A Guide To Storing Cutting Boards (Wood, Marble, Plastic, Glass, And Composite) 

I find chopping boards fascinating; with their different shapes and sizes, materials, and designs, it feels as if there is no limit to what they can do. However, I struggle with cutting boards because they are pretty clunky to store (especially the marble and stone ones). Considering their material, I try to determine the most efficient way to keep your cutting boards.

You can store cutting boards in pull-out drawers, cabinets, and even baskets, as long as it is sanitary, safe, and dry. However, you need to take your chopping board’s material as a variable to choose the right storage place.

A chopping board’s material dictates the best storage conditions, and it is optimal to consider the material before dictating the most optimum storage solutions. In this way, we can make sure that your chopping board is safe and sound and will serve you for years to come.

Storing Wooden Cutting Boards

Cutting boards of different materials have very different needs and functions. For example, wooden boards rot over time, in a span of five to ten years; plastic boards are pretty sensitive to heat and warp on prolonged sunlight exposure; and marble, stone, and glass cutting boards are just plain heavy.

This variety means that finding a “one size fits all” solution to storing your cutting boards is no easy task (and probably is an impossible one).

By looking at their properties, we can quickly draw out tips on storing each one in the most efficient way possible. That is why below is a list of the methods to keep your cutting boards based on their material. 

Wooden Cutting Boards: Storing Solutions

Wooden cutting boards are classic, suitable for retaining blade integrity, ultimately durable and reliable, easy to maintain and provide various options. However, they are not perfect cutting boards as, after all, if they were, everyone would be using them.

Below is a list of possible issues that we need to note to store wooden cutting boards properly.

Issues With Wooden Cutting Boards

  1. Rots easily, especially when compared to plastic and stone cutting boards.
  2. Bacteria magnet
  3. It quickly gets grooves from blades
  4. Sensitive to moisture

Due to their biodegradable nature, wooden chopping boards rot pretty quickly, especially when exposed to a lot of moisture; and trust me, moisture is something you cannot avoid, especially as a chopping board.

That is why when storing wooden cutting boards, it is always critical to keep them in a cool, dry place. Places under the sink may not be an excellent idea, nor are drawers in the kitchen.

As much as possible, keep your wooden cutting boards away from food when not in use. However, if you find it hard to control moisture, one quick solution is to let it dry using a towel before storing it. This method helps absorb excess water that the wooden cutting board may have previously acquired.

Wooden Cutting Boards: The Sanitary Problem

Another issue with wooden cutting boards is that they are a breeding ground for bacteria. In a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, when the researchers placed beef meat on the plastic and wooden cutting boards, the wooden cutting boards showed more bacteria after washing compared to plastic cutting boards.

In another study by Abrishami et al., bacteria from wooden cutting boards are significantly harder to remove when compared to plastic cutting boards.

Moreover, wooden cutting boards retain much more moisture when compared to other types of cutting boards, making them a suitable habitat for fungi such as mold. The grooves from the wooden cutting boards also showed a lot of residing bacteria colonies.

I need you to remember that I am not scaring you regarding the sanitary concerns of wooden cutting boards. Instead, I want you to consider intense and thorough washing as an integral part of the storing process of your wooden cutting boards.

It does not matter if you stored your wooden cutting boards in an immaculate area; as long as you did not wash or clean it properly, it will increase its rotting risk and pose a significant health risk.

washing a cutting board
Be careful how you wash your cutting board!

The Best Way To Store Marble, Stone, And Glass Cutting Boards

Contrary to wooden cutting boards deemed classic– marble, stone, and glass cutting boards are considered part of the luxury side of things. Expensive, beautiful, and heavy marble cutting boards get a lot of flack for being a prime example of form over function.

These cutting boards are too heavy for portable use, too rigid for your knives, and too dangerous for casual use (they might break or fall on your feet or your hands). 

