Flash Sale!!! Jeffery Alexander Kitchen Island!!

Butcher Block Care

Cleaning and Oiling Butcher Block

How Often to Clean and Oil Butcher Block

Keeping your butcher block clean and well-oiled is essential for its longevity and safety. For daily maintenance, a simple wipe with a damp cloth and mild dish soap is sufficient. This removes any food particles and prevents the buildup of grime. However, for a deeper clean, you should sanitize your butcher block weekly. A solution of vinegar and water is effective and safe.

When it comes to oiling, it's crucial to oil your butcher block every 3-4 weeks or whenever it appears dry. Regular oiling keeps the wood hydrated and prevents it from cracking and warping. Look for food-safe mineral oil for this purpose.

Do's and Don'ts of Butcher Block Care


  • Use Food-Safe Mineral Oil: Regularly oil your butcher block to maintain its moisture.
  • Use a Scraper: Employ a bench scraper to remove stuck-on food particles.
  • Clean Spills Promptly: Wipe up any spills immediately to avoid stains and water damage.
  • Use Separate Cutting Boards: Although Boos Hard Rock Natural Maple cutting boards DO NOT harbor bacteria, it is a good habit to use separate cutting boards for different types of food prep. For example, use one for raw meat, poultry, or fish, and another for cooked or ready-to-eat foods such as salad, vegetables, and breads. This will ensure protection against cross-contamination and will prevent the spreading of certain foodborne bacteria such as E-Coli.


  • Avoid Standing Water: Never let water sit on the butcher block for prolonged periods.
  • No Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of regular use of bleach or other harsh chemicals.
  • No Dishwasher: Do not put butcher block items in the dishwasher as it can cause warping and damage.
  • Avoid High Heat: Do not place hot pots and pans directly on the butcher block to prevent burns and cracks.

Detailed Care Instructions

  1. Clean the Surface: For daily cleaning, use a damp cloth with mild soap. For more stubborn stains, a paste of salt and lemon can be effective. Scrub the surface with the paste and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
  2. Sanitize Periodically: At least once a week, sanitize your butcher block. Mix one part white vinegar with four parts water and wipe down the surface. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that will help keep your butcher block free of bacteria.
  3. Apply Oil Regularly: Every 3-4 weeks, apply a generous amount of food-safe mineral oil, such as John Boos Mystery Oil. Pour the oil directly onto the butcher block and use a cloth to spread it evenly across the surface. Let the oil soak in overnight, then wipe off any excess with a clean, dry cloth in the morning.
  4. Use Cream for Extra Protection: After oiling, apply a butcher block cream. This cream provides an additional layer of moisture and seals the wood, protecting it from water damage and further wear. Apply the cream in a circular motion and allow it to absorb fully.

Ensuring Lifetime of Butcher Block

Maintaining your butcher block is a continuous process that ensures its longevity and usability. Here are additional tips to keep your butcher block in prime condition:

  • Regular Maintenance: Consistent cleaning and oiling are key. Neglecting these steps can lead to a dry, cracked surface that is more susceptible to damage.
  • Avoid Damage: Use your butcher block for light prep work, but avoid heavy-duty chopping directly on the surface. Use dedicated cutting boards for tasks that involve heavy knives or cleavers.
  • Repair Scratches: If you notice deep scratches or cuts, lightly sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper. Once sanded, clean the surface and reapply oil to the affected area.
  • Maintain Humidity: Wood can expand and contract with changes in humidity, leading to cracks or warping. Keeping your kitchen at a stable humidity level will help prevent these issues.

Additional Tips for Boos Cutting Boards

Keep your Boos cutting board sanitized by simply washing it with hot soapy water after each use and drying it with a clean paper towel or letting it air dry. If you want to sanitize the board more thoroughly, use a diluted mixture of chlorine bleach or vinegar solution that consists of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Do not soak or submerge the board in water, as this will disrupt the moisture content causing the rails to split. Wood cutting boards are NOT dishwasher safe.

Proper Storage of Wood Cutting Boards

Proper storage of wood cutting boards is crucial to prevent warping. Unlike plastic, glass, or composite boards that can be stored flat, wood cutting boards should be stored on their edge and away from direct sunlight. Placing a wood cutting board flat for an extended period of time on a cold stone countertop can hinder airflow and lead to moisture imbalance. If you wish to showcase your cutting board on the countertop for an extended period of time, ensure proper air circulation by using a mesh rubber mat underneath for reversible boards. This ensures the beauty of your cutting board is maintained while preventing potential warping issues.

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell

Lemon or lime juice with a little salt will go a long way to reducing odor. Sprinkle your Boos cutting board with kosher or table salt. Cut a lemon or lime into quarters and use these quarters to rub the salt into the board, squeezing juice onto the board as you go. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe the cutting board clean with a damp cloth. Use a clean paper towel to remove excess water or let the board air dry by standing it on end.