How to Care for and Protect Butcher Block
Here are some tips on caring for all your wood cutting boards or butcher block countertops.
I have a few wood items in my home that need treating with Butcher Block conditioner from time to time. An Indian Mahogany cutting block was gifted to me a couple of years ago and I need to condition this every few months to protect it from knife marks and bring out the natural beauty of the wood. Solid wood cutting blocks are excellent for the kitchen, as the natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of wood offer the best hygiene when compared to plastic cutting boards.
The purpose of this article is to show you how easy it is to apply Howard Butcher Block Conditioner to keep your wooden cutting boards or butcher block countertops looking good and protecting them.
When to apply Butcher Block Oil or Conditioner
If you have any wood items that you use for either food preparation or serving food, you should only apply a conditioner or oil that is food-safe. Other oils might say they are food-safe, but they tend to 'go-off' very quickly and you won't want this to happen as it becomes unsafe to use your wood accessories if this is the case. Food grade oil or conditioner should be food-safe and not spoil over a period of time.
When your cutting boards or countertops look dull and have lost their natural shine, this is the time to condition or apply food-grade oil.
How to apply Butcher Block Oil or Conditioner
Applying either oil or conditioner is a quick and simple procedure that won't take longer than 10 minutes in total. If you are using the Howard Butcher Block Conditioner, like me, I remove the top and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. The conditioner is much thicker than the oil, but once it is warmed up, it is easier to apply.
Squeeze enough conditioner over the wood to ensure you have enough to spread around. Don't apply too much, as the excess will simply go to waste. I have a habit of putting on a lot and then using the cloth to wipe to go round the house and wipe down wood decor and accessories at the same time. That way nothing goes to waste.
The conditioner is wiped over the surface of the wood, both in the direction of the grain and against the grain. I have found that it is better to make sure that you fill all the knife cuts, as the conditioner softens these and they become less obvious, almost like a healing process. To wipe the conditioner I use a disposable kitchen cloth, but you could also use kitchen towel wipes.
After application, leave the cutting board or butcher block for 20 to 30 minutes to let the conditioner be absorbed better. If any dry spots occur within the first 10 minutes, wipe over these with the cloth. After that, use a clean cloth to wipe away any remaining conditioner on the surface. Now your wood cutting board or butcher block countertop is ready for use for the next few months.
GOOD TO KNOW: After rubbing the oil or conditioner over the surface of the wood, you may see dry areas appear. This means that the wood has absorbed the product, but it still needs more. Using the cloth that you used to apply the conditioner, wipe over these areas again until they stay wet for at least 10 minutes.