Maintaining and Safely Cleaning your Butcher Block

Theoretically, with the right upkeep a cutting board could last your entire life.

During this time, we’re all trying to keep our loved ones safe and secure. Even though the COVID-19 virus is new, it’s related to other pathogens people have encountered before. That means there are proven ways to clean and disinfect areas of your home.

Follow these tips for maintaining and safely cleaning butcher block boards and countertops.

Maintaining and Safely Cleaning your Edge Grain Burmese-Teak Butcher Block
Grothouse  offers both a food-safe finish or a furniture finish depending on how you will use your countertop.

Butcher Block Cleaning Tips:

To clean, hand wash both sides of the cutting board with hot soapy water, pat down and let air dry on its side.

At the molecular level, soap makes particles slippery so they can be removed. Disinfectants don’t do this, and that’s why it’s important to clean with soap before you disinfect.

Maintaining and Safely Cleaning your Butcher Block with anti-bacaterial soap
Anti-bacterial dish soap is a popular choice for cleaning butcher block.

Pro Tip: It’s Best to clean your cutting boards right away. Never soak or put a wood board in the dishwasher.

Butcher Block Sanitizing Tips:

You may have heard that you can sanitize your Butcher Block with white vinegar;  unfortunately, it won’t kill viruses like COVID-19. Also, vinegar is not recommended for cutting boards used with raw meat, fish, or poultry.

When needed or after cutting raw meats, sanitize using a diluted chlorine bleach solution (1 TBS per gallon of cool water) for 7 seconds. Be sure to rinse well with warm water.

For larger areas like butcher block countertops,  a hydrogen-peroxide based cleaner can be used. As always, read the label instructions first for precautions and sanitizing directions.  Most commonly you will be instructed to leave the solution on the wood for 10 minutes, and then wipe it off with a wet cloth. Use a clean dry cloth to dry the countertop.

Maintaining and Safely Cleaning Butcher Block using food grade mineral oil
Use Food Grade Mineral Oil to keep your butcher block from drying out and cracking.

Butcher Block Maintenance Tips:

Once a month or so restore lost moisture by giving your board a good rubdown with a food-grade mineral oil. This will help your board last a lifetime by preventing warping and cracking. If you use your board less frequently, you don’t have to treat it as often.

Never use vegetable or olive oil to season a cutting board because these can become rancid over time.

Pro Tip:  Rub the Food-grade mineral oil  in with a lint-free cloth in the direction of the wood grain.

Maintaining and Safely Cleaning Butcher Block in a Galley sink
Maintaining the integrated bamboo cutting boards in your Galley Sink is a must for this star item

More Tips:

Does your board have stains or smell funky? Use coarse salt and half a lemon to scour the surface to remove stains and lingering odors.  Similarly, if your board is made of bamboo, you can rub half a lemon over the board’s surface to freshen up the board between oil treatments. The natural acidity of the lemon will help to break down any residue on your cutting board.

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