I love my butcher block countertops – so much that if I were to design a new kitchen from scratch I’d probably use wood countertops or, at the very least, a butcher block island. Wood countertops add warmth to a kitchen, have natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and are fairly easy to work with for a DIY-er (easier than cutting stone!).
But butcher block countertops do require a little more care than stone or laminate countertops to really shine.
What You Need to Clean & Care for Butcher Block and Wood Countertops
- Scraper or spatula
- Scrub brush or sponge
- Kitchen or paper towels
- Mild dish soap or cutting board soap
- White vinegar
- Mineral oil or cutting board oil
- Cutting board wax
How to Clean Wood and Butcher Block Countertops
- Remove any residue
Use a spatula or scraper to remove any gunk or residue from your countertops.
- Scrub with mild soap
Using your scrub brush or sponge and some mild dish soap or wood counter soap, scrub your countertops to remove any remaining dirt or grime.
- Rinse with warm water
With a damp towel, wipe down your counters to remove any remaining soap. Allow your counters to dry completely.
- Sanitize with vinegar
Using a towel or a spray bottle, sanitize your counters with white vinegar. Let your counters dry completely.
- Oil your countertops
Once your countertops are dry, use a lint-free towel to apply the first layer of oil onto your counters, wiping along with the wood grain. Let the oil soak in for 30 minutes before applying a second layer.
- Remove excess oil
After the second coat of oil has soaked into the counters for 30 minutes, use a lint-free towel to remove any excess oil.
- Wax your countertops
Follow instructions as directed – this may vary if you’re using a liquid conditioner (with oil and wax) vs a solid wax conditioner. Generally, you will apply your conditioner, allow the wax to harden for 2 hours, then remove any excess with a lint-free towel.
How to Care for Butcher Block Countertops
You can use any mild dish soap to clean butcher block countertops, but there are also soaps that are formulated for wood counters. You should not use any cleaning solutions like bleach or those formulated for floors, tile, appliances, or others on your wood countertops.
Regular oiling and conditioning with wax will protect your countertops from water damage. You should condition your counters every 4-6 weeks or when they start to look or feel dry.
You should regularly oil and wax your countertops to protect them from water, every 4-6 weeks or when they start to look or feel dry.
Use a food-safe mineral oil or oil formulated for butcher block to care for your countertops. Do not use food-based oils, like vegetable or olive oil, as they’ll oxidize and go rancid.
Use beeswax, a formulated wax for wood countertops, or a butcher block conditioner which may include oils and wax in the same product.
Clark’s cutting board care kit
Howard’s cutting board cleaner
Howard’s cutting board cleaner
Thirteen Chefs food grade mineral oil
John Taylor butcher block conditioner
Caron & Doucet cutting board oil & wax bundle