How to Remove Stains from Plastic Cutting Boards

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The words \"how to clean stained plastic cutting boards, 6 methods tested to find what really works\"

I was making one of my favorite meals the other night-Burrito Bowls-when I noticed that my plastic cutting board had some major stains, even after I washed it.  A quick google search gave a lot of options for how to remove the stains but after trying multiple so called “solutions” without success I was getting irritated.  To combat the widespread misinformation I was finding I decided to share my results in hopes of saving you time when you need to remove stains from plastic cutting boards in the future! You might be surprised by the results!

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A close up of a dirty plastic cutting board

Solution #1: Lemon Juice

Real Simple magazine told me simply rubbing lemon juice on my cutting board and letting it soak would remove the stains.  Nope.  Nothing.

A close up of a dirty plastic cutting board with a cut lemon and lemon juice over the board

Solution #2: Lemon Oil

I found this tip from One Good Thing by Jillee but unfortunately it didn’t work for me either.  Granted she set hers in the sun after the oil was applied to help bleach it out and I wasn’t able to do that on a rainy winter day so that may be the difference.

Solution #3: Thieves Cleaner

I’m a Young Living junkie so I had to try my favorite cleaner before I started looking at more traditional cleaners once I realized the more natural approaches weren’t working. Again, no change at all.

A close up of a dirty plastic cutting board with after the lemon juice has been sitting on the board

Solution #4 Baking Soda & Vinegar

I use this combo to clean a lot of things, including my kitchen sink, so I figured it was worth a shot since it’s such a great cleaning and deodorizing method.  I thought there was a slight improvement but it was so subtle pictures didn’t even show it.

Solution #5 Clorox Clean Up Cleaner

Now it was time to break out the big guns-my Clorox Cleanup cleaner.  I thought this was going to be the answer but alas, NO IMPROVEMENT! I couldn’t believe it! I had one more idea to try before I was going to head to the store to buy a new cutting board…

A close up of Clorox bleach with a dirty plastic cutting board in the background

Solution #6 Undiluted Bleach

I was off to the laundry room for some straight bleach.  I knew this was the last chance so I was very curious how it was going to work.  I poured the bleach on and let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinsed it off. You can see the results:

A close up of a dirty cutting board with liquid on it

Not perfect but a HUGE improvement.  I decided to give it one more round and after that it came completely clean!! Yay!!

A close up of a dirty cutting board

The undiluted bleach was obviously the clear winner here. While I had hoped to find a more natural method sometimes you have to go the traditional route.  I know my cutting board stains were pretty severe (poor thing is over ten years old!) so I can’t say definitively that the other methods I tried won’t work with lighter stains but I know they were no match for mine.

What do you think-do you have any other solutions I didn’t try?

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41 Comments

  1. Clorox Bleach Gel Cleaner worked for mine. I sprayed it on, waited one minute and rinsed in off in the kitchen sink. Was very stained and came clean!

  2. Hello and good morning.

    OUTSTANDING SUGGESTION (the straight bleach). It worked perfectly. Thank you very much. I too have tried many of the suggestions on line of how to remove stains from a plastic cutting board. You saved me a lot of time and effort.

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