Can Wooden Cutting Boards Go in the Dishwasher: A Complete Guide

Wooden cutting boards are a staple in many kitchens due to their durability and natural aesthetics. However, when it comes to cleaning, there’s often confusion about whether these boards can safely go in the dishwasher. In this article, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of using the dishwasher for wooden cutting boards and provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Wooden cutting boards have been used for generations as reliable surfaces for chopping, slicing, and dicing. They offer a natural charm to any kitchen and are known for their resilience.

Advantages of Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards have several advantages over other materials. They are less likely to dull knives, provide a forgiving cutting surface that reduces wear and tear on your blades, and are resistant to harboring bacteria.

The Dishwasher Debate

Can you put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher? It’s a common question. While modern dishwashers are convenient, the answer is generally no. Wooden cutting boards are not dishwasher-friendly due to the risk of damage from heat, moisture, and prolonged exposure to detergents.

Why Dishwashers Can Be Problematic

Dishwashers expose wooden cutting boards to high water temperatures, which can cause warping, cracking, and splitting. Additionally, the prolonged heat and moisture can strip the natural oils from the wood, leading to a shorter lifespan for your cherished cutting board.

Maintaining Your Wooden Cutting Board

To prolong the life of your wooden cutting board, regular maintenance is essential. Apply food-grade mineral oil to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking. This also helps maintain the board’s natural resistance to bacteria.

Cleaning and Caring for Wooden Cutting Boards

Cleaning your wooden cutting board after each use is crucial. Use a mixture of mild soap and warm water, scrubbing gently with a sponge or cloth. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it standing up to allow proper air circulation.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

For deeper cleaning, you can use a mixture of lemon juice and salt, which acts as a natural disinfectant. Another option is a solution of vinegar and water. Remember to rinse and dry the board properly after using these methods.

Dos and Don’ts for Wooden Cutting Boards

  • Do: Hand wash your wooden cutting board.
  • Do: Sanitize it with hydrogen peroxide occasionally.
  • Don’t: Soak the board in water or submerge it fully.
  • Don’t: Use harsh detergents or bleach.

When to Replace Your Wooden Cutting Board

As with any kitchen tool, wooden cutting boards have a lifespan. If you notice deep grooves, cracks that can’t be repaired, or an excessively rough surface, it’s time to replace your board.


In the debate of whether wooden cutting boards can go in the dishwasher, it’s best to err on the side of caution. To ensure your wooden cutting board’s longevity and performance, stick to hand washing and proper maintenance routines.


Q1: Can I oil my cutting board with olive oil?
A: Olive oil can go rancid over time and isn’t the best choice. Food-grade mineral oil is a better option.

Q2: How often should I oil my wooden cutting board?
A: It’s recommended to oil your cutting board once a month or when it starts to look dry.

Q3: Are bamboo cutting boards dishwasher-safe?
A: Just like wooden boards, bamboo boards are best washed by hand to prevent damage.

Q4: Can I use bleach to sanitize my wooden cutting board?
A: No, bleach can damage the wood and leave harmful residues. Stick to safer sanitizing methods.

Q5: Are dishwasher-safe cutting boards completely safe?
A: While some cutting boards are labeled dishwasher-safe, it’s still better to hand wash them to ensure their longevity.

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