Best Butcher Block Sealer Options [2022]

If you have a butcher block or butcher block countertops at home, sealing the wood is 100% necessary. If you aren’t sure how to seal your butcher block or even what sealant is, don’t stress! We’re going to give you the ins and outs of butcher block sealer and give you our top 6 recommendations for the best butcher block sealer options available based on price, quality, and longevity. Ready to get started? So are we!

3 Picks at a Glance

If you’re unfamiliar with butcher block sealers or are looking to shop for some of the best right now, let us introduce you to these 3 picks. In terms of design, size, and best quality, these butcher block sealers are our top choices. Any one of these would do the butcher blocks in your kitchen wonders.

What is Butcher Block Sealer?

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, so let’s back up and talk about what butcher block sealer is. Butcher block sealer can either be an oil or wax that won’t spoil, such as mineral oil or beeswax. These nonperishable oils or waxes are rubbed into the surfaces of butcher blocks to strengthen the wood.

Why Do You Need Butcher Block Sealer?

Butcher block sealer is oh-so-important! Why? Here are some of the main reasons:

  • The wood will dry out without sealer
  • Sealer keeps bacteria from penetrating below the surface of the wood
  • Sealer prevents butcher block wood from absorbing moisture
  • Sealer keeps mold from being able to grow within the wood
  • Sealer keeps the wood looking glossy and stylish
  • Sealer can help keep your butcher block in prime condition for decades

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How to Use Butcher Block Sealer

Using butcher block sealer is super simple! All you’ll need is a great butcher block sealer and paper towels. We’ll tell you how it’s done in the steps below.

Step 1-Choosing the Right Butcher Block Sealer

If you’re looking for a high-quality butcher block sealer, then we recommend choosing 1 of the 6 sealers we’re going to discuss later in the article. If you prefer, you can also choose to use beeswax or food grade mineral oil.

Step 2-Cleaning Your Butcher Block

When you notice your butcher block’s wood isn’t as glossy as it used to be, it’s time to seal the wood. Before you begin, handwash your butcher block with warm water and gentle dish soap, while never fully submerging the board under the water. Also, do not put your butcher block in the dishwasher. Once washed, let your butcher block airdry completely by standing it up on one side against a wall.

Step 3-Spreading the Sealer

Once you know your butcher block is completely dry, you can take your butcher block sealer of choice and liberally pour or spread it on the wood. Using a dry paper towel, rub the oil or wax into the wood in the direction of the wood’s grain.

Step 4-The Waiting Game

Once your butcher block is entirely coated, let it sit with the oil or wax for 15 minutes. Letting it sit allows the wood to soak up the oil, which will make it glossy once again.

Step 5-Catching the Excess

After 15 minutes are up, you’re going to need some more dry paper towels. Wipe off any excess oil or wax on the butcher block with paper towels.

Step 6-Let it Rest

Lastly, let your butcher block rest for the next 2 days. Letting it rest for the next 2 days without using it will ensure your butcher block has entirely absorbed the oil or wax it needs to maintain the strength of the wood.

How Often Do You Need to Seal Your Butcher Block?

How often you need to seal your butcher block is dependent on how often you use it. Are you an avid home cook who chops meat on your butcher block 1-2 times a day? You may need to seal the wood every couple of months. Do you only use your butcher block a few times a week, or a few times a month? You could seal your block every quarter of a year, or even half a year.

The best indicator of when you need to seal your butcher block is the dryness of the wood. If the wood is dry, it won’t be shiny anymore like when you pulled it out of the box. When the wood loses its glossy sheen, it’s time to wash your butcher block and seal it.

What Happens if I Don’t Seal My Butcher Block?

You put your butcher block at risk of growing mold or harboring bacteria and foodborne illnesses if you don’t seal it. How does this happen, exactly? Here’s a quick chart to explain.

