How to Get Rid of the Garlic Taste From Your Cutting Board

Hedy Phillips

My least favorite part about cooking with garlic is the lingering smell and taste. Not only does it end up on my hands, but if I mince garlic, my cutting board holds that flavor for what seems like forever, and, in turn, flavors any food I cut on that board after. However, there are ways to get rid of the garlic taste from your cutting board.

First of all, the stench and cleaning will vary based on what kind of cutting board you have. Wood and plastic cutting boards hold onto the odor more than a glass cutting board. A glass cutting board can generally be cleaned just with soapy water, and you should be set. However, your wood and plastic boards will need a little more help. The Kitchn recommends making a baking soda and water paste to clean your board. Mix three parts baking soda and one part water, and use the paste to scrub your board.

It also notes that a lemon and salt scrub (made with lemon juice and salt) can work to remove the garlic odor, but you might be left with a lemony scent instead.

Cooks Illustrated advocates for using a cut apple or cut potato to remove the smell from a cutting board. It cites a study that claims foods that brown can get rid of bad breath, thus, it could work on a bad smell on a surface, too. The site reads, "Browning is a sign that a certain enzyme (polyphenol oxidase) has been released by bruising or cutting and is reacting with oxygen. This enzyme can oxidize sulfurous compounds, including the thiols and thiocyanates that give garlic its pungent odor, turning them into odorless compounds."

All of these options should work pretty well for removing the garlic smell and taste, but a foolproof plan is to just have an extra cutting board that you can use for your stinkiest foods like garlic and onions. This way, you don't have to worry about the odor transferring to other foods.

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