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Photo: FotoHelin (Shutterstock) Butcher block countertops are convenient and attractive, but if they’re not maintained well, they can crack or even develop mold. You can avoid these issues and keep your kitchen surface functioning and looking like new with a only a little bit of effort. Gather your materials For this project, you’ll need cleaning supplies; 100 and 150 grit sandpaper; food grade mineral oil; clean, lint-free rags; and a five-in-one scraper (or dough scraper). Make sure to wear gloves as well. If there are any small cracks in your countertop, you will also need some canning wax or food-safe wood glue. Clean and prep your surface First, wipe away any dirt or residue with a damp rag. (Some people like to use vinegar to clean wooden surfaces as it helps to disinfect and won’t damage the grain.) Then, use a dough scraper or a five-in-one to lift off any stubborn bits. To remove wine stains, you can use a three-percent hydrogen peroxide solution and a cotton swab. Dab the peroxide on the stain, let sit and remove by blotting with a dry rag or paper towel. Use this method sparingly, as hydrogen peroxide can lighten unstained parts of your wood. You can also use bleach to remove mildew stains. (This is where the gloves come in.) Dissolve one teaspoon of powdered bleach or sodium percarbonate in one cup of hot water and apply to the counter with a stiff bristled brush. Let sit 10 minutes; at this point […]