Care & Maintenance – Wood Countertops

A wood island-top adds warmth to your kitchen and complements your other countertop surfaces. The best way to protect your wood countertops from stains, burns, and scratches is to always put hot pots and bowls on trivets, cut only on cutting boards, and be quick about wiping up spills. But if the counter does get damaged, it can easily be erased. Note, however, that if the wood is protected by a coat of finish, you will need to remove it first.

When dealing with scratches, cuts, and burns, give the wood a quick sanding with the grain, first with 120-grit, then 180-grit paper. When the surface is smooth, pour on warm, USP-grade (food-grade) mineral oil and rub it in with a rag. Let it soak in for 20 to 30 minutes, then wipe away the excess with a clean paper towel. Don’t use cooking oils, which will turn rancid. For extra protection, apply 1 part beeswax or paraffin wax melted in 4 parts mineral oil and rub it into the bare wood while the mix is still warm.

When dealing with stains – if the discolorations caused by food or drinks cannot be erased by sanding, try rubbing them with lemon juice. If that is not strong enough, mix 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in a cup of warm water and dab it on the stain. For the black stains made by, say, a wet cast-iron pot, use wood bleach (oxalic acid) instead. Rinse thoroughly as soon as the stain disappears—bleach will whiten wood dramatically and make it fuzzy if left on too long—then sand and re-oil the surface as above.

Always remember, most wood countertops are vulnerable to vinegar, which is acidic enough to dissolve the glue holding the pieces of wood together and cause the counter to crack along its glue joints. Guard against this by instantly mopping up any spilled vinegar and by oiling the wood regularly.

Treating your wood countertop to a monthly oil massage will improve its resistance to stains.

Family owned and operated, Kitchen Land provides experts to service all of your custom kitchen installation needs, and includes some of the GTA’s best plumbers, electricians and hardwood flooring installation professionals. Located at 1075 Queensway East, #14 Mississauga, Ontario L4Y 4C8, we can be contacted at 905-848-8509 or 1-877-678-8509 for state-of-the-art custom kitchen installation and renovation.