How to Apply Behandla to a Butcher Block

By A.J. Andrews

No material feels as smooth and sturdy under a chef's knife as a heavy, high-quality butcher block. A well-maintained butcher block lasts a lifetime with proper care, and a general all-purpose wood treatment like IKEA's proprietary Behandla makes regular cleaning and sanitizing easy. Behandla consists of food-safe raw linseed oil, a natural preservative derived from flaxseeds. Butcher blocks are typically made of low-absorbency wood, such as maple, teak or walnut, and need three applications of Behandla to penetrate their surface.


Step 1

Wash the block with warm soapy water and rinse it. Wipe the block down with a lint-free cloth and let it dry overnight. If you've prepared food directly on the block before without a cutting board, scrub the surface using a lemon-juice-and-kosher-salt paste and a nylon brush. Wash the block again with warm, soapy water and let it dry overnight.

Step 2

Scuff the sides, bottom and top the butcher block in the direction of the grain using a green general-purpose hand pad; one to two passes with the hand pad suffices.

Step 3

Shake the can of Behandla for about 1 minute. Brush on the Behandla on the top and sides of the butcher block using a square-end brush in the direction of the grain. Let the block air dry for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Wipe down the sides and top of the block using a lint-free or microfiber cloth to wipe away the unabsorbed oil. Let the butcher block air dry for 2 to 4 hours.

Step 5

Apply Behandla two more times; wipe the block down with a lint-free cloth after 15 minutes of each application, and let it dry for 2 to 4 hours after wiping it down.

Step 6

Let the block air dry for 24 hours. Wipe the block down once more with a lint-free cloth.