The Best Ways to Care for Wood Cabinets, Wood Cutting Boards, Wood Floors, and More

published Aug 28, 2019
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Credit: Lula Poggi

Have you ever realized just how much wood is in your kitchen? Take a minute to count. Wooden cabinets! Wooden cutting boards! Wood, wood, wood! Considering the material doesn’t do great with water or dishwashers, it’s a little surprising to see so much of it in the kitchen. At least it’s not all that hard to clean and stay on top of — especially once you’ve read through this post.

Here’s how to care for all the wood in your kitchen — including wooden cabinets, wooden floors, and more.

Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

1. How To Clean Greasy Wooden Cabinets

Even if you stay on top of all the other cleaning in your kitchen, your cabinet doors have a way of attracting grease and grime. Before you know it, the doors end up taking on a whole new (darker) color than the day you got them. We’ve rounded up the best ways (DIY methods and store-bought cleaners!) to get rid of that gross, sticky layer from your wooden cabinets.

Credit: Erika Tracy

2. How To Clean Wooden Cutting Boards

Lots of home cooks prefer wooden cutting boards over plastic ones, but the major drawback is that these boards can’t go in the dishwasher. Cleaning them is fairly simple, at least: Sprinkle with coarse salt and then use a lemon half (with the cut side down) to scour the surface, squeezing slightly to release the lemon juice as you go.

Credit: Coco Morante

3. How To Oil Wooden Cutting Boards and Spoons

Wooden cutting boards and spoons need a little bit of TLC. Just five minutes a month is enough to make sure they don’t warp or crack. You’ll want our recipe for homemade spoon butter and you’re good to go.

Credit: Erika Tracy

4. How To Clean Butcher Block Countertops

Good news: It’s not necessary to use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean your butcher block countertops, and those options could even damage the coloring or finish. Instead, wipe it down with a little soap and water and then use distilled white vinegar to sanitize the surface.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

5. How To Get Water Stains Out of Wooden Tables

Funny how your tables still end up with water stains, despite the fact that you have coasters scattered throughout your entire home. (Maybe “funny” isn’t the word.) We rounded up the best ways to fix these stains, plus one that’s probably not worth trying at all.

6. How To Clean Hardwood Floors

Although hardwood floors are fairly durable, you do need to be careful because harsh cleaners and even vinegar can strip the finish, causing the wood to dull over time. And getting them too wet can cause the boards to swell or warp. Your best bet? Make your own solution of water, castile soap, and some essential oil drops.