Tips In Storing Stone, Marble, And Glass Cutting Boards

  • Do not store in drawers, cabinets, holders (especially suspended holders), and wire baskets. They are too heavy for that.
  • Store them on countertops.
  • Do make use of their aesthetic qualities and display them creatively.

The Thing About Marble, Stone, And Glass Cutting Boards

The great thing about marble cutting boards is that they do not require a lot of effort when it comes to cleaning as they do not attract a lot of bacteria. Moreover, marble cutting boards are horrible when cutting veggies, meat, or fruits and are better suited for dough and batter.

So unlike wooden cutting boards that require a rigorous wash before storing, you can wash marble cutting boards with regular soap and water or a diluted vinegar solution to remove the extra dough.

Storing Heavy Cutting Boards

Now let us talk about that weight. I do not recommend storing a marble cutting board in a remote or very secluded area. When storing a marble, stone, or glass cutting board, your best bet is to keep it with its beauty in mind.

Instead of putting it away on a suspended holder or a wire basket (which is very dangerous for a heavy marble cutting board, mind you), we recommend displaying it for all its glory. Use it as an aesthetic centerpiece for your countertop.

Moreover, when you are in the market for a stone, glass, or marble cutting board, make sure to buy one with a motif that compliments your kitchen so that it does not stand out too much.

A terrific idea you can do with your marble cutting boards is to use them as a complimentary piece to other kitchen utensils. For example, you can place aesthetic cups on top of the cutting board. Moreover, you can even diversify the look by adding some house plants to make the overall look akin to modern interior design. 

Another creative idea for storing and using your marble cutting board is by using it as a stunning cheese plate for a home party and keeping it on the fridge while being one. They can steal the show with their great marbling patterns.

Even though they suck at being cutting boards– marble, stone, and glass cutting boards are extremely beautiful and are a fabulous addition to your kitchen. 

Storing Plastic Cutting Boards

Plastic cutting boards are a trusty old friend that is highly versatile, light, inexpensive, and are very convenient to clean.

Although plastic cutting boards are not known to be centerpieces like marble, glass, and stone cutting boards, nor are they as rewarding for knives like the wooden cutting boards, they are the jack of all trades that every chef and cook should have. 

Benefits Of Plastic Cutting Boards To Make Use Of When Storing Them

  • Plastic cutting boards are available in different colors and sizes.
  • Plastic cutting boards do not retain as much bacteria when compared to wooden cutting boards.
  • It can be stored almost anywhere (except in hot areas). 

No Sanitary Issues Here

One thing you can rely on your plastic cutting board is that it is very elementary to clean. Referencing back to the studies conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, plastic does not retain as much bacteria when washed, contrary to wooden cutting boards.

This ease of sanitization would imply that storing your plastic cutting boards would require a simple soap wash or a mild cleaning agent.

However, if sanitation is your number one concern, you can store multiple plastic cutting boards, and color code them. For example, red cutting boards will be used for meats while blue cutting boards for seafood, all the while using the green cutting boards for vegetables.

The Places To Store Plastic Cutting Boards

Because they are very light, storing your plastic cutting boards in suspended holders, wire baskets, or metal file organizers is very viable. Also, since they do not retain as much moisture as wooden cutting boards, they can rock while being stored in sunlight-less areas like pull-out drawers or kitchen cabinets. 

However, you might need to consider your plastic cutting boards because they fear heat, unlike most cutting boards. A quick guide for storing plastic cutting boards is not to keep them where heat is present. Examples of heat sources of concern are direct sunlight, near stoves, ovens, and more.

Another great feature of plastic cutting boards is that they are non-porous. This feature means that they do not mind if you store them directly in contact with other cutting boards, as long as you use the other face of your plastic cutting board.

You can even use one side of the cutting board for a particular food (i.e., vegetables) while keeping the other side entirely separate (i.e., meats).

The Quick Guide To Storing Composite Cutting Boards

Composite cutting boards are durable, long-lasting, considerably affordable, lightweight, and eco-friendly, making them an excellent option for a cutting board.