Mold

 

  • Can grow when water becomes trapped under the surface of the wood
  • Deteriorates the structure of the wood
  • Contaminates food you’re chopping on the butcher block
Bacteria

 

  • Can penetrate below the surface of the wood when the wood isn’t oiled and strong enough to protect against it
  • Very harmful to eat food from a butcher block holding bacteria
Foodborne Illnesses

 

  • Salmonella and E-coli can penetrate surface of wood when wood isn’t properly oiled
  • Can contaminate food, and some foodborne illnesses are serious enough to send people to the hospital.

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Types of Butcher Block Sealers

Not all types of waxes and oils can be used as butcher block sealers. We repeat: NOT ALL TYPES OF WAXES AND OILS CAN BE USED AS BUTCHER BLOCK SEALERS.

Popular oils around the kitchen, such as olive oil and vegetable oil, will go rancid and can make your butcher block unusable. To make sure you’re in the know about which kinds of oils and waxes are good for sealing butcher blocks, we’ve compiled a quick guide below.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil, or more specifically, food grade mineral oil, is an amazing butcher block sealer. Mineral oil, unlike other popular cooking oils that come from perishable foods, will not go rancid and damage your butcher block. Conveniently, food grade mineral oil can be bought in most grocery stores.

Beeswax

Beeswax is another top choice for a butcher block sealer. Beeswax won’t go rancid, it’s inexpensive, and you can buy beeswax in tons of stores. For an all-natural sealer, beeswax is a perfect choice.

Specially Formulated Oil

The power of science can do what plain mineral oil and beeswax cannot. By buying specially formulated butcher block sealers, you’re giving your butcher block a formula specifically created to strengthen wood. Out of the 3 options, we recommend a specially formulated sealer the most.

Top Butcher Block Sealer Options

We’ve searched and searched and found what we were looking for! These are the top 6 best butcher clock sealer options you can buy right now from the comfort of your home. Any of these options will keep your butcher block in top shape when dryness is starting to take a toll on the wood.

Howard Butcher Block Oil, Conditioner and Cutting Board Cleaner

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Best for: Variety

This set contains 3 different products for keeping your butcher block in pristine condition. You’ll receive a butcher block sealant, a butcher block conditioner, and a butcher block cleaner. The set of 3 also comes with a free towel you can use an applicator for the sealant. If you’re looking for a set of products that encompasses every part of butcher block care, this is the best.

  • Material: Oil and plastic
  • Price Range: $25-$35
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: Set of 3 oils

Care

  • Keep these bottles out of extreme heat and extreme cold. Store them in a dark cupboard until you are ready to use them. Follow the instructions on the back of each bottle.

Pros

  • 3 oils in a set
  • Comes with free yellow cloth
  • Each oil has a different use

Cons

  • 2 of the 3 bottles are not a sealant

Waterlox 2002-25 Sealer

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Best for: Family-Owned Company

If you’re an avid user of sustainably sourced products, this is the brand for you. Waterlox is a 4th-generation family-owned company in Ohio that takes care to use responsibly sourced resources. With this bottle, you’ll receive an entire quart of high-quality butcher block sealant with a handle that makes pouring easy.

  • Material: Plastic and oil
  • Price Range: $35-$45
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: Family-owned company that uses sustainable resources

Care

  • Store this bottle of butcher block sealer in cool, dark place. Do not expose the bottle to extreme heat or extreme cold.

Pros

  • Large size
  • Family-owned company
  • Sustainably sourced resources

Cons

  • Pricy

Waterlox 5284GL 5284-GL Sealant

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Best for: Large size

This gallon-sized bottle of butcher block sealant will last you for a very, very long time. This is the same family-owned company from Ohio that uses sustainably sourced resources as the product listed above. The vintage metal canister advertises that their company has been around since 1910.

  • Material: Metal and oil
  • Price Range: $75-$90
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: 1 gallon of oil

Care

  • Make sure this butcher block sealant is not stored anywhere where it can catch fire. Take care to store it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard.

