Basic Butcher Block Care


Butcher block is an amazing surface for a kitchen. It's durable and hard to damage, it looks beautiful, and it's easy to clean. Butcher block comes in many forms, from countertops to cutting boards, chopping boards, or food prep surfaces. They're made from hardwood such as maple or walnut that has been laminated together in layers of different thicknesses. The joints between the individual pieces of wood can be sealed with food safe oils which protects them from drying out or cracking over time. It creates a surface that prevents food particles from penetrating the board so they can be washed away easily when you clean your board regularly (don't use dish soap).

Butcher block care is important to keep it sanitary and protect the wood from drying out or cracking.

Butcher blocks are a great choice of material when you want to chop or cut on your kitchen counter. They're durable and hardwood, which makes them perfect for this task.

They also have an oil in the wood that helps prevent drying out, but if you don't care for it properly, your butcher block can crack.

First Step: Season your board.

Seasoning a butcher block is essential for protecting the wood and maintaining its performance. It also helps prevent warping, cracking and splitting.

To season your board, apply a generous amount of oil to it with a clean cloth or paper towel (do not use paper towels that have been recycled). Allow the oil to soak into the wood for several hours before wiping off any excess with dry paper towels. Repeat this process minimally every 6 months or so. Every 2 months, if you're an avid user.

Don't use vegetable or cooking oils.

Vegetable and cooking oils can oxidize, leaving your butcher block looking dull and stained. Instead, use a food safe wood oil containing mineral oil, such as MI Wood Oil.

Use a food safe wood oil containing mineral oil.

  • Use a food safe wood oil containing mineral oil.

  • This type of oil provides the best protection when butcher block is exposed to water, such as in the kitchen.

  • Never use cooking oils such as canola, olive or other vegetable oils—these break down over time and will adversely affect the wood surface.

Step Two: Seal it with a food-safe mineral oil wax.

  • Apply a food-safe mineral oil wax.

This is the most important step in caring for your butcher block, as it will seal the wood and prevent moisture from getting into it. It's also a great finish for butcher blocks, because it's easy to apply and gives them a matte sheen instead of the high gloss that some other finishes provide. Mineral oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, so you won't have to worry about anything growing on your block—just keep it clean, clear, and dry.

Continued Care: Clean spills immediately.

To keep your butcher block looking and smelling beautiful, don't let it air dry or unwanted matter to soak in. Instead, clean up spills immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel. The longer food stays on the board, the more bacteria will form and begin to stain the wood.

Don't use dish soap on your board.

Dish soap is not food safe and can leave a residue that isn’t safe to ingest. Dish soap also removes the oils in your butcher block, which means you have to oil it more often. This can also cause your board to dry out faster than usual and lose its beautiful color. You don’t want any film left on the board after you wash it, so using dish soap will result in an unappealing ashen surface with flakes or film on top of it.

You should use a mineral oil instead of vegetable oils—olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.—because they tend to leave a greasy sticky residue behind when they dry up (think about how much olive oil spills off of bread slices when placed on paper towels).

Rinse thoroughly and dry completely.

After using your cutting board, rinse it thoroughly and dry completely. This will prevent water stains from forming on the wood and help extend its life. You can use a clean towel or paper towel for drying purposes, but if you have one on hand, consider using a hair dryer to speed up the process. A heat gun or electric fan can also be used for this purpose as well.

Do not let your butcher block air dry.

You should never let your butcher block air dry. The wood can warp, crack, or discolor if it dries out in an inconsistent environment. This is especially true with cherry and maple butcher blocks because they are more susceptible to cracking than other species of hardwood such as oak or hickory. When allowed to dry out while resting on their side, they will shrink more than when resting flat on their face, which may cause the board to warp and split at the joint where all four sides meet.


If you follow these tips, your butcher block will last for years and continue to perform like a champ. It’s important to remember that butcher blocks are not just utensils—they are also a beautiful piece of art that should be treated as such.


We've spent years testing Wood Oil to make sure that it protects, conditions and seals your wood in the best possible way. It's never been easier to have healthy, beautiful wood!

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