Real Homes’ Jenny Mcfarlane reveals how to care for your wooden work surface and preserve its natural beauty
Wooden countertops add warmth to a kitchen and are very robust. However, because they’re made of a natural material, it’s important to clean them properly. You can do this easily using washing up liquid, plus natural ingredients like lemon and white vinegar to lift stains. Then it’s all about good maintenance.
PREVENTION AND PROTECTION
If your wooden worktop is sitting above a dishwasher, washing machine or other appliances that radiate excess heat or moisture, protect it by applying a moisture barrier to the underside of the surface. If it’s near a freestanding oven, allow a 30mm gap between them and fix an end cap to the edge of the worktop closest to the oven. You’ll need to apply another coat of oil to seal the surface after installation, which should be repeated regularly over the next six to eight weeks. Test whether your worktop is oiled sufficiently by spraying a small amount of water onto the surface. If it pools rather than forming droplets, you’ll need another coat.
KEEP IT CLEAN
You can clean wooden worktops using washing up liquid, plus a couple of natural ingredients like lemon and white vinegar to lift stains. For a deep clean, you need to firstly remove any food debris. Mix some hot water and washing up liquid, then use the rough side of a sponge to remove any stains before wiping off. Once the area is clean, sanitise by spraying white vinegar liberally. Leave this for a few minutes and then scrub off again. This will also help with sticky areas and tough stains. Dry thoroughly to protect your wooden surface from warping or cracking. If vinegar didn’t lift the stain, try rubbing half a lemon on it to remove or at least lighten the mark. You could also drench steel wool in lemon juice and scrub until it’s gone.