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Frequently Asked Questions

Our John Boos products are built with great quality and fine craftsmanship. With a consistent amount of care and maintenance, you can lengthen the life of your Boos ® purchases for many years. Below you will find information on easy steps to help protect and prolong the life of your product as well as other useful information.

To view a specific FAQ category, select from the list below:
Cutting Boards
Butcher Blocks
Kitchen Counter Tops - Wood
Stainless Steel
Product Warranty

Cutting Boards FAQ

Q: How can I purchase Boos Blocks ® Products?
A: You can purchase directly from our authorized John Boos & Co. retailers. To find a authorized retailer near you, visit our How To Purchase page.

Q: How do I keep my cutting board sanitized?
A: Keep your Boos ® cutting board sanitized by simply washing it with hot soapy water after each use and dry it with a clean paper towel or let it air dry. If you want to sanitize the board more thoroughly, use a diluted mixture of chlorine bleach or vinegar solution that consist of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Do not soak or submerge the board in water, for this will disrupt the moisture content and cause the rails to split. Wood cutting boards are NOT dishwasher safe.

Q: What's the difference between end grain and edge grain cutting boards?
A: End Grain Cutting Boards features the end pieces of wood rails approximately 1-1/2" x 1-3/4" that are glued together into a traditional square pattern. During cutting or chopping, the end grain wood fibers absorb the impact of the knife blade, allowing your knife to stay sharper and your board surfaces to stay smoother. Edge Grain Cutting Boards features full length wood rails approximately 1-3/4" wide that span the entire length of the board. Edge Grain Cutting Boards features a uniform thickness and true flat cutting surface. To see a video to show the differences, visit our Media Page.

Q: How do I maintain and prolong the life of my cutting board?
A: It is extremely important to give your cutting board a good oiling on all surfaces every 3-4 weeks depending on your usage. Your Boos ® cutting board shipped from the factory with a Boos Block ® Cream Finish (with Beeswax) which protects and prolongs the life of your board. We recommend keeping the board oiled with John Boos Mystery Oil and Boos Block ® Cream with Beeswax. When the cutting board becomes dry and lighter in color, you know that the time has come to re-oil your board. NOTE: Use only John Boos ® Mystery Oil or Boos Block ® Cream when