To keep your wood countertops looking great, clean daily with a nonabrasive cleaner or a homemade mix of warm water with a splash of distilled white vinegar. Gently scrape off any food residue with a spatula or a metal pastry scraper. Be sure to wipe the counters after cleaning so they are completely dry.
To remove stains, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt directly onto the stain. Use a lemon half to rub in the salt. Clean off the salt and lemon juice with water and vinegar.
Butcher-block and solid-wood countertops should be sealed for protection since they are susceptible to warping and cracking. There are a variety of options, but cabinetmaker Cliff Spencer recommends going the less toxic route, using a food-grade oil or wax. As scratches and dings occur, just sand down the wood and reapply the protectant.