How To Clean a Kitchen Wooden Worktop: Expert Tutorial


A kitchen wooden worktop is very popular, and with good reason. They have the potential to make the entire room look homely and cozy, they fit with most types of interior design, and they come in various colors to suit the preference of every homeowner.

Many people think that wooden countertops don’t require much in the way of cleaning — just use a wet cloth and you’re done. Unfortunately, that is not true. Wood is very easy to damage if not handled properly, and wooden worktops require careful maintenance. 

Did you know that the average kitchen worktop is just a little less full of bacteria than a used kitchen cloth? This is due to the porous nature of wood which, unfortunately, makes it easy for bacteria to settle in and stay. The only way around this is to clean the countertop in the correct ways.

Sounds like a hassle? It’s really not. Once you learn all the relevant methods, the entire process won’t take more than a few minutes. After that, if you’re willing to put in a bit of time every now and again, your counters will look as good as new for years to come!

We’d like to make the cleaning process as easy as possible for you, so we compiled a comprehensive guide of the best ways to clean a kitchen wooden worktop. Keep your kitchen looking nice and fresh with these helpful tips below!

How to care for wooden worktops?

Proper care means much more than just to regularly run a cloth over the wooden surface. Oiling, fast removal of spills, and thorough cleaning are all things that we recommend doing to maintain your worktop.

When installing new hardwood worktops, you may have to oil them more frequently on top of the regular cleaning and upkeep tasks that we all have to perform. To make it easier for you, we’re going to break down this guide into different sections and cover all the steps needed.

Cleaning your worktops

If you haven’t had the chance to clean your counters for some time, it’s likely that beneath the surface, bacteria are thriving. This is why we recommend starting the whole process with a thorough clean-and-disinfect session.


A good way to begin is to pick up a countertop disinfectant. You can, of course, limit yourself to the products found in your own home — we cover this below. However, for that first clean in a long while, you’re better off trying something like this: a professional detergent that will kill most surface-level germs.

Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner, Safe Around Kids & Pets, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 2), 2409C
  • Plant-Based, Biodegradable Cleaning Ingredients: Formulated with powerful natural cleaning agents like soap bark, corn and coconut and scented with pomegranate fruit extracts that break down and...
  • Powerful Clean, Naturally: Our All Purpose Cleaner combines plant-based power and peace of mind, leaving your surfaces sparkling clean and smelling fresh, naturally!

Spray the entire surface with the disinfectant, making sure not to leave any spots. Leave it to dry on its own. If there’s too much moisture, wipe it up with a clean cloth.

Keep in mind that just the use of a detergent alone will not completely clean your kitchen wooden worktop. These substances are effective at destroying bacteria, but not so much at actual cleaning. Dirty solids and spills will remain — unless you scrub very hard, which you should never do.


Now that you’ve disinfected your counter, it’s time to clean it. Pick up a microfibre cloth and prepare the following solution:

  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ of a cup of white vinegar
  • a tablespoon of liquid dish soap

Mix it all well and then decant it into a clean spray bottle. Next, spray the entire counter thoroughly, but not too heavily. Leave it to settle for a little while, and then wipe it all away with the cloth you’ve previously prepared — make sure that it’s damp.

Do not allow the liquid to remain on the surface, as this can severely damage the wood. Wipe it all away with a clean cloth or some paper towels. It’s preferred that you air out the kitchen at this point to further prevent moisture from setting in.

For the most persistent stains, you can use wire wool, but you have to be very gentle so as not to damage the worktop.

Homax 33873211143 Steel Wool, 12 pad, Assorted Grades, Rhodes American
  • An essential combination of grades to fit a variety of surface preparation needs
  • Uniform, high quality metal strands with gentle abrasiveness


Oiling your countertop is one of the most important parts of the maintenance process. It protects the wood from damage and adds a natural defensive layer over the surface. Regular oiling helps promote good hygiene, but also simply improves the durability of your counters.

If your kitchen wooden worktop is not installed yet, now is the perfect time to treat them prior to putting them up. You should use at least three coats of protective wood oil to each and every side of the countertop, including the underside, prior to ever installing them. 

HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Wood Finish for Furniture & Floors, All Natural Moisture Resistant Sealer, One, 32 Fl Oz
  • Easy to Use - Tung oil is a natural oil recognized by craftsmen to offer the ultimate hand-rubbed finish for all fine woods; just wipe on and allow the oil to cure at room temperature
  • Permeates - Unlike other finishes that form a film on the wood’s surface, tung oil penetrates deep into the wood fibers, cures to a flexible non-oily solid, and becomes part of the wood itself

However, if you’re in the same boat as most of us, you already have a set of kitchen worktops and you want to care for them. Even if you didn’t go through the triple-oiling step at the beginning, there are still motions to make that will improve the state of your counters.

Oiling your wooden worktops

Once you’ve gotten your wood oil, pick up a lint-free cloth, such as an old t-shirt. We don’t recommend using microfibre for this, as it will likely deposit particles on the wood.

When oiling your countertops, make sure to do so in several thin coats as opposed to one thick coat of oil. If you apply too much of the substance, it will not sink into the wood and it will have a largely reduced effect.

Start by applying the first thin layer into the counter. Work the oil into the countertop by following the direction fo the wood grain. Pay an extra amount of attention to the edges, tapholes, sink cutouts, and other areas that are often exposed to water.

After the application of the first coat, wait around 15 minutes and allow it to absorb into the wood. While waiting, run your cloth over the entire surface in order to ensure that the oil is spread evenly.

If this is the first time you’re oiling the counters, repeat the above steps 2-3 times as a safety measure, allowing for at least 30 minutes between coats.

Once everything is all dry, perform a water test — spill some water on the kitchen wooden worktop and watch how it behaves. If it pools, it means you need to add another layer of oil and make sure that it’s all spread well. If it beads, you’re all fine until the next time!


Once you’ve completed all the above steps, you can be sure that your wooden worktop is in as good a condition as it can possibly be. What now? It’s simple: maintenance.

Clean your worktop regularly following our methods. Refresh the oil at least once a month to make sure that you’re keeping the wood safe, and remember to always clear up any and all spills as fast as possible.

With just a bit of time, your worktops will serve you well for years — it’s worth it!

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