Bamboo is excellent for a cutting board since it is a very sustainable resource. Bamboo grows up to 10cm per day depending on the species during the growing season.
Bamboo is a grass, and grow quickly. A mature bamboo plant takes less than 3-5 years to reach full size. Compare that to an oak tree which matures in about 25 years and can live up to 500 years. This makes bamboo a really fantastic choice for sustainability.
Classic cutting boards made from maple, walnut, cherry are just not as sustainable as bamboo. Also, bamboo continues to be more and more popular as manufacturing methods have made it easier to make it flat. Additionally, bamboo is very hard more so than most typical wood cutting boards, making them more maintenance free. Since bamboo is so hard, it is also resistant to knife marks etc. This is key as knife scarring on a typical cutting board allows for pockets and grooves for water or moisture to collect and reduces your ability to effectively sanitize the cutting board.
Bamboo resists water better so will not warp or crack as easily as a typical cutting board.
If you wipe immediately after use every time your bamboo cutting board will last for many years. In addition to wiping you can cut a lemon in half and run it across the surface for a natural way to clean and sanitize. Lemons are acidic and will break down organic material to a degree as well as counteract smells.
You can also set up a spray bottle with water and vinegar and use that as a spray cleaner (50% white vinegar and 50% water). The real key is quick clean up after use to prevent cross contamination and make clean up a breeze. I have also seen people use a 3% hydrogen peroxide as a spray cleaner as well. Always dry the board after cleaning, so the wood doesn’t asorb the water. No dishwasher or soaking the board.
If you feel you have to disinfect spraying the hydrogen peroxide onto the board and letting it sit for a few minutes then wiping dry is a good way to go as well. Even using a mild bleach solution (one part bleach nine part water, which is 1:10 solution). This is ¼ cup of bleach and 2 ¼ cups of water in a quart sized spray bottle. Pour the bleach into the bottle first carefully then add the water. Bleach loses its disinfectant power quickly through exposure to light and heat etc. so do not make large batches and replace often.
The key is quick clean up and limit the amount of time moisture is on your board. When possible wipe the board dry. If you have stubborn stains sprinkle, some baking soda on the board and wipe using a cloth and water.
If you have an electric stove with metal catch pans, here are some ideas on how to clean stove burnerpans (how to clean stove element pans and how to clean gas stove burner tops as well) and make them shine once more.
Throwing them in the dishwasher after a spill is likely the easiest way but if you are moving into a rental unit for example, where the cleaning has been poor and you want to get the stove top cleanliness up to a high standard, here are some ways to do so.
Baked on food on a stove top or element pan is one of the most difficult things to clean. Soaking the pans is really your first and easiest choice for how to clean stove burner pans, using hot water and dish soap. Let soak as long as you can then use a scour pad to remove as much cooked on food as possible.
An essential item to have in your kitchen is a kitchen scraper (hard plastic scraper – See below) that can be used to remove any cooked on food from cookie sheets to pots and pans. You can use the scraper on practically any surface with food gunk stuck on it. It is a good first choice before bringing out the heavy chemicals. Using oven cleaners or strong chemicals like ammonia should be your last resort.
Typically, oven cleaners contain lye (sodium hydroxide) which is corrosive and will damage exposed skin so always wear gloves when using these products.
Ammonia can also be used for heavy duty burnt on food removal. However, ammonia is toxic to aquatic animals and it is classified as dangerous for the environment. Always try to use good old fashioned elbow grease and less toxic chemicals first before bringing out the heavy guns.
That being said, sometimes just plain effort is just not enough. If that is the case for your element pans, try this for a speed cleaning tip, but only use one cleaning chemical or the other, NOT both:
Put your element pans in a plastic bag and put a little ammonia OR oven cleaner (never use both) in the bag and seat it.
In a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, remove pans from bag and rinse well.
Scrub any remaining stuck on food with the kichen scrubber or plastic kitchen scraper.
Learning how to clean stove burner pans can help you keep your kitchen clean. It is easy to do if you just follow the above steps.
When your kitchen sink drain gets clogged with congealed grease and other food bits, here is a great non-toxic way to clean it. Pour 1 cup of any kind of salt and 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour boiling water down the drain. Do not use the drain for a few hours for best cleaning results.