A great example of a composite cutting board is the Epicurean series of cutting boards. One of the difficulties in determining the most optimal storage method of composite cutting boards is composite.

Not all composite cutting boards comprise the same material, like some panels are a lovely mix of paper and plastic, some with wooden shards, and more. However, we can provide some general guidelines when it comes to storing them.

Playing Keep Away

Composite cutting boards are relatively sanitary, and there are no precise instructions when cleaning them. You can make use of a soap bath or just run it through using your dishwasher. 

However, when trying to store composite cutting boards, especially the non-plastic variants, specifically those using paper and wood as a primary ingredient, make sure to keep them away from damp areas. Make sure that when storing them in a dark place that they have been air-dried prior.

Better yet, store them in a relatively open space; so instead of storing them in your kitchen cabinet or pull-out drawers, you can keep them in baskets or suspended holders.

There is just one guideline you need to live by for plastic variants: keep them away from places with a consistent heat source. So keeping them by the stove or in direct sunlight is a no-go.

Although most composite cutting boards are stain-free, exposing them to a high-alkaline environment can induce possible staining, either by storing them in one or by cutting high pH food on it. Ensure that you go easy with the liver and papayas and that you do not store them in areas where you keep your soap and detergent.

Tips In Storing Composite Cutting Boards

  • Keep them away from warm areas (especially plastic-based composite boards)
  • Food high in alkaline or high in pH is a staining agent
  • When storing, keep away from detergents, soaps, and shampoos. 
  • Store in open-air areas
  • Air dry before storing

Places To Store Your Cutting Boards

Now that we have introduced you to the general guidelines for storing your cutting boards as per their material, let us enumerate and discuss the possible areas where you can keep your cutting boards. Of course, we would like you to take note of our suggestions earlier as well.

Places To Store Your Cutting Boards

Countertop Display

The fantastic thing about cutting boards, especially the marble, glass, and stone cutting boards, is that they look exceptionally gorgeous. When not in use, your cutting boards can function as an object for aesthetics. Not only are you storing your cutting boards, but you are also utilizing them while doing so!

Drawers and Cabinets

This one seems like a no-brainer, honestly. You can store these boards on drawers and cabinets for cutting boards that do not rot like plastic and plastic-based composite boards. They are perfect as they keep your things organized accordingly.

Baskets

Be it wire baskets or woven baskets, you name it. Baskets are an excellent place to keep things tidy while still exposing your boards to direct sunlight. Very optimal for cutting boards that need to require air drying.

Suspended Holders

Suspended holders like magazine holders or hooks are an excellent option for always actively using their cutting boards. They can save space and expose your cutting boards, allowing you to grab them on the go.

Suspended holders are suitable for lightweight cutting boards, but they may not be very optimal for heavy cutting boards.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Store A Cutting Board

1. Why Is My Composite Board Flaking? Am I Storing It Right?

Composite boards are known to have these problems after being used for a prolonged period, most of the time within two to three years. This issue is less than a manufacturing problem but more of a problem with composite boards in general.

Although this is not a storage issue, you can preserve your composite boards better by storing them properly.

2. Should I Store My Cutting Boards Vertically Or Horizontally?

Vertically storing your cutting boards can help reduce moisture gain and avoid the retaining of moisture. Moreover, this can help prevent grime and dirt from building up. Vertically keeping them can utilize vertical space much better as well.

You can opt to store them horizontally when using them as a sort of coaster. The same can also be said when using these boards as cheese plates as well.

3. What Can I Do With The Odor On My Cutting Board?

Although odor is undoubtedly a symptom of improper storage, it is not all the time that odor is a storage concern. The odor may only be a concern during the first few days of usage for composite boards. This odor will eventually disappear as time goes by.

However, the odor can become a significant concern when it comes to wooden cutting boards. To avoid this, you will need to clean the wooden cutting boards thoroughly, especially in areas with many grooves.

Dee