Wood countertops are an attractive option to many homeowners who just love that natural, rustic look. It’s also a great option for anyone looking to stick to a budget or if you’re trying to promote a sustainable lifestyle. With that in mind, whether you have solid wood or even butcher-block as your countertop material, you must do a little bit of work to keep them well-maintained. For anyone out there with wood countertops, remember to follow these four basic maintenance tips.
1. Always Use a Cutting Board
There’s a lot of temptation with wood countertops, especially if you have butcher-block, to cut food up directly on your counter. Sure, it may even be made of the same material as your go-to cutting board, but it’s still unwise to do it. Over time, you’ll start to realize scratches and knife marks have built up and prevent your wood counters from looking as perfect as they once did.
2. Clean Up Spills Quickly
Liquids can do serious damage to your countertops. Remember that for all of its benefits, one drawback of wood countertops is that wood is super porous, meaning that it can stain very easily. If you spill vinegar, wine, or any kind of juice, you want to get it wiped up as quickly as possible. Don’t let it sit, otherwise you run the risk of it staining forever.
3. Dealing With Damage
On the offhand that you for some reason are unable to immediately clean up a spill and it does stain, there are ways to deal with it. Try to use some natural stain remover in addition to a bit of sanding. This also works if you have scratches. Just make sure you’re using a very light touch along with a high-grade sandpaper to keep your wood countertops nice and smooth. Afterwards, you should be able to apply oil and have it look just like it used to.
4. Using Oils
Once your counters are installed, you should use mineral or tung oil and rub it into the surface. This helps prevent basic wear and tear and will keep your countertops looking spectacular. Apply oil liberally and let it soak into the grain of the wood. After an hour or so, any of that excess oil can be rubbed off with a cloth, which will leave your counter looking nice and shiny. Try repeating this process every year or two for best results.
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