Pros

  • Large size
  • Durable container
  • High-quality

Cons

  • Pricy

Cutting Board Food Grade Mineral Oil for Cutting Boards, Countertops and Butcher Blocks

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Best for: Food Grade Mineral Oil

This food grade mineral oil is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive product that is known to work wonders for butcher blocks. This mineral oil is food safe and multipurpose, so you can use it for more than just your butcher block. This bottle contains 12 fluid ounces of food grade mineral oil.

  • Material: Mineral oil and plastic
  • Price Range: $8-$18
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: High-quality mineral oil

Care

  • Store your mineral oil somewhere where it won’t be too hot or too cold. We recommend storing it in the cupboard, because cupboards are cool and dark.

Pros

  • Mineral oil is a wonderful sealant
  • Inexpensive
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Specially formulated blends for butcher blocks are sometimes better

John Boos MYSB Mystery Butcher Block Oil

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Best for: Low Price

John Boos is a premium, well-respected brand in the kitchen product industry. This butcher block oil was specially formulated to make your butcher block shine like the day you bought it. For a bottle that is 16 fluid ounces, this is sold for a low price despite the quality. If you don’t mind spending a few more dollars, you can buy this oil in a set with an oil brush applicator.

  • Material: Oil and plastic
  • Price Range: $8-$18
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: Premium brand

Care

  • Store this butcher block sealant somewhere it won’t be a fire hazard. Also, be sure to store it in a cool, dark place.

Pros

  • Premium brand
  • Low price
  • Preferred by chefs

Cons

  • Only 16 ounces

Culina Cutting Board & Butcher Block Conditioning & Finishing Oil

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Best for: Best Overall

This butcher block sealer is 100% natural, which is wonderful for those of us conscious of using all-natural products. This oil is a mix of coconut oil and other natural oils, so it is entirely plant-based. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, this is the best butcher block sealer option for you.

  • Material: Plastic and oil
  • Price Range: $10-$20
  • Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  • Best Feature: 100% natural

Care

  • Be sure to store this butcher block sealer in the cupboard, or somewhere else cool and dark. Keep this bottle away from extreme heat and extreme cold.

Pros

  • Respected brand
  • 100% natural
  • Stylish bottle

Cons

  • Only 8 ounces

FAQ

We’ve gotten to the segment of the article where we answer your most frequently asked questions about butcher block sealers! Do you have a different question about sealants that we didn’t answer? Please leave us a comment with your question so we can get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.

Question: What Do I Seal a Butcher Block with?

Answer: The top sealants for butcher blocks include mineral oil, beeswax, and specially formulated board oils from respected brands. Whatever you do, never use an oil like olive oil or vegetable oil to seal your board, because oils like those can go rancid. Mineral oil, beeswax, and other engineered oils are nonperishable, which makes them safe to use.

Question: Should Butcher Block Countertops be Sealed?

Answer: Yes, you should seal butcher block countertops! Do the water droplet test on your countertops to see if the wood is getting dry and could use some oiling. Simply sprinkle a few drops of water onto the surface of your countertop and see if the droplets retain their shape after 10 seconds or seep into the wood. If the droplets seep into the wood, it’s time to seal your countertops.

Question: Can You Waterproof Butcher Block?

Answer: You can make your butcher block waterproof, to an extent. Sealing butcher blocks with oil or wax is what keeps them water-resistant, but they will never be entirely waterproof. This is why you should never completely submerge your butcher block under sink water or put it in the dishwasher. It could easily grow mold.

The Finish Line

You’ve officially crossed the finish line and become an expert on all the best butcher block sealer options! We’ve discussed what butcher block sealants are and why they’re important. If you ask me, I’d go with the Culina Cutting Board & Butcher Block Conditioning & Finishing Oil based on its rave reviews.

Do you have experience with butcher block sealers, or do you have any more questions about them? Leave us a comment below to let us know!

For even more great kitchen tips, check out our ultimate guides:

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