Can You Put Cutting Board in Dishwasher? Discover the Do’s and Don’ts!

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Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to put your cutting board in the dishwasher? It’s a common question that many people have. After all, we use cutting boards daily for preparing food, but are they dishwasher-friendly? Yes, you can put some cutting boards in the dishwasher, but it depends on the material.

In this article, we’ll explore whether it’s okay to toss your cutting board in with the dirty dishes or if it’s better to stick to handwashing. We’ll discuss different types of cutting boards, dishwasher settings, and the pros and cons of each cleaning method. By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to care for your cutting board to keep it clean and safe for your kitchen adventures.

Can You Put Cutting Board in Dishwasher

Understanding Cutting Board Materials

Before we discuss whether it’s safe to put a cutting board in the dishwasher, it’s essential to understand the different materials cutting boards are made from and how they can react to dishwasher cleaning.

Plastic Cutting Boards

These are among the most common types of cutting boards. They are lightweight, affordable, and come in various colors. Plastic cutting boards are generally considered dishwasher safe, but there are some considerations to keep in mind, which we’ll discuss later in the article.

Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards are favored by many chefs for their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, unlike plastic cutting boards, wooden ones require more care and attention when it comes to cleaning. Putting wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher can lead to warping, cracking, or splitting, which is why it’s generally not recommended.

Bamboo Cutting Boards

Bamboo cutting boards have gained popularity in recent years due to their eco-friendly nature and durability. Like wooden cutting boards, bamboo ones are not typically dishwasher safe, and the high heat and moisture in the dishwasher can cause damage over time.

Can You Put Plastic Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher?

Plastic cutting boards are generally considered safe for dishwasher use. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:


Most plastic cutting boards can withstand the heat of the dishwasher without warping or melting. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific temperature guidelines. Using a dishwasher with a high-temperature setting may not be suitable for all plastic cutting boards.

Dishwasher Detergent

Some dishwasher detergents contain harsh chemicals that can degrade the plastic material over time. To prolong the life of your plastic cutting board, opt for a gentle, non-abrasive detergent or consider hand washing if you’re unsure about the detergent’s compatibility.


When loading your plastic cutting board into the dishwasher, make sure it’s securely placed away from any heating elements or moving parts. This will help prevent damage during the wash cycle.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Wooden Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher

While plastic cutting boards can generally withstand the dishwasher’s cleaning cycle, the same cannot be said for wooden cutting boards. Here’s why:


Wooden cutting boards are more susceptible to warping when exposed to moisture and heat. The combination of hot water and steam in the dishwasher can cause the wood fibers to swell and contract, leading to warping or buckling.

Cracking and Splitting

In addition to warping, the high heat of the dishwasher can also cause wooden cutting boards to crack or split over time. This not only compromises the integrity of the board but also creates potential harborage areas for bacteria.

Degradation of Finish

Many wooden cutting boards are treated with oils or finishes to protect the wood and enhance its longevity. The heat and moisture in the dishwasher can strip away these protective coatings, leaving the wood vulnerable to damage and decay.

Do’s and Don’ts for Dishwashing Cutting Boards

Properly cleaning your cutting boards is essential to maintain a hygienic cooking environment. While some may wonder if it’s safe to put cutting boards in the dishwasher, there are important do’s and don’ts to consider. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your cutting boards remain in good shape and bacteria-free.

Proper Dishwashing Technique for Cutting Boards

When it comes to cleaning cutting boards, following the right technique is crucial. Here are some steps to properly dishwasher your cutting boards:

  • Rinse the cutting board with warm water to remove any surface dirt or debris.
  • Apply a mild dish soap directly on the board.
  • Using a sponge or scrub brush, gently scrub the entire surface of the cutting board.
  • Rinse the cutting board thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Dry the cutting board with a clean towel or air dry it in a well-ventilated area.

This technique ensures that your cutting board is not only cleaned but also free from any lingering soap residue that can affect the taste of your food.

Safe Materials for Dishwashing Cutting Boards

Not all cutting boards are dishwasher safe. Here are the materials that are suitable for dishwasher cleaning:

Dishwasher Safe Not Dishwasher Safe
Plastic Wood
Glass Bamboo
Silicone Slate

Plastic, glass, and silicone cutting boards can withstand the dishwasher’s high temperatures, ensuring thorough cleaning. On the other hand, wood, bamboo, and slate cutting boards are prone to warping, cracking, or absorbing water, making them unsuitable for dishwasher use.

