Use and Care of Butcher Block Tops
Butcher Blocks are made from real wood. Wood is a natural material that responds to changes in temperature and humidity. These changes set up tremendous internal forces in the block. Their shape and dimensions will change with the seasons. If warping or edge cracking appears it is related to uneven changes in temperature or humidity. Keep your block dry, away from heat and allow it to dry evenly. Regular oiling helps to prevent these problems because it keeps water from entering the board. Sometimes this finish will give the impression that the block is wet, the top is ready to use.
By following a few easy usage rules and maintenance steps, the life of a butcher block is almost unlimited:
- Wash your block by hand only using anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water. Do not submerge the block! Add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the water for extra bacteria killing power after chopping bacteria carrying foods such as raw chicken. You can also rub the block with a half a lemon to kill bacteria. Our blocks are not dishwasher safe. Thoroughly dry the block after washing. When possible allow the block to dry standing up on edge to help the block dry properly and prevent warp.
- Periodically (about 4 weeks) oil the block with mineral oil, Glumber Oil, our Block Bros. All-Natural Block Oil, or John Boos Block Board Cream. Letting the block dry out because of a lack of oil is the #1 cause of problems with the block. You can't oil your block too much! Oiling will help keep that beautiful sheen.
- Do not allow liquid to stand on the block for a long period of time, it will stain the block and cause the wood to expand, causing glue joint failure and warp.
- Use a steel scrapper or sandpaper as needed to keep the top smooth and free of deep cuts and food buildup, then re-oil the top.
- Work with different areas of the block to help it wear evenly. Both sides should be used if the design allows to extend the life of your board. Do not use a razor sharpened edge on your clever it will chip out the wood.
- Do not expose tops to excessive heat, cold or moisture! Never put in microwave or dishwasher. Never place on stove burners.
Problems and How to Fix
|Edge Cracks and Splits||Excessive dryness from lack of oir or exposure to heat||Small splits in the end grain can be expected. Most of the time this is only a cosmetic condition and needs no attention. But if you want to fill the splits, use a good wood filler. After filling the split, let the filler dry, then sand off any excess and re-oil.|
|Warping||Imbalance of moisture content between top and bottom||Apply oil liberally to concave side. If not corrected within 2 weeks, tape plastic to the convex sid and oil the reverse side every day. Top will adjust to new humidity.|
|Stains||Allowing food t oremain on the top too long||Use lightweight sandpaper on stain and re-oil. stain will dissipate into the wood grain over time.|
|Gouges, Dents||External influences||Simply sand out imperfections and re-oil.|
|Dark Streaks in Wood||Natural color of wood||No repair is needed - cherish the individuality of your butcher block!|
|Oil Residue||Build-up of excess oil||Clean excess with mineral spirits and then wash with soap water and dry.|