This Is The Secret To Erasing Stains From Your Cutting Boards

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

I have a few inexpensive white cutting boards that I use for cutting meat and other messy foods in order to keep my nicer cutting boards, well… nicer. It’s a good system that works well for the most part, but there was one aspect of those white cutting boards that has plagued me for years. I had no idea how to keep them truly WHITE!

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

I felt confident that my white cutting boards were getting thoroughly cleaned when I ran them through the wash. But even so, they developed a discolored section right in the center that I couldn’t seem to scrub away, no matter how hard I tried. I used every cleaning solution I could think of, including my usual “secret weapon,” my Kitchen Miracle Cleaner. But those stains still wouldn’t budge!

Related: My Miracle Cleaner Works Wonders On These 10 Cleaning Headaches

After a lot of trial and error, I finally discovered the trick to lifting those stains out. To my surprise, it wasn’t even a cleaning solution that did the trick—it was lemon! Lemon essential oil and lemon juice contain psoralen, a compound that can increase sensitivity to light. When combined with the power of naturally bleaching sunshine, you can literally bleach stains away in hours without scrubbing! Here’s how you can do it in your own backyard. (But make sure to wait to attempt this process until a sunny day, because direct sunlight is crucial!)

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

How To Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

You’ll need:

  • Half of a lemon*
  • Stained cutting board

*Note: You can also use lemon essential oil if you have it on hand! Stir 5-10 drops of lemon oil into 1/4 cup of water, then pour the mixture onto a sponge. Use the saturated sponge to wipe the lemon solution onto the cutting board.

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards


Squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto your stained cutting board. Use the lemon peel to spread the juice so it covers the stain, and to work the juice into the nooks and crannies of the cutting board surface.

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

Take the cutting board outside and set it somewhere that it can soak up the sun! :-)

Let it sit for several hours, or even better, until the sun goes down. Then bring your cutting board inside and give it wash in soapy water.

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

The stains should be completely gone, or very nearly so! You can repeat the process if you want to get those last remnants of the stain out.

Related: How To Clean And Care For Your Butcher Block

Remove Stains From Plastic Cutting Boards

So forget about expensive detergents and cleaners for those tough cutting board stains, and use lemon instead! It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to restore your hard-working cutting boards to their former glory!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • The sun removes odors from my Instant Pot silicone rings. I run them in the dishwasher to remove food, but odors remain. then they stay outside for a day…odors all gone!

  • I have those white cutting boards, too. When they get too deeply grooved I “recycle” them by using them for crafts instead. I don’t have a dishwasher I can’t be sure the deep cuts will be completely cleaned out, and I don’t want to take the risk of food poisoning.
    There are thin cutting sheets available in grocery stores, the kinds that roll up. They’re cheap and easy to discard when they become too damaged.

  • This post didn’t come to my in box this morning. I don’t mind going to the web site. Just wondering if the format has changed. Love your blog!

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