How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

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Erika Tracy
Apr 8, 2018
(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence | Kitchn)

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. Or so you'd think.

Here's how to remove major stains, plus those that come with everyday use — without resorting to sanding and re-oiling your butcher block!

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence | Kitchn)

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.

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence | Kitchn)

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.

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.

Get the steps: How To Sand Your Butcher Block to Look Like New

How To Remove Light Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

What You Need

  • Salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Warm water
  • Cloth

Instructions

  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 or wipe with a wet cloth to remove the salt.

How To Remove Dark Stains from Butcher Block Countertops

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon 3% solution hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Cotton ball
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth

Instructions

  1. Make the solution: Mix 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in a cup of warm water.
  2. Apply the solution: Dab the solution onto the stain with cotton ball 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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