How to Sanitize Your Wood-Top Island

How to Sanitize Your Wood-Top Island

Try these mild clearners for butcher-block or other wood counters in your kitchen

By Kaye Morris

White Traditional Kitchen with Wood Countertops
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Installing wood-top islands and countertops is a beautiful way to create a warm look in a kitchen. Wood, however, responds much differently to foods and household cleaners than other types of countertop materials and therefore requires special methods of cleaning to ensure a bacteria-free surface for your food. Cleaning and sanitizing wood countertops is an easy process that can be accomplished by any homeowner.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Regular care and maintenance of your wood island will help prevent cracking and splitting as well as keep it a beautiful centerpiece in your kitchen for years to come.

Step 1:

Sprinkle the countertop with baking soda and rub it with a damp sponge after chopping onions or garlic. The baking soda will neutralize the acid in the onions and garlic and prevent it from damaging the countertop.

Step 2:

Wash the countertop after cutting raw meat. Raw meat can contain many types of dangerous bacteria, so sanitizing the countertop after working with raw meat is your first priority. Mix dishwashing liquid with hot water and scrub the countertop with a soft-bristled scrub brush.

Step 3:

Disinfect the countertop with a store-purchased cleaner or bleach. If you choose a store-purchased cleaner, use it as directed by the manufacturer. If you prefer to use bleach, then mix 1 tsp. bleach with 1 quart water. Apply to the countertop with a spray bottle, rag or sponge.

Step 4:

Dry the countertop immediately after cleaning. Too much moisture will damage the wood.

Step 5:

Seal the countertop a couple of times a year with mineral oil. Distribute a small amount of oil onto the countertop and rub it into the wood with a soft rag. Let the oil absorb into the wood for 2 to 3 hours; then sand any scratches on the surface. Apply a second coat of oil after making repairs. Never use vegetable oil to seal the wood because it will grow rancid over time.

About the Author

Kaye Morris has 20 years of real estate development experience and is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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