wooden island countertop and bleach?

BobBeeDyLeeApril 24, 2013

Hello all. I have been using the site for a while as a resource but haven't been posting. I finally have something that I can't find an existing thread for and would like your help!

I've seen lots of threads about waterlox and even the specific wood counter top source I am using - Craft Art wooden countertops DIY line- but I still need help with one thing.

On a wooden island countertop that is finished with Waterlox is it ok to use cleaning products like bleach or even regular soap? Both sites don't recommend it but my husband is Very germ conscious and has this crazy idea that if it isn't bleached it isn't clean.

Would it be ok to use a polyeuthethane instead of waterlox on my Craft Art wood island and then use bleach as a cleaner? We are used to man made products (cough laminate cough cough) and it was my idea to go with something natural and warm (yay for wood!). But now the countertops have arrived and I need to finish them in a way that I can clean them really well.

Anyone ever worked with Craft Art DIY wood countertops (or any wood countertops I guess) and waterlox and used bleach or soap? If I want to bleach my wood countertops is there a finish that's ok or best to use?

I want mine to look just like Chrislovesjulia.com's do : ) Inspiration photo below with link to my actual countertops

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Bleach is likely to damage even polyurethane with long term use.

And the first time there is a scratch through the finis, it will start to bleach the color out of the wood it can now reach.

You may first notice a finish defect because the wood gets a lighter colored spot under the finish.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I was hoping the answer would be "why yes, Bobbi. you are a genius, and you can use bleach on anything yay lalalala!"

Is that so much to ask for?? : )

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 2:30PM
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What if you mix the bleach with water and then use it? I'm not sure of the ratio but if it is diluted but still effective in killing germs, that may work. I have waterlox on my walnut island and have used several products (without bleach) and it's been fine. The only not so smart thing I did was rub a magic eraser on the finish to get rid of a spot. It dulled the finish.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Holly- Kay

Your counters are lovely! Man I would be a nervous wreck with counters that beautiful. I have been reading a lot about hydrogen perixode and now I always use it instead of bleach. Lysol makes a great hydrogen peroxide cleaner that I use. It has a really nice slight citrus aroma. I would think that hp would be a much milder but very effective cleaner.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:26PM
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People think of bleach as "safe" but it's far from the truth. It's incredibly corrosive and shouldn't be used on anything you care about, from laundry to countertops. Oxygen bleach is one much more gentle substitute, but for counters, all you really need is a bit of dish detergent and a clean cloth. Use polyethylene cutting boards that can go through the DW if you want, and you can bleach those if you have to, but leave the bleach off of your counters.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Also, what many folks don't understand, is that bleach (sodium hypochlorate) is a really lousy household disinfectant, at least in the way it is commonly used. It needs residence time to kill anything - a swipe with a bleachy rag won't kill anything, but it can still cause the corrosion and and other nasties that GreenDesigns notes. Soap and water have long been simple and effective cleaning products, but I guess they are just too easy for 21st century hi-tech germophobes.

The report linked below details studies conducted in the health care field, where disinfecting is wayyyyy more important than in the average home kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Contact Times for Common Disinfectants

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 5:43PM
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It might also be good to point out to your husband that wood is not an environment that tends to breed / spread bacteria -- here's a summary of a study on wood vs. plastic cutting boards from the UC Davis.

Personally, I think our modern antiseptic environments are actually making us more susceptible to food borne diseases, food allergies, asthma, etc., but that's a whole 'nother conversation.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Cindy Noll

I have a Bally Block/Michigan Maple Island top that is finished with Durakryl 102. It says to clean with soap or other cleaners, but not ammonia based cleaners. It does say that bleach can be used to remove stains & will do no damage. Emmett's Good Stuff is used to refinish after sanding if you use it for cutting & can be used to finish unfinished wood, so I believe this finish is the same & would be safe with bleach.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:50AM
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There is a wood cleaner by Method you could use, DD2 uses on hers.

I would never use bleach on a wood counter, but I do use Lysel Wipes. Method also has wipes.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:44AM
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