A butcher block is a neat kitchen fixture that adds beauty, functionality and uniqueness into any kitchen. It can be used to prepare food, as a table for sharing meals or as a fixture that will be admired by visitors to your kitchen. However, due to its regular use, a butcher block gets dirty very quickly, and hence regular cleaning is needed to avoid contamination and nasty flies from invading your kitchen. It is important to know how to clean a butcher block for health and proper service. The following tips will help you keep your kitchen butcher block spic and span, maintaining cleanliness, a good environment and maintaining the butcher block for a long time:
Firstly, scrape the butcher block’s surface immediately after use, using a spatula, to keep the butcher block sanitary after using. After scraping, make sure you clean it at least once a day, using water, liquid detergent for dish washing, as well as a sponge. The cleaning should be done on every side. Once this is done, take a soft dish rag or towel and dry the butcher block off the water completely.
If the butcher block was used to cut fish, meat or raw chicken, it is advisable to disinfect it, so as to destroy any bacteria that might be hiding on its surface. To disinfect the butcher block, use bleach or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. One table spoon of bleach should be enough. After disinfecting, rinse the butcher block thoroughly with water to get rid of all traces of the disinfectant.
Sometimes, nasty looking and stubborn stains may appear on the butcher block, which are hard to remove. The trick is to pour concentrated lemon juice on the stains, then after a short while clean the butcher block as normal. Lemon juice also serves to eradicate any odors lingering around the block after food preparation is done.
To keep the butcher block in good shape, without drying or cracking, once a week or so, pour slightly warm mineral water on to the butcher block, and using a sponge, gently spread the oil across the whole surface. After this, apply beeswax topcoat onto the butcher block to seal the oil into the wood. However, if the kitchen butcher block is varnished, there is no need to add the oil because the varnish protects the wood.
In case major cracks have already occurred on your butcher block, use a wood filler to fill them in, then after drying, sand smooth them and repeat the whole oiling process.
In addition to these cleaning tips and procedures on how to clean a butcher block, proper storage is very important to maintain it in good shape: keep it away from other appliances such as dryers and stoves which may cause it to become dry, and always remember to store the block on its side so as to prevent the buildup of moisture underneath it.
Hopefully, using these tips to store, clean and look after your butcher block will maintain its look, promote cleanliness in your kitchen and prolong its service as a fixture and a kitchen appliance for a long time.