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How to Get the Garlic Taste Out of Your Cutting Board

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


My least favourite 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 flavour for what seems like forever, and, in turn, flavours 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 odour 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 bicarbonate of soda and water paste to clean your board. Mix three parts bicarbonate of 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 odour, 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 oxidise sulfurous compounds, including the thiols and thiocyanates that give garlic its pungent odour, turning them into odourless 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 odour transferring to other foods.

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