You Should Be Replacing Your Cutting Board More Often Than You Think

We all have our kitchen essentials — the tools and gear we automatically reach for every time we bake, decorate, cook, sauté, can, and pickle. Some of us are partial to having a good set of knives and pots and pans while others feel the most important items are more baking-centric. But regardless of what your everyday kitchen tool needs might be, from time to time, these items need to be updated. 

Cutting boards are not just an important kitchen tool, they are essential. These babies protect our counter tops and tables from all the slicing and dicing our recipes ask of us. But have you ever wondered how long is too long to own a cutting board? After all, nothing lasts forever, and with all the wear and tear a cutting board experiences when used on an almost daily basis, you need to keep it in good shape.

Lucky for us, the experts at Martha Stewart and Bon Appétit have taken the guesswork out of this potential culinary challenge. Whether you are a fan of the plastic cutting board or prefer a favored wooden cutting board your best friend bought you off your wedding registry, we've collected the ins and outs of when its time to replace it.

Plastic cutting boards need to be replaced more frequently

The team at Martha Stewart shares that cutting boards, including the plastic variety, are a breeding ground for bacteria and may need to be upgraded on an annual basis. While plastic cutting boards are fairly easy to clean and sanitize in between uses. You can even put them in the dishwasher to help keep them bacteria free. However, they tend to get beaten up with cutting scars and scratches pretty quickly. Mary Rogers, director of marketing communications for Cuisinart told Martha Stewart, "When your plastic boards become highly marred it's time to replace them as you could run the risk of not properly cleaning them. Wood boards, in my opinion, have a longer shelf life than plastic."

Bon Appétit notes that your wooden cutting board can last a long time, but it needs some tender loving attention every other week. Besides keeping it clean, a wooden cutting board needs to be oiled and then rubbed with cream to lock in moisture. When is it time to replace? Bon Appétit says that you can sand down deep cuts, but once the wooden cutting board gets beyond sanding, warps, or cracks, its time to replace it. They also caution that you should never put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher.