How to Take Care of Butcher Block Countertops

Introduction: How to Take Care of Butcher Block Countertops

About: Find me on Facebook! I'm a passionate DIYer and especially enjoy projects involving bottle cutting, candles, soap, home improvements and succulents.

I LOVE my gorgeous butcher block countertops.

Worried that taking care of your butcher block cabinets is a pain? It's not! Here's how I keep my counters looking brand new.

1. Oiling

I oil my counters once a month and use mineral oil. Save yourself some $$ and buy it by the gallon on Amazon. Buying those small "cutting board oils" will cost you an arm and a leg, and it's the same thing. Start by removing all items from the counters and wiping down with a damp sponge. Get rid of all crumbs.

2. Remove stains

Use 1 tbsp. hydrogen peroxide per 1 cup of water, or, try scrubbing with a lemon. Let the lemon juice sit on the stain first.

3. Remove serious stains

One of the magical things about butcher block is that you can sand it down and have a brand new counter! If your butcher block counters need a major overhaul bust out a power sander. Start with a heavier grit and work your way to 200.

4. Protect your counters from heat

You can buy a silicone piece to place next to your stovetop to protect the side of your counters. For a more polished industrial feel get a piece of sheet metal and cut to size and screw into the side of the countertop. (It looks awesome!)

5. Have coasters and trivets handy

Butcher block can be sensitive to heat. Make sure to have trivets handy. I picked up some cute Mexican tiles on my last vacation and hot glued some felt to the back. They work great and are super heat resistant!

Step 1:

Be the First to Share


    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge
    • Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge

      Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge



    5 years ago

    Funnily enough, I've just finished doing "step 1" to my chopping board, which was getting a bit care-worn, and retaining water at the slightest provocation.

    Zap it with sand paper all around and then ...

    1 oz/30g bar of filtered beeswax, melted into 200ml of mineral oil (liquidum paraffinium, which sounds SO like a made up name) -- I used Johnson's "first touch" baby oil. Important: Unscented, no aloe-vera or other additives. No smell, no taste. If it's safe enough to dip babies in ... :)

    Within a day of slathering this stuff on, most had been eaten by the wood.

    It now looks much better, and is waterproof again. The original coating was some kind of surface varnish which flaked off over time!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Funny, I think a lot of the older butcher block products had this varnish, most likely so people had to do less work to maintain them. I was just talking to a friend and her butcher block counters were installed (many many years ago) with this varnish which started to flake off. Eventually they just sanded it off and now oil once or twice a year. Butcher block is amazing!

    Your method sounds pretty identical sans the beeswax. I wonder if that does something extra for the wood. Is beeswax pretty expensive?


    Reply 5 years ago

    I think the beeswax gets carried into the wood along with the mineral oil,
    and helps seal it up. It also smells great when you're melting it. Not
    much residual smell once applied.

    A lot of non-food wood products get sealed up/polished/protected with beeswax+turpentine or beeswax+linseed oil -- but those aren't considered "food safe" mixes. And usually have lavender or something added to make them smell nice!

    It's not particularly expensive, I'm sure a huge block would would cheaper (per oz) if you used a lot of it, but I just got a couple of 1oz blocks off eBay :)