How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

Erika Tracy
Sep 9, 2014
(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Removing stains from butcher block countertops can be a challenge. One good dinner party with friends and an unattended red wine stain is there to stay. Here's how to remove these kinds of stains, plus those that come with everyday use — without resorting to sanding and oiling your butcher block!

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Two Methods for Removing Stains

I tested out a couple of popular methods for removing stains before landing on my favorite. One great-smelling and popular approach, recommended by many sources online, suggests scrubbing salt onto butcher block surfaces with the pulp side of a lemon. Truth be told, this process didn't tackle many of the stains, and didn't begin to touch the red wine stain. A longer period of soaking may have improved the results on lighter, smaller stains.

For tougher or darker stains, like red wine, I found that applying a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per one cup of water) with a cotton swab or cloth worked best. This solution did the trick on challenging red wine stains and also eliminated most of the lighter stains.

→ More about hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant in the kitchen: Heavy-duty disinfecting the non-toxic way with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar at Root Simple

Do you have any tried and true methods or miracle products for removing stains from butcher block surfaces?

For a Full Refresh: Sand and Oil

If these methods below aren't tough enough for a bad stain, or your butcher block needs a refresh, you can also sand and oil it to look like new. We recommend doing this about once a year.

How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

What You Need

1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon 3% solution hydrogen peroxide, optional
1 cup warm water, optional
White vinegar, optional

Instructions for Light Stains

1. Sprinkle salt over the stain: Liberally sprinkle salt over the entire stain, making sure it's completely covered.
2. Squeeze lemon juice over salt: Cut the lemon in half and squeeze some juice over the salt to make a paste.
3. Scrub stain with the pulp side of lemon: Use the cut side of the lemon like a scrubber and rub the salt and lemon juice into the stain.
4. Let sit overnight, then rinse with water: Let the salt-and-lemon paste dry on the stain overnight. Rinse with warm water to remove the salt.

Instructions for Dark Stains

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in a cup of warm water.
  2. Dab onto the stain with cotton swab or cloth: Make sure to completely cover the stain. Dab again lightly with white vinegar.
  3. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth: Wipe the butcher block down with a clean, damp cloth before using.

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