How to Clean Butcher Block Countertops

It only takes a few minutes to keep butcher block countertops in peak condition (and cutting boards, too).

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Working in a kitchen with butcher block countertops is like hanging with your bestie—it's comfortable and you want to linger. But even best friends need a little upkeep. Show your countertops you care about their welfare (and lengthen their life) with proper cleaning.

Tools Required

  • Bench/dough scraper or spatula
  • Sanding block (optional)
  • Sponge or dishcloth
  • Spray Bottle

Materials Required

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Food-safe mineral oil tung oil or butcher block oil-and-conditioner combo
  • Mild dish soap
  • White vinegar

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Scrape Off Food Residue


Remove stuck-on food from a butcher block countertop with a bench or dough scraper. If you don't have one, use a spatula. Here's how to clean granite countertops.

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Step 2

Wipe the Surface


After scraping off the stuck-on food, wipe off the surface with a sponge or cloth and a mixture of water and mild dish soap, like Seventh Generation.

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Step 4


While wood has anti-bacterial properties, you should still disinfect a butcher block countertop. After you've cleaned it off, spray a mixture of white vinegar and water on the surface, spread it around with a damp cloth, let it soak in for a minute or two, and then wipe it off. This is how to clean laminate countertops.

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Step 5

Treat with Oil


When you notice the wood starting to dry out (when moisture starts to penetrate the wood), apply a coat of food-safe butcher block oil to the clean, dry surface. Apply as many coats as needed, until moisture stays on the surface. Learn how to clean quartz countertops.

Another option: Use a food-safe butcher block oil and conditioner combo, such as Howard Butcher Block Conditioner (shown here).

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