When To Replace Plastic Cutting Boards: In-Depth Answer Revealed

I was cutting with my plastic cutting board the other day and noticed that it isn’t as in good shape now that it used to be and wondered how many people out there are wondering the same question that I was, should I replace my plastic cutting board? Well, I replaced mine and I’ll tell you why.

When you start to think is it time to get a new cutting board, you want to make sure that it isn’t too early on, however even worst than throwing a fine cutting board away too early would be to use one that should be thrown away a long time ago.

When you notice cuts on your cutting board that run too deep that it just won’t get clean, and there is an eye-catching discoloration that is there to stay, it is time to replace your cutting boards with new ones. I personally need to replace mine every two to three years.

In short, that is the answer but there certainly are more to the aspects that determine when to replace plastic cutting boards and much more, lets see a more in-depth answer to the question.

Why Replace Plastic Cutting Boards

When replacing a cutting board the reason behind that isn’t the unattractive discoloration or rough surface from cutting but there are more to it as well.

When a plastic cutting board gets old and looks like a moldy piece of wood it is a serious safety and hygiene hazard. Germs and bacteria will live on the cutting board and when slicing and dicing your fresh ingredients on top of it, the bacteria will certainly get transferred to them as well which can result in food poisoning or illness.

Uneven and deeply worn cutting board can be a safety risk as well when cutting on top of it, your knife can easily slip to your finders and cause serious cuts.

Replacing cutting boards is inevitable and you can’t get rid of that fact, however, there are many things to do that will ensure that they will last a lot longer and won’t get discolored so fast and get to overall bad condition. Let’s see what you can do to make that happen!

How To Clean A Plastic Cutting Board

One of the most important things that determine the life years of a plastic cutting board is how you clean it. When plastic cutting boards are safe to wash in the dishwasher, you should handwash them after processing meat on them because the juices will sink in overtime and that is just not sanitary at all. This is how it’s done.

1. Take a small amount of water and add 1 teaspoon of bleach and scrub it well with a clean sponge. This will clean it well and also sanitize it.

2. Wash the cleaning solution off carefully with hot water and let it dry in the open, do not place it in a drawer or somewhere that it won’t get air. You can also wipe it from most of

the water.

You should definitely remember to sanitize the scrubber/brush you washed that meat juice off the cutting board with, or else you will contaminate the next thing you wash with it and that would just keep the bacteria going in circles.

Refining A Plastic Cutting Board

After months of heavy cutting, the plastic will come loose from the cutting board and that’s when the time comes for a little honing.

You can simply scrub the surface of the cutting board with a stainless steel scrubber or with sanding paper and don’t be afraid to use power with this task. Obviously do these steps when the cutting board is fully cleaned.

How To Use Plastic Cutting Boards

It is too common to see that people use the same plastic cutting board for everything from veggies to fish and even meat. This is not good at all… There is a rule of thumb to the usage of cutting boards and you can see it from the chart below.

Why Plastic Cutting Boards

There are many perks that make a plastic cutting board superior to wood, especially when working in a commercial kitchen.

First, you can clean a plastic cutting board much easier than a wooden one. Dishwashing isn’t a problem and occasional hand scrubbing and honing will be great, so it is really easy to take care of.

Second, they are lightweight, durable, and color-coded if chosen correctly, therefore the ease of use and hygiene will be top-notch.

Third, the cost of plastic cutting boards is way more affordable when compared to a wooden one and you can find a steal of a deal when looking for a plastic cutting board, even in the commercial-grade category, which brings us to our next subject.

Plastic Cutting Board Cost

There are many price categories with plastic cutting boards that range from a basic $5 cutting board to a commercial color-coded set up to $100 but that’s as high as they usually go. Wooden cutting boards however can cost several hundreds of dollars but they are a little overdue for commercial kitchens at least.

A single white commercial-grade cutting board with NSF approval costs around $20 so they really are extremely affordable, so if the choices are between the cheapest $10 cutting board or a quality cutting board that will probably last three times the rubbish one, you should definitely invest that extra $10 for the better commercial-grade one.

Plastic & Wood Debate

You know the never-ending debate between plastic and wooden cutting boards and how plastic is much more sanitary than wooden ones? Well, usually that is correct!

However, when plastic and wooden cutting boards are damaged and have many years of use behind them, studies have shown that the plastic one usually haves more bacteria than the wooden one. That’s because the wood will handle cuts a little better and won’t get so deep cutting marks as plastic, so the bacteria can hide and dig deep much better in a used plastic cutting board.

So remember to handwash plastic cutting boards occasionally, at least the ones that you use for meat. A little honing can’t hurt either for getting rid of that deeply scratched surface.


I sincerely hope that this post helped you to determine whether you should replace your plastic cutting board now, or keep cutting with it a little longer. Remember that when you treat your cutting board right it will serve you much longer than if you never would hone or hand wash it.

Also if you work in a restaurant/kitchen you should always have a plastic cutting board set with color-coding to ensure the best hygiene possible.

Comment below if you found this article helpful and would love to read similar content in the future, keep cutting!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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