I had used bleach on a sponge to clean a floor of paint. My boyfriend, then used said sponge to clean our wooden chopping boards. I remembered this today and decided to clean the board with soap and water.

I understand that cleaning a chopping board with watered down bleach is a thing. but how much bleach in this process is toxic levels. The chopping board had plenty of time to dry. I then washed it with soap and water, But I don't want to risk poisoning myself or him as i imagine the aubergine I just sliced sucking in the bleach!

If i now cook the vegetables I prepared on the chopping board harm us? I'd appreciate an answer before I have to cook this food or explain my neuroses to him embarrassing!


It was cream bleach (i think, something similar to 'cif') used to de grease sinks/hobs, although to add to the total ridiculousness of the situation, I'm in Italy and cant read Italian, it was just what was available with a picture of hob/sink on the cover and a texture similar to 'cif'. The paint was oil paint, I can recommend cream bleach to remove this from tiles and sinks based on frequent past usage.

I have swilled the vegetables in water they don't smell of chemicals. The aubergine, I have washed it, but I'm worried it's still not okay because it's porous.

  • 1
    If is dried I seriously doubt you have toxic levels. Even wet I think it is safe. Cooking will boil off bleach.
    – paparazzo
    Oct 19, 2017 at 19:11
  • Bleach, of controlled dilution, is actually legal and used as a produce wash in some localities... Oct 19, 2017 at 19:15
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    I would think getting an off taste is a much bigger hazard than safety in this case. If you cannot smell bleach, wash with soap and water one more time and let air dry. If you can still smell, repeat until you cannot, then one more time. I seldom run risks with food and contamination, but this one should not be a big deal, you should not be approaching close to toxic levels.
    – dlb
    Oct 19, 2017 at 20:07
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    @abbc Bleach on your wood chopping board is definitely something probably do not want to do on a regular basis, but remember that most of us drink bleach on a regular basis. Most municipal water has a form of chlorine bleach at low levels, and pool at higher levels, as well as many bottled waters. Household bleaches often have additional stuff, like fragrances. As long as the smells have cleared, should be fine, but if you/he repeat it, things can start to build up. It should still not be toxic levels one hope, but might well taint tastes.
    – dlb
    Oct 20, 2017 at 14:38
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    I think the bigger issue here is how a sponge used to clean paint off a floor was subsequently used on something needing to be food-safe; the issue could have been much worse than diluted bleach. You should find a way to make sure that doesn't happen again, probably physically separating and distinguishing the non-food sponges.
    – Kevin
    Oct 20, 2017 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


The ever lovely cleanipedia actually reccomend using chlorine bleach solution to sanitise chopping boards


The comments under the question also offer some very good advice.

My personal thoughts are that it should be perfectly safe. When on survival training we used bleach to purify water to drink (in small quantities!)

I would suggest that you could now wash the boards in plain boiling water just to ensure no residue remains.

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