If you are interested in showcasing kitchen flooring and fixtures than natural hardwood will work better than most counter surfaces. This is one of the reasons that Butcher Block countertops are popular. If you have wood surfaces in your kitchen, it is important that the wood is cleaned thoroughly after each use. Butcher Block is made from wood and is a naturally porous material if it is not clean than moisture and bacteria can enter the wood and cause food poisoning, odors, and not to mention damage to your countertop. The more open-grained the surface the more porous the counter. If you were to compare different woods, oak would tend to be on the porous end and maple would be on the tighter grain end.
With the possibility of moisture entering the wood, you would think that this would not make a good countertop surface. The simple truth is that wood is relatively easy to care for and maintain. Mild liquid dish soap or detergent mixed with water does a really good job of cleaning Butcher Block.
To fight against bacteria you can use a solution of water and bleach and this will work extremely well. Just add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water and that will do a great job of controlling bacteria. Another trick to fight against bacteria on a daily basis is to put some of the bleach solutions in a water bottle and whenever you think is necessary simply spray the counter and wipe down with a clean towel.
One thing that is an absolute no-no is to clean your wood countertop with a scouring product like Comet. This is a great product but it will definitely harm the surface of your wood countertop.
If you are going to use your countertop as a cutting surface that you will need to finish the wood with a penetrating mineral oil, particularly formulated for contact with raw food. This countertop will need to be treated with the mineral oil on a periodic basis. This will help to keep the counter from becoming discolored.
A USP-grade oil should be used, this is a cheap grade of cooking oil and this will work best. You definitely do not want to use olive or vegetable since they will eventually become rancid and damage your counter and could cause health problems.
When you are ready to apply the mineral oil to the board it is advisable to warm the oil slightly, apply it to a clean towel and then apply the oil along the grain. Let the oil sit and soak for about 4-6 hours and then wipe off any excess.
Now that your countertop has aged how do you handle a few common problems with Butcher Block Narks and Spills that seem to be part of the wood? Cuts, stains, burn marks on old Butcher Block counters? For the cuts, burns and some stains, it might be the best thing just go ahead and have the wood sanded and resealed. But with some of the other minor problems, you might try shaking salt over the marks and then scrub the area with the open half of a lemon. Let the wood sit overnight, then try rinsing with water. If you have a darker stain then try a 3 percent solution of water and hydrogen peroxide on a sponge.
If the minor fixes do not solve the problems or if the damage is bad enough then you are going to want to sand and reseal the counter. I would certainly find a food grade sealer as an alternative to standard mineral oil. There are products that are non-toxic and will require less maintenance and are easier to maintain.
After you get your countertop clean it is time to sit back and enjoy your new countertop.
Originally posted 2018-11-16 20:23:08.