Things to Avoid When Dishwashing Cutting Boards

To preserve the quality and longevity of your cutting boards, avoid the following practices when dishwashing:

  • High heat: Exposing cutting boards to high heat settings in the dishwasher can cause warping or cracking, especially for wood and bamboo boards
  • Sharp utensils: Avoid placing sharp knives or utensils directly on top of the cutting board in the dishwasher, as they can damage the board or cause injury
  • Harsh chemicals: Do not use abrasive or harsh chemicals when cleaning cutting boards, as they may affect the material’s integrity or leave harmful residue
  • Long cycles: Opt for shorter or gentle cycles when dishwashing cutting boards to prevent excessive exposure to water and heat

By avoiding these practices, you can maintain the quality and cleanliness of your cutting boards, extending their lifespan and ensuring they remain safe for food preparation.

How to Clean Cutting Boards without Dishwasher

While dishwashers can provide a convenient way to clean various kitchen utensils, including cutting boards, not all cutting boards are dishwasher-safe. Some cutting boards, especially those made of wood, can warp, crack, or sustain damage in the dishwasher due to high heat and exposure to water for extended periods.

Manual Dishwashing Method

When it comes to cleaning cutting boards without a dishwasher, the manual dishwashing method is a reliable option. Follow these steps for thorough cleaning:

  • Start by rinsing your cutting board with warm water to remove any loose food debris.
  • Apply a small amount of dish soap to a sponge or dishcloth and gently scrub the surface of the cutting board. Use circular motions to ensure all areas are covered.
  • Rinse the cutting board thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue.
  • Pat the cutting board dry with a clean towel or let it air dry vertically to allow better air circulation.

Natural Cleaning Solutions for Cutting Boards

If you prefer using natural cleaning agents, you can try these options:

  • Lemon and Salt: Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt on the cutting board. Scrub the surface with the lemon, squeezing the juice as you go. Rinse and dry.
  • Vinegar and Water: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution onto the cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a sponge or dishcloth and rinse thoroughly.
  • Baking Soda Paste: Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the cutting board and scrub gently. Rinse and dry.

Disinfection Techniques for Cutting Boards

To ensure your cutting board is properly disinfected, especially after cutting raw meat or other potentially harmful ingredients, try these methods:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Water: Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Chlorine Bleach Solution: Create a sanitizing solution by mixing one tablespoon of chlorine bleach with one gallon of water. Apply the solution to the cutting board using a sponge or dishcloth. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution onto the cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Tips for Maintaining Cutting Boards

Proper maintenance of cutting boards is crucial for ensuring food safety and extending the lifespan of your kitchen equipment. Whether you use a wooden, plastic, or bamboo cutting board, following these tips for regular cleaning and maintenance, avoiding cross-contamination, and knowing when to replace your cutting boards can help you maintain a hygienic food preparation environment.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Sanitizing your cutting board after each use is essential to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. For wooden cutting boards, it’s recommended to wash them with hot, soapy water and then sanitize using a solution of vinegar and water. On the other hand, plastic cutting boards can be cleaned in the dishwasher or with a bleach solution. Ensure your cutting board is completely dry before storing to prevent any potential mold growth.

Avoiding Cross-contamination

To prevent cross-contamination, it’s important to use separate cutting boards for raw meats and other food items. Color-coded cutting boards can be a helpful way to remember which board is designated for each type of food. After cutting raw meat, thoroughly clean and sanitize the cutting board before using it for other food preparation. This practice is crucial for preventing the spread of bacteria and foodborne illnesses.

Replacing Cutting Boards

Over time, cutting boards may develop deep grooves and cuts where bacteria can thrive, making it difficult to thoroughly clean. If your cutting board shows signs of wear despite regular maintenance, it’s time to consider replacing it. A good rule of thumb is to replace plastic cutting boards more frequently than wooden ones. This ensures a safe environment for food preparation and minimizes the risk of food contamination.

Final Words

I hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the importance of proper cutting board care and maintenance. While it may be tempting to take the easy route and toss your cutting board into the dishwasher, it’s crucial to consider the material and manufacturer’s guidelines beforehand.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your cutting board remains clean, hygienic, and in good condition for years to come. Remember, whether you’re using a plastic, wooden, or bamboo cutting board, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for both food safety and the longevity of your kitchen tools.

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Hi, I'm Zein, and I know everything there is to know about home tools. I'm able to fix everything from coffee and espresso machines to washers and dryers. I really enjoy figuring out how to use home electronics, so I'm going to share some guides, tips, and tricks with you. You can count on me to make your home life easy, whether you're looking for the right brew or dealing with annoying problems. Welcome to my space, where I combine my knowledge with simple life hacks!

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