Get the base right
Never allow standing water
It starts with a good base - if your worktops really are in bad shape, no matter how many times you re-oil them you will still find yourself pondering over stains and water mark damage. Start from a fresh and get your worktops restored so that the water damage and defects are gone - all you then have to do is maintain the finish.
avoid hot & cold contact
Never place a hot pan, dish, bowl or any object that is very hot on a natural timber kitchen worktop. Likewise, extra cold objects such as a frozen meal will discolour the finish if left standing for long enough. Use a well-oiled butchers block or the likes.
Caustics & bleaches
Avoid them like the plague. Both will eat away at, and completely strip any existing finish you had on your worktops. If you leave them long enough, they will 'bleach' the timber to a lighter finish - this then requires the remainder of the worktop to be treated to bring it back to a uniform finish. If you have an oven cleaning contractor in, make sure that your worktops are covered with an impermeable membrane.
Natural wood worktops are tolerant to short periods of water deposits -what they cannot tolerate is periods of long standing water: It will eventually deteriorate and compromise any protection that has been applied. Wipe up any water as soon as you have finished with the area. If not, you also give rise to tannic acid staining the finish.
Washing up is fine, but problems will occur if you leave crocker to 'dry' over night, leave cast-iron pots and pans to dry, store cleaning products in tin carriers - the metals will draw tannic acid from the timber which will leave black marks where the object has been.
use a chopping board
Do not use your kitchen worktops as your food preparation surface - use a designated 'butchers block' or the likes, so that all the knife marks, indentations and damage is done to this sacrificial piece of timber.
Preparing food on your worktop directly will give rise to bacteria growth if you are also cutting; the cutting action penetrates the timber and creates very small fissures which can allow germs to become trapped. Keep your work tops smooth.
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Geddes Hardwood c/o RMW LTD
Hardwood flooring supply & install
Floor sanding & refinishing
Covering Liverpool, Warrington, Lymm, Widnes, Wirral and Cheshire areas.
Weaver Industrial Estate