Can I Resurface My HDPE Cutting Board?

One of the most commonly asked questions we get from customers calling in is “Can I resurface my HDPE cutting board?”

Our answer is usually pretty simple: we highly recommend that you don’t try to resurface any HDPE or plastic cutting boards by sanding them down.

On a brand new HDPE cutting board, you can tell by simply feeling both sides of the cutting board that one side of the board is made with a semi-rough texture. This texture is there to essentially hold your food into place while you are cutting it and prevent it from sliding across the board, particularly when you have slippery foods such as raw meat.

Sanding down a poly or plastic cutting board not only gets rid of the knife marks on the board, but it also ruins that necessary texture and can cause food to slip or slide across the board. Disturbing the original texture of the cutting board can also cause your knives to slip on the board as well, which can lead to accidental cutting of fingers or hands.

While you may think that sanding down a HDPE or plastic cutting board is cleaning it, sanding can actually make a plastic cutting board more susceptible to bacteria. You may be getting rid of the larger knife marks, but a sander will create very small cuts on the board that food particles can get trapped in and very difficult to get out. Even commercial dishwashers will not always be able to clean a resurfaced cutting board thoroughly. Because most uses for plastic and poly cutting boards involve raw meat, you can see where this can be problematic. Bacteria will grow in the new smaller cuts on the board which will ultimately contaminate your food.

Replacing your HDPE or plastic cutting boards may not always seem like the easy choice, but it is definitely the right choice. Although sanding your boards may seem convenient at the time, we highly recommend replacing your plastic cutting boards when they are worn down. The good news is that here at, we offer a wide variety of both standard sized cutting boards as well as custom sized cutting boards for whatever size or thickness you may need!