No kitchen is complete without a good cutting board. These convenient boards can be used for nearly every meal that you compare. Whether you use a plastic or wooden board, chances are that you'll need to replace it at some point. But how long does the average cutting board last? We have researched cutting boards and their typical life spans. In this post, we will answer this question for you.
On average, you can expect a wooden cutting board to last anywhere from 4 to 7 years or more and a plastic cutting board to last anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Things that can affect the length of time that a cutting board lasts include how often they are used, their material, how often and how they are maintained, and the brand and overall quality of the board.
Every tool in your kitchen's arsenal is important. And if you are someone who makes fresh dishes daily, a solid cutting board is essential to making your tasks much easier. Continue reading to learn about the differences in plastic and wooden cutting boards and how to maintain them so that they last as long as possible.
All About Cutting Board Life Span
If you take care of your wooden cutting board, it can last up to seven or more years. Proper maintenance includes cleaning it after every use, seasoning it, and making sure it is dried and stored correctly.
The most common reason why cutting boards will need to be replaced more often is that they will begin to crack, become worn, or develop multiple discolorations over time. However, you'll be happy to know that you can prevent a lot of these issues mainly by using the correct cleaning methods and avoiding the growth of bacteria.
Natural wooden cutting boards can resist harmful bacteria better than plastic cutting boards.
Over time, if you notice that the cut lines in your wooden cutting board are harboring dirt or becoming heavily cracked, you may need to throw them away. Or, you may be able to sand the board down and season it to help preserve the new surface.
Plastic boards, on the other hand, can't be sanded down. When a plastic board begins to trap bacteria due to deep cracks, it's best to toss the entire board and buy a new one. You don't want to risk food contamination by using a cutting board that can't be properly sanitized.
Dishwashers can do a great job of sanitizing a plastic cutting board. However, if the cracks are too deep, it's simply won't be able to penetrate the surfaces as well.
Is Wood Or Plastic Better For A Cutting Board?
Ultimately, the best cutting board for you will depend on your preference and how often you will need to use it. Overall wooden cutting boards tend to win the favor of many chefs and homeowners alike. But let's look at the main differences between the two.
Wooden Cutting Boards
The biggest benefit of a quality wooden board is that it typically weighs enough to remain stable as you place meats and vegetables on top of it to cut. Also, it can take several scrapes and cuts without showing significant surface damage-and; it has a beautiful aesthetic, which can be helpful if you keep your cutting board on the counter.
The smooth texture of wooden cutting boards makes them easier to use when working with bread dough as it sticks less to wooden boards than plastic boards.
Overall, you'll find that a good wood cutting board will outlast a plastic cutting board, though they may require a bit more effort to maintain to prevent cracking. You may also find that wooden boards are a bit higher in price range and plastic boards. You can typically find a good one for about $25 to $60.
On the other hand, the biggest downside to wooden cutting boards is their porous surface. That being stated, it stops often advised that you don't cut raw meat on the same cutting board on which you cut fresh fruit and vegetables. It's better to use a separate cutting board for meat and another for produce instead.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Although plastic cutting boards don't typically have the same appeal that wooden cutting boards do, they are worth considering. Not only are these boards durable and flexible, but they can be sanitized in the dishwasher.
Many cooks prefer plastic cutting boards due to their convenient non-porous surface, making them more idea for meat products--this means less chance for cross-contamination when cutting produce. However, just like wooden cutting boards, these boards will start to build up scrapes and cuts over overtime, which can cause issues with bacteria.
For this reason, plastic cutting boards will likely need to be replaced more often than wooden cutting boards, especially if you use them primarily for meat. Plastic cutting boards can stand up to water and heat reasonably well, depending on the brand and quality of the board.
They're also more affordable for the most part and can be purchased anywhere from $20 to $50.
Overall, you'll find that the best way to decide on a cutting board material is to determine the type of foods that you plan to cut, your budget, and whether or not you care to spend time maintaining the board.
When Should You Throw Away A Plastic Cutting Board?
It's best to replace a plastic cutting board at least once a year if you use it daily. If you only use your cutting board once or twice a week, you may be able to go a few years without needing to replacement. Keep in mind that these boards, though less porous than wood, can still harbor bacteria and cause sanitation issues.
If you have a plastic board, it's best to sanitize it after each use, either by placing it in the dishwasher or using a bleach or vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution to clean it. You'll know it's time to replace your plastic cutting board when you begin noticing dirt or debris embedded in the cuts and scrapes on top of the board.
How Often Should Cutting Boards Be Sanitized?
Cutting boards should be cleaned sanitized after every use, especially if they are made of wood. You can sanitize use your cutting boards using the dishwasher or by letting them soak in a diluted bleach solution for about 5-10 minutes--if it's made of plastic.
If the cutting board is made of wood, you can let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes in a hydrogen peroxide solution and vinegar solution.
How Do You Maintain A Cutting Board?
Maintaining plastic boards
Plastic cutting boards are easy to maintain, as you need to clean and sanitize it after use and then ensure that it is completely dry before storing it. It's best to wash your plastic cutting board with mild dish soap and then sanitize it using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide or by tossing it in the dishwasher.
Maintaining wooden boards
Wooden cutting boards can also be cleaned using mild dish soap and hot water. If you want to give your wooden cutting board a solid cleaning every month, you can use kosher salt and a fresh limit. For this method, take a lemon, cut it in half, and rub the fleshy side over the top of the cutting board.
Next time, sprinkle the kosher salt over the cutting board and rub the solution with a paper towel. Let the mixture sit for about 5 to 7 minutes, and then rinse off the board using warm water and a sponge. Finally, dry the board with a clean towel and let it air out for the next 5 to 7 hours.
Seasoning a wooden cutting board
Wooden boards can also be seasoned to help prevent them from splitting or cracking. Here are the steps to season your wooden cutting board:
Things you'll need:
- Mineral Oil
- Lint-free cloth
- Pour half a tablespoon of mineral oil onto your cleaning cloth. Apply the oil to the cutting board to make sure to work it generously into the areas with the most scrapes and cuts.
- Next, let the oil sit on the cutting board for about 5 to 10 hours or overnight if possible.
- Then, take a fresh cleaning cloth or paper towel and wipe off any excess oil from the board. Keep in mind that the cutting board may feel a bit sticky or oily after this process, but that's normal.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope this post has answered your question about how long cutting boards last on average. Remember, the best way to increase the longevity of your cutting board is to maintain it as best as possible.
Be sure to check out our other posts before you go: