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Is mildewy cutting board safe?

Old 05-09-20, 10:13 PM
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Is mildewy cutting board safe?

hi. bought it online. Theres mildewy stuff on both sides. it was damp when i recived it.


i tried soap, water, vinegar, and green pad to scrub it off...no luck.

is this safe to use? just ignore it and use it?



Last edited by mtb_addict; 05-09-20 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:20 PM
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Old 05-09-20, 11:41 PM
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If it's wood I'd toss it or use it in the garage or shop for other projects. Wood isn't good for kitchen food prep -- too hard to sanitize properly.

I use plastic cutting boards and thin liners and just replace 'em once in awhile as they wear. They're cheap and good from local dollar stores and discounters.

Otherwise, if you prefer to keep this cutting board, try bleach or Clorox bleach spray. Their foaming bleach spray is the bee's knees for kitchen and bathroom cleanup. It's the perfect mixture of bleach and surfactants, no need to worry about mixing incompatible chemicals and creating toxic gas. Bleach will kill just about any microbe. We used it in hemodialysis units because some patients had hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases. We'd swab for lab tests occasionally and the bleached unit came back negative. It works. But with the Clorox foaming spray you don't need to worry about the correct dilution.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If it's wood I'd toss it or use it in the garage or shop for other projects. Wood isn't good for kitchen food prep -- too hard to sanitize properly.

I use plastic cutting boards and thin liners and just replace 'em once in awhile as they wear. They're cheap and good from local dollar stores and discounters.
This is completely inaccurate, while tests show that a new plastic cutting board is easier to sanitize once the board has been used a couple times it can be nearly impossible to thoroughly sanitize while the tannin in wood help the board to be sanitized and if it gets too scratched so that its hard to clean it can be sanded and fixed while plastic has to be thrown out.

To the OP, you won't get the staining out completely, canklecat is right about bleaching it, there will probably be a stain after that but it won't effect the ability of the board to work. Kind of looks like someone finished wood that wasn't fully dry which requires a large drying oven or can take over a year of he wood being properly stickered and stacked with appropriate air flow.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:00 AM
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I would sand it and re-oil it. Plastic cutting boards are disposable items, a good wood cutting board can last a lifetime. Sure, they take more care than a sheet of plastic that can be thrown in the dishwasher, but sometimes that's the price of having a nice thing.
In my kitchen we have an island with a 3" thick butcherblock top. I refinish the top and re-oil it every few years.

The cutting board I made as a wedding gift for a buddy of mine a few years ago. Endgrain except for the walnut trim, 2" thick. I would take this over an injection molded chunk of plastic any day.

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Old 05-10-20, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If it's wood I'd toss it or use it in the garage or shop for other projects. Wood isn't good for kitchen food prep -- too hard to sanitize properly.

I use plastic cutting boards and thin liners and just replace 'em once in awhile as they wear. They're cheap and good from local dollar stores and discounters.

Otherwise, if you prefer to keep this cutting board, try bleach or Clorox bleach spray. Their foaming bleach spray is the bee's knees for kitchen and bathroom cleanup. It's the perfect mixture of bleach and surfactants, no need to worry about mixing incompatible chemicals and creating toxic gas. Bleach will kill just about any microbe. We used it in hemodialysis units because some patients had hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases. We'd swab for lab tests occasionally and the bleached unit came back negative. It works. But with the Clorox foaming spray you don't need to worry about the correct dilution.
I read of an interesting discovery years ago by a researcher who was doing a project relating to kitchen bacteria. (Don't remember what he was researching.) Just for a reference, he set two cutting boards dirty from uncooked meat out overnight. One plastic, the other wood. The next morning the plastic was, as expected, teeming with bacteria. But the wood wasn't. It had some but far less. He repeated this several times and kept getting the same results. Commented to the effect that this might why primitive cultures don't all keel over from bacteria poisoning despite none of the modern hygiene.

I have mold in this house. Stays manageable with attention to keeping things dry. But it has gotten in to my favorite cutting board. I use it every day and seem to suffer no adverse effects. I know I could cure the mold issues and insurance would pay for it but it would be at the cost of my integrity. (Have an arsonist burn my house to the ground and rebuild.)

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Old 05-10-20, 12:57 AM
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I simplified things for the sake clarity. Butcher block safety depends on the type of wood and maintenance. If you're not sure of what kind of wood a cutting board is made from or how to clean it properly, it's probably not the right choice for your kitchen. I just find it easier to replace plastic cutting boards often.
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Old 05-10-20, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I would sand it and re-oil it.
is a block of wood and some coarse sand paper....doable?

or do i need to buy a electric sander?



Last edited by mtb_addict; 05-10-20 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 05-10-20, 04:40 AM
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Hit it with a butane torch.

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Old 05-10-20, 04:50 AM
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you can hand sand it but a motorized/pneumatic tool would be way easier. This gets my vote too, sand it and start fresh....
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Old 05-10-20, 07:34 AM
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If the goal is to make it a usable cutting board and not a work of art, I vote for bleaching first. If not satisfied with the results, then sand it down.

Most working cutting boards don't look pretty for very long anyway.
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Old 05-10-20, 10:56 AM
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Iíd be worried about it shocking me or catching on fire and hurting one of my family members.
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Old 05-10-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
is this safe to use?
It won't be any less or more safe than without it.
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Old 05-10-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
It won't be any less or more safe than without it.
Oh come on! Where is your sense of drama? That thing looks like it will kill just sitting on the counter...
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Old 05-10-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
is a block of wood and some coarse sand paper....doable?

or do i need to buy a electric sander?


Those kinds of tools aren't safe. At all.
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Old 05-10-20, 11:36 AM
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Itís a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:46 PM
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Is breathing safe?
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Old 05-10-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Oh come on! Where is your sense of drama? That thing looks like it will kill just sitting on the counter...
It is ridiculous. No one needs an assault sander just to get rid of some mold in a cutting board. This is why we need sensible sander laws.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
It is ridiculous. No one needs an assault sander just to get rid of some mold in a cutting board. This is why we need sensible sander laws.
When assault sanders are outlawed only outlaws will have assault sanders!
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Old 05-10-20, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Is breathing safe?
I think it's pretty well proven that if you breath long enough eventually you die.
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Old 05-10-20, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
It is ridiculous. No one needs an assault sander just to get rid of some mold in a cutting board. This is why we need sensible sander laws.
Sanders don't kill people.
Oh wait...

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Old 05-10-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
is a block of wood and some coarse sand paper....doable?

or do i need to buy a electric sander?


Seriously - don't get a belt sander! Get an orbital sander. Belt sanders are great tools - in the hands of someone who has skill with them., intends to remove real amounts of material and intends to follow up with other sanders. They do not have the inherent tendency to keep surfaces flat. Once you create the waves, its use as a good cutting board with long, straight knives is over unless you want to do real work making the board flat again. (More tools and/or elbow grease.)
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Old 05-10-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Those kinds of tools aren't safe. At all.
How did I guess that this OP would figure out a cheap way to make a bad idea more dangerous?
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Old 05-10-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I think it's pretty well proven that if you breath long enough eventually you die.
But if you donít breathe long enough you die sooner.
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Old 05-10-20, 03:02 PM
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Just another example of "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't".
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