As a stunning piece which adds character, wooden worktops have enjoyed many years of popularity in kitchens across the UK. If you own a wooden kitchen worktop, or are thinking about getting one, you need to know a few simple tricks and tips to keep it looking its best for many years to come.
In this article, we’ll cover how to clean, maintain and repair wooden worktops, along with offering some everyday tips for cooking safely without damaging the surface.
Preparing a new wooden worktop
Always ask your worktop provider what preparation, if any, needs to be done before using a new wooden worktop. Some of the things you may need to do, depending on the company, could include:
- Sanding: Using an electric sander, you can resurface the wood. This is usually only needed on previously oiled surfaces.
- Oiling: Around three coats of oil is a good amount for an unoiled surface, leaving enough time between coats. Use a cloth to gently spread the oil over the surface. Don’t neglect the edges, and remember to wipe away any excess oil around 20 minutes or so after application. You may need to do this several times in the first year of owning a new worktop to help the surface build up its protection.
Cooking and preparing food on a wooden worktop
- Always use a chopping board: Never chop directly on a worktop or you might end up damaging the surface with knife marks.
- Hot pots and pans: Never place hot pans or pots onto a worktop to avoid burns or marks, and instead keep them on the hob or lay out a suitable surface protector to place them on.
- Careful of pigments: Watch out for certain foods with strong or stubborn pigments, such as beetroot or turmeric, and just take extra care to ensure they don’t touch the surface – and quickly deal with them if they do.
- Oils and soaps: Also be wary of leaving oil or soap containers on the surfaces, as these may cause stains over time.
Cleaning a wooden worktop
- Speed: It’s important not to leave spills to linger on the surface and to clean them up quickly.
- Warm, soapy water: Take a damp cloth and dip it in warm, soapy water and use this to gently clean the surface, making sure you dry it thoroughly afterwards.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: If you can, avoid using strong detergents or bleaches, and any rough cloths or pads. Always opt for a gentle approach.
Maintaining a wooden worktop
- Re-Oiling: To maintain its water-resistant ability and ensure it remains protected, your worktop will need occasional re-oiling. To test whether it’s time, drop a couple of water droplets on the surface. Does the droplet bead? If so, it doesn’t need re-oiling just yet. If the water droplet goes flat on the surface, however, it may need re-oiling. This process helps build the worktop’s protection up, and is especially important in the early life of a new wooden worktop – the more it’s oiled, the less it will require in future.
- Wipe down: Keep the area around your sink as dry as possible, particularly while it’s building up its protective oil layer. A regular wipe-down should do the trick.
Repairing a wooden worktop
- Check with the manufacturer: Before attempting to rectify any damage yourself, always check first with the manufacturer to ensure that your remedies won’t cause further damage.
- Dents: Indentations from heavy items can be lifted out gently by laying a damp cloth over the dent and placing an iron over the top for a few seconds to ‘lift’ the fibres back into place.
- Mould, burning or stains: If gentle cleaning hasn’t worked, you could try sanding and re-oiling the surface. Failing that, get in touch with a professional who can help.
Here at Classic Kitchens Direct, we create luxury, bespoke kitchens at affordable prices. Wherever you are in the UK, our experts can design and hand craft kitchen surfaces, cabinetry and arrange accessories, all to accommodate your personal taste and budget. Simply get in touch to learn more.