The question about suitable surfaces for mold growth has persisted in lots of minds, with more surprises unfolding. Sometimes, it could seem that mold may quickly evolve to fit whichever material its spores land. Lately, there have been inquisitions as to whether mold possesses the capacity to grow on plastic cutting boards.
Mold can grow on plastic cutting board, especially when there is enough moisture and humidity. Also, as far as the conditions are suitable, it grows swiftly once mold spores find their way onto the plastic. In addition, because mold doesn’t require highly fertile conditions to grow, plastic cutting boards are an excellent growth medium.
From an overlook, plastic cutting boards do not appear to be the suitable material for the growth of living organisms. However, organisms such as molds are not selective of the medium they grow and thrive on. Because molds require the barest of growth materials to survive, even meager amounts of moisture tend to support their growth.
Furthermore, molds grow in extreme environments. Even when they fail to sprout, their spores lie dormant, waiting for convenient conditions. Therefore, because of this resilience, you may be very interested in understanding how this process of unbelievable mold growth occurs. So please read on with vigor, as I would explain in detail how these molds pull off this unbelievable stunt.
Does Mold Grow on a Plastic Cutting Board?
Although plastics possess some pretty extraordinary strength, taking over 450 years to degrade, microbes still act on them with comfort. This fact indicates how impeccable the activity of microbes could be. Thus, the phenomenon of mold growing on a plastic cutting board is no different.
Mold grows on plastic cutting boards with ease, as far as it finds the conditions on the plastic board appealing.
Spores of mold are constantly being blown around. So once they land on a surface with enough moisture in a humid area, they sprout out, growing into what is seen as mold.
Why Does Mold Grow on Plastic Cutting Boards?
You may get surprised when you realize that mold can grow on plastic surfaces with ease. I was surprised, too, because of the perceived strength of plastics. I’d imagined they’d be immune to several microbial activities.
For the fact that plastics contain a lot of additives meant to reinforce their structure, they become easy targets for molds. Additives such as plasticizers, lubricants, cellulose, stabilizers, and colorants are prone to mold attacks. As a result, they make the entire plastic structure susceptible. For this reason, mold is always welcome to act on plastic cutting boards.
Once mold establishes itself by breaking down the components of the plastic cutting boards, the acids generated break down the resin. Note that resin is the significant component of plastics that gives it strength, and breaking it down defines the decomposition of the plastic. Finally, this broken resin now serves as an excellent source to mold.
Conclusively, it has been established that mold grows on plastic cutting boards because they use plastics as a food source. However, before the food nutrients in the plastic become available to the mold, they act on it, thus breaking it down.
What Conditions Does Mold Require to Grow on Plastic Cutting Boards?
The term mold is a general name that refers to a vast number of different species together. However, all mold species can survive in harsh and extreme environments, with plastic cutting boards being one of those. The reason is that the requirements for their survival are very few; food, organic material, and the right temperature.
Therefore, when a plastic cutting board possesses these basic requirements, the mold grows successfully and thrives on it. Although a plastic cutting board is not the most preferred condition for mold growth, it still does well.
How to Effectively Clean Mold Off Plastic Cutting Boards
Cleaning mold from your plastics may be an essential yet tasking thing to do, given that they regenerate. Also, due to the resilience of mold, cleaning may become a tricky job to do. But just like any other tough job, there’s always the best way to complete it.
Here are some significant steps to rid your plastics of mold effectively.
- The first thing to do is clean any food, dust, mold, or residues on your plastic cutting boards. To do this, you should use a pair of hand gloves to prevent the spores from spreading to other areas.
Now, using a sponge, a piece of clothing, or any material, wash away the debris with an antiseptic. This process is done to inhibit mold regrowth and redevelopment.
- Once the visible mold has been removed from the plastic, the next thing is to get to the actual cleaning. First, prepare an effective cleaning solution of dilute bleach or concentrated vinegar. Although due to the strength of bleach, it requires dilution, but the moderate acidity of vinegar doesn’t permit dilution.
Since mold is persistent and resilient, you’ll need something strong enough to go head to head with it. Both solutions work well, but bleach in high concentrations causes discoloration of plastics, whereas vinegar is perfect for removing odors. Also, because vinegar doesn’t cause skin irritations, it is sometimes preferable.
- Next, you soak your plastic cutting board inside the solution for some time. The plastic cutting board should be submerged for one hour using vinegar and 15 minutes if using bleach. In addition, if the mold doesn’t come out well in vinegar, the addition of baking soda may propel the process.
- Lastly, rinse the plastic and dry it as fast as possible. This process ensures that no mold spores begin redevelopment on the plastic. As a result, it prevents all your hard work from going down the drain.