How To Clean Butcher Block

You have a beautiful, easy-to-maintain surface whether you have an original, free-standing butcher-block, butcher-block countertops, or a butcher block cutting board.

The laminated wood surface comprises many strips of wood that have been glued together and can feature a single type of wood or different varieties in contrasting hues.

It is substantially less expensive than stone options to have an island or counters topped with butcher block. The key to cleaning butcher block counters and a standalone butcher block is to regularly and thoroughly. Do it the right way, and you can avoid any bacteria and seal it to avoid water damage.

butcher block

A butcher block is simple to keep clean, and you don’t require a specialty cleaner. You can use nearly any cleaner you have on hand, yet some perform better than others. Even sealing the wood is easy and non-toxic, and you can do it with items you already have in your pantry.

In our guide, you can find the best butcher block cleaner for countertops and cutting boards you can use, and by the end, you’ll know all you need for an effective cleaning butcher block counter. (Learn How To Clean A Whirlpool Dishwasher)

How Do You Clean a Wooden Butcher Block?

When looking at how to clean butcher block countertops, you’ll find you need to clean them after each food preparation use. At least once a month, butcher blocks often used should be resealed with food-grade mineral oil. Even a beautiful butcher block should be oiled once or twice a year.

Here you can find what you need and the steps on how to clean butcher block countertops.

Equipment & Tools

  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic scraper
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Table salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Food-safe mineral oil

butcher blocks

Countertop Cleaning Directions

1. Scrape Off Debris

When food preparation is complete, use a plastic scraper to loosen and remove all stuck-on food and debris from the butcher block.

2. Mix Your Cleaning Solution

Mix hot water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid to create a cleaning solution. You can do this in a small bowl or in the kitchen sink. (Read Cleaning Unfinished Wood With Vinegar)

3. Wipe Then Rinse

Wring out a sponge that has been dipped in the soapy solution until it is no longer dripping. Wipe the butcher block with the grain of the wood in mind. Rinse the sponge in clean water once all the surfaces are clean. Wipe off any excess soapy residue on the butcher block with it. If the butcher block area is extensive, remember to rinse out the sponge frequently as you work.

4. Sanitize Your Butcher Block

Using undiluted distilled white vinegar, lightly spray the butcher block surface. Allow the vinegar to dry naturally for at least ten minutes after applying it to the surface.

Pro Tip: The vinegar’s acetic acid will kill microorganisms and cleanse the surface.

5. Deal with Stains

Mix a paste of table salt and lemon juice for sections of the butcher block that the tannins have discolored in fruits and vegetables. Apply the paste to the discolored area, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

When the time is up, use a sponge to scrub the area. The lemon juice softly bleaches the stained area while the salt acts as a gentle abrasive. Repeat until the stain is no longer visible.

6. Seal the Butcher Block Surface

If your butcher block hasn’t been sealed with polyurethane, you’ll need to reseal it at least once a month to keep moisture out. When sealing butcher block counters, pay special attention to the area around sinks, which are more frequently exposed to water.

Use walnut oil or food-grade mineral oil. Pour the oil straight onto the butcher block surface after ensuring that it is clean and fully dry. Allow the oil to pool on the surface and work in thin layers.

Using cotton cloths, continue to work the oil into the wood. Within 30 minutes, the oil should have penetrated the surface and been dry.

Maintain Butcher Block Surfaces to Look Fantastic

  • Butcher block countertops and cutting boards are prone to scratches and dings since they have a softer surface than stone, ceramic, or plastics. Use these tips to help protect the surface.
  • You should avoid excessive water exposure to butcher block surfaces. Never soak butcher block cutting boards or leave water on a butcher block surface.
  • Avoid chopping or cutting items directly on the butcher block’s surface. Slight scratches in the wood can give “character,” but they can also harbor bacteria. To protect the butcher block surface, use a washable cutting board while cutting.
  • Excessive heat can cause wood to burn. Use a trivet instead of placing a hot pot or skillet on a butcher block surface.
  • Do not use cooking oils such as olive, maize, or canola to reseal the butcher block. They have the potential to go rotten and emit foul aromas.
  • Mold and mildew on butcher block surfaces can be cleaned with diluted chlorine bleach and water solution. In a quart of water, dissolve one teaspoon of bleach. Allow five minutes for the spray to dry on the surface. Wear protective gloves and use a paper towel to wipe away the mildew and help disinfect the surface. Rinse the area well with hot water and dry completely. (Learn How To Clean Drain With Baking Soda)

butcher block board

How Do You Clean a Butcher Block Smell?

How to clean butcher block daily and thoroughly to prevent smells from the wood.


  • Metal spatula
  • 3 clean cloths
  • Liquid dish soap


  1. Clean your butcher block after each use by taking your metal spatula and scrape it across the top of the block to remove food particles.
  2. Take a clean cloth and wet it with warm water, then add a drop of liquid dish soap.
  3. Scrub the board using your damp cloth.
  4. Do not soak your butcher block in water. Please take a second clean cloth and soak it in warm water. Use this to rinse off the excess soap on the board.
  5. With a third clean cloth, hand-dry the board and place it on its side so it can dry easily and evenly.

Remove Stains on Butcher Block


  • Salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • 2 clean cloths
  1. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. If a stain develops on the block, though, put salt on it.
  2. After that, half a lemon and squeeze the juice over the salt. Then scrub the stain using the lemon’s pulp side.
  3. Allow this lemon and salt mixture to settle for a few hours. Then, using a moist cloth and warm water, rinse it off.
  4. Hand-dry the block with a dry cloth before laying it on its side to air-dry.
  5. If the lemon and salt don’t work, combine 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water.
  6. Dab, the stain with a clean cloth, dipped in the solution. Then dab the stain with a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar. After removing the stain, rinse the area dry using a clean, moist cloth. All this will help disinfect your wooden table surface.

Deodorize Butcher Block


  • Liquid dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  1. If your butcher block countertop has an odor, clean it with warm water and liquid dish soap to wipe off any excess food residue.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the block’s surface once it has dried and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Scrub the block using a clean cloth dipped in a mixture of white vinegar and water (one part vinegar to three parts water).
  4. Using a clean cloth and warm water, rinse it out before wiping away any leftover moisture and allowing it to air dry.

Butcher Block Maintenance

Sandpaper with a fine grain should be kept on hand. It will help you remove surface stains and other marks like coffee rings and keeping your counters smooth. A palm sander or a sheet of sandpaper and some elbow grease will be enough. (Learn How To Clean Black Mold Off Walls)

If everything else fails, you can refinish your butcher block countertops using heavy power. Get out your power sander and some coarse grit sandpaper and start sanding!

Once the surface is smooth and stain-free, wipe with a damp cloth and finish with food-safe oil.

How To Clean Butcher Block (2)

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