic brush. Then we allow the bleach to sit for 5-10 minutes. At this time, most stains are gone or almost gone. Then we clean the board THOROUGHLY until no bleach smell remains. Usually it takes 2 cycles in a dishwasher or hand scrubbing and rinsing several times.

This method is extremely fast and effective, particularly for troublesome vegetable stains (beets, carrots, chopped herbs).

  • and by bleach, you mean the same bleach which is used to dye clothes? Oct 24, 2011 at 11:08
  • yes, the same bottled bleach.
    – BobMcGee
    Oct 25, 2011 at 2:57
  • I think that you use a bleach water solution...not 100% pure bleach...As per this answer...and the comments. cooking.stackexchange.com/a/20182/2125
    – milesmeow
    Jan 24, 2012 at 5:38
  • 1
    @milesmeow: No, see, the point is that you're using the undiluted version because it is more effective against impossible stains. Only do this if you've tried diluted solution and scrubbing first. Yes, it's not what you're supposed to do, but it's bloody effective and fast. If you clean thoroughly as I emphasize it does not pose any health risks. Just don't get a lungful! :D
    – BobMcGee
    Jan 26, 2012 at 14:09
  • Stick it in the dishwasher.
  • A short soak and a stiff brush. Then some disinfectant of what kind you use, let it soak for a bit, then rinse off.

If you're not able to get your plastic clean reliably, you're better off with a good wood board. Some research shows that they're more naturally anti microbial.

Based on your comment

It sounds like a good 'wooden endgrain board' may be in your future. When well cared for, they 'self heal'. The knives don't leave deep groves when used properly and they're somewhat anti-microbial according to the earlier link.

  • I should have mentioned that I don't have a dishwasher. :( and also, that rubbing with a brush consumes a "lot of" energy. Anyway, is there a kind of board on which knives can't make any impact? Oct 19, 2011 at 6:55
  • @Anisha answered updated
    – rfusca
    Oct 19, 2011 at 7:18
  • Agreed ... for those without dishwashers, a properly maintained wood board (cleaned, an occassional salt/lemon scrub, etc.) is likely more hygienic. You can always use the plastic cutting mats for meats, and dispose of them when they start showing signs of wear.
    – Joe
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:58

I personally use a plastic toothpick to get a lot of the "gunk" out of where the knives have made fissures.

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