How to care for solid wood worktops
Introduction to caring for solid wood worktops
Selecting the right worktop for your kitchen can be tricky, however, if you are looking for something that is hard-wearing, durable and looks really beautiful too, perhaps a solid wood worktop is going to be the right choice for you.
There is a real variety of different wood types, finishes and styles that you can choose from, each of which will work well in a modern, contemporary or classic themed kitchen.
But, just like many other types of worktops, it is important to take proper care of your solid wood worktops. With this in mind, we have put together our guide on how to best care for solid wood worktops, with some top tips for keeping it looking fresh, clean and mark free.
When should you oil your solid wood worktops?
Want to make sure that your brand new solid wood worktop looks it’s very best? If you do, then oiling is the way to go.
Oiling a solid wood kitchen worktop not only gives it a beautiful sheen, but can also be a therapeutic experience, giving you the chance to really appreciate the true beauty of your new worktops.
So why oil?
Oil adds a particular element of depth and character to your wood that you may not find in varnishes and lacquers. Not only this but it acts as a protective layer, keeping your worktops safe against all the things that everyday life can throw at them.
You should plan to oil your solid wood worktop as soon as it is installed. This means that you will be instantly protecting it against its two main enemies: heat and moisture.
It is recommended that a brand new worktop should have two liberal coatings of oil, both on the underside and the edges of the worktop. As neither of these areas will be seen, it does not matter how neatly the oil is applied.
In comparison, the top and front sides will need to be approached with a little more care. These will need around 3–5 coats, each one light and carefully applied. You may also need to complete some light sanding between each coat just to make sure that you have the very best-looking worktop at the end.
It is best to apply oil by pouring it onto the worktop and then spreading with a lint free, cotton cloth in the direction of the grain. If you are not sure what type of cloth is best, then why not use an old t-shirt?
It will take around 8 hours for a coat of oil to dry. After this time you can re-apply another thin layer of oil. After a few times repeating this process, you will have a well-protected and shiny worktop that will look great.
Want to keep them looking that way?
It isn’t just the initial application of oil that is important; you will want to continue to apply oil to the worktop at regular intervals. If you don’t then you will be left with dull, dry-looking worktops that may not be as protected as they once were.
We recommend that you apply one coat of oil to your solid wood worktops every 3-6 months, depending on how often you use them and how worn they look. In doing this, you will keep your worktop looking as it did on that first day, for years to come.
2. Removing Stains
How do you get stains out of wooden worktops?
After you have taken time to decide which solid wood worktop is right for you, the last thing you will want is to battle with stains and marks on the surface.
Whilst you may have taken steps to prevent them from occurring, it is inevitable that, from time to time, the odd mark is going to appear. This is particularly true if you haven’t kept on top of your regular oiling schedule; one of the leading reasons that people report stains and marks on their wooden worktop.
So, what can you do if you find an unsightly stain on your beautiful wooden worktop? Here are some of the top things you can do to have your worktop looking bright and new again.
Using lemon juice
Citrus fruit is known for its acidity, which is why lemon is so often used in cleaning. If you find a stain on your wooden worktop, then try drenching fine wire wool in lemon oil. Not only should the abrasive nature of the wool remove the stain, but the lemon oil will help work it out as well as leaving it smelling fresh afterwards.
Iron it out
Sounds strange? Well, an iron might just be your favoured weapon in the battle against the stain. If the water mark is a new one, then this should work perfectly. All you need to do is set your iron to a medium heat and place a clean white cloth over the mark.
Without the steam function on, you need to hold the iron on the cloth for a few seconds, then lift up the cloth to release the heat. You will need to repeat this a few times until the stain disappears.
Not working for you? Perhaps the stain is older or more stubborn? Whatever the reason, it may be time to bring out the big guns!
If you are struggling with harder to remove marks, or perhaps a larger number of stains, then you may want to think about sanding down the wood to remove them. A small patch can be tackled with sanding by hand, but a larger surface area may require an electric sander instead.
For those who have decided that sanding is the way forward, you will need to remember to cover everything in the surrounding area, as sawdust is a messy material and before you know it you could have a kitchen that is completely covered.
Also, don’t forget, if you decide to sand down your stains then you will need to re-oil the area. This will not only help it to blend in with the rest of your worktop, but hopefully also offer some protection against any more stains.
3. Dealing with Scratches
How to remove scratches by sanding
Even if you take good care of your solid wood worktop, there is going to come a time when it looks a little less than fresh and new. This is thanks to the everyday wear and tear that worktops experience. Thankfully, the good news is that it is relatively easy to restore your wooden worktop and have it looking grand, even if the issue comes in the form of scratches and dents.
If your worktop is simply looking a little tired then a good clean with warm, soapy water might be all it needs, but if it has a number of scratches and marks then you might want to consider sanding down the top and re-oiling the worktop.
Larger dents, cracks and holes may require the wood to be repaired by gluing the wood together. Whilst you could attempt this yourself, if you are concerned about damaging the wood further, then you may want to speak to an expert in repairing solid wood worktops.
By taking care of your wooden worktops you can be sure of many years of great-looking and durable worktops, giving your kitchen a real sense of style and character too.
Shop solid wood worktops
At HCSupplies, you can buy from a wide range of solid wood worktops direct from our warehouse, all at internet prices. Why not start creating your dream kitchen today?