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Question for Amanda - keeping the butcher block surface clean

I love the Butcher Block bench / countertop you have in your kitchen. I use one that is similar, except I can lift it off and move it around like a giant cutting board when needed. Given how hard you use yours - how do you best keep it clean? In between soap and water, I make a paste of kosher salt and lemon juice and scrub it into my block once a week, and then give it a thorough rinse and stand it on one end to dry. Once a month, it gets a rub down with oil. It is ONLY used for vegetables and baking. Meat, fish and poultry go on specially colored jelly boards that go in the dishwasher.

asked by Burnt Offerings about 6 years ago
5 answers 2478 views
Wholefoods user icon
added about 6 years ago

Straight white vinegar in a spray bottle, maybe add a few drops of lemon, rosemary, and/or lavender essential oil -- it'll kill germs, take away the garlic smell, and keep your butcher block nice and clean! Just make sure to oil it about once a month or so to keep it in tip-top shape.

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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 6 years ago

Oh, gosh, please don't be horrified, but I only do soap and water. I tend to use a plastic cutting board for meats and fish, but not always. I've used it incredibly often and it's been in place for more than 15 years now. The only problem I have with it is its color. I don't like the yellowish hue. Would much rather have a grey/blond piece of wood. Or something dark.

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added about 6 years ago

I assure you I am not horrified! Soap and water is still the best defense last time I checked. You should try oiling it from time to time - that's what keeps the color in mine looking decent. Mine is going on 10 years, but I don't use it as a production kitchen like you do. 2/3rds of the time, I'm just cooking for me.

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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 6 years ago


Contact a woodworker in your area. They can bleach wood. But, they'd need to the see the type of wood and if it's possible. Changing the color of something that beautiful is best left to experts, instead of DIY.

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added about 6 years ago

Occassionally, I sprinkle mine with baking powder then mist with white vinegar. It all bubbles up then I scrape it off. You wouldn't believe what comes up! Then I wipe it off with a damp rag and oil it.

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