How to clean a Butcher Block and make it look AMAZING Again!

 I'm really, really thankful for my awesome kitchen island. It was a process to get it looking amazing again, but wow, so worth the time and effort! Just look at the before and afters!

 The wood cutting board on top was well used. With large families, everyone had (literally) left their mark. So I researched and found out there was indeed a way to make her shine again. Here we go.


 First- Let's do some deep cleaning. Most of you know I don't like harsh chemicals and toxic this and that. I truly believe we can clean just like our grandmothers did years ago and their methods will work just as well or better than anything you'll find at the store.

To deep clean this piece of butcher block wood, I poured sea salt and squeezed lemon over it to make a paste.
 You can use a scouring pad or sponge to scrub the board, but I literally used the lemon itself as a sponge.

 I left it on for 3-4 hours.  It dries to a course texture like below. I saw that all the stains didn't come up, so I wiped off the salt/lemon with my 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water and let it dry completely. My step two was to start over with the lemon and salt mixture and leave it on overnight this time.


I rinsed it in the morning and dried it with paper towels. Stains- gone. It worked!
(Make sure your butcher block is completely dried before moving onto each step.)

Second- remove residual odors and stains. Make a paste using baking soda and water. I use this very paste mixture to clean my laminate counters that easily stain. Baking soda is your friend. You should have a Costco size bag in your home that's used frequently.

 Scrub ... and scrub some more. The baking soda on the wood doesn't smell great, but trust me, it's working.

 After a good scrub, start wiping off the paste with water and wipe with paper towels.

Let the board dry completely, over night even if you can keep your family from using it before the last few steps. 

 Third- Kill the bacteria! Some people will say to use a mixture of bleach and water for this next step, but vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxided and water will work just as well. I used my 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, and sprayed it generously onto my butcher block. I always have a spray bottle readily available of half water/half vinegar as my all purpose cleaner. We use it on just about everything here in Lewisville.
If you are going to use bleach, use 1 tsp bleach with 4 cups of water.  50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water if that's your choice.

Leave the mixture on for a few minutes and wipe it off with paper towels. Again, let the block dry completely before moving on to the next step.

 Fourth and Final step- condition, protect, and beautify the block! As a DIYer, I'm used to working with protective coatings for wood, but you can't use any kind of poly on this wood and allow your food to come into contact with it. So, butcher blocks simply require a $2 bottle of mineral oil. Make sure it is food grade mineral oil; it must say USP. I found my bottle at the grocery store with other laxative items ... because, you know.

 Slather the oil on with a paper towel or rag and let it sit over night. If there is an area where the wood didn't drink in the the oil, wipe it it up in the morning.
It will look shiny and beautiful again, but wipe it clean one last time with water and paper towels.


I'm amazed at the results. 

Love, love, love it!

 I wanted my block to look nice, but to be honest with you, I doubt I'll be directly cutting and prepping food directly on my block. I know I could now, but that's not how we do things here. Cutting boards on top of my butcher block will be used. Weird, I know.


Your butcher block should be cleaned daily with hot soapy water if you're using it as a true food prep area, but don't soak your wood in water. I use my 50/50 solution on it each night even though we don't cut food directly on it.
If you happen to cut meat on your block, make sure you are using the bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution right after use to prevent bacteria growth.
As far as oiling goes, do it once a month to keep it looking fabulous.

Hope this helps!
Blessings,
Lisa

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