Caring for your butcher's block worktop - tips

Posted by the Country Interiors bespoke furniture team on 11th Sep 2018

Caring for your butcher's block worktop - tips

We've already mentioned in an earlier post that it is important to oil your butcher's block worktop, but to maintain the appearance and longevity of your furniture there are several other steps that you can take to ensure it stays beautiful for years to come. 

We've grouped the tips into three sections for ease of reference. The first section, 'After each use' lists some steps you should take either after each use or on a daily basis if you will be using it to prepare meals several times per day. 'Weekly / when required' is for things you can do on a regular basis but probably won't need to be done after each use and 'General advice' is for anything you can do to look after your butcher's block island that didn't fit into those categories!

After each use

Your butcher's block worktop will need to be well cleaned after each use. This should hopefully be obvious, but it is important for protection and care as well as food hygiene and safety reasons. To ensure nothing sticks or stains the wood worktop, it should be thoroughly cleaned after use or at the end of the day using water, a soft sponge (never a scourer / scouring pad) and some mild soap on all sides of the block. It can help to gently scrape the surface first using a spatula or utensil to remove any loose or slightly stubborn pieces first. This should only be a quick task but will help to ensure your butcher's block worktop stays clean and fresh for a long time.

Excess water can be damaging to a solid wood worktop so it is important to make sure it is not left to soak into the butcher's block. After use, dry the wood and remove excess water or moisture on all sides using a soft sponge or good quality paper towel. Again, scraping the surface first can help with this.

Weekly / When required

Periodically your butcher's block worktop may stain and need some extra attention. A good way to remove food stains from wood is to pour on some undiluted lemon or lime juice and clean as normal. The gentle acidity will help to break down and lift out the stain. 

Disinfecting your worktop should be done each time you cut raw meat but can also be done on a regular basis to ensure cleanliness and sterility. Safety first! One of the best ways to do this is using undiluted, full-strength white vinegar either emptied in a spray bottle or applied by hand and spread / mopped up with a soft sponge. You should allow the vinegar to soak in but, as always, remove any excess with paper towels or a clean sponge.

General advice

As a general rule, it is good practice to rotate the areas of your butcher's block island worktop that you use for food preparation. This ensures even wear and stops one particular area from being cut each time while the rest of the worktop is unused. 

When choosing a knife, it is recommended to use blades with slightly duller edges as razor sharp knives, and in particular large cleavers, can cause splinters or chips. Of course, proper care can help to prevent this but it is worth bearing in mind. 

After you oil your butcher's block worktop you can also apply a top-coat of natural beeswax to help keep bacteria out. You should only need a small amount, applied with circular motions using a soft, clean cloth. This helps to create another layer of protection against permeation and can prolong the life of your butcher's block island worktop. 

Why not check out our range of butcher's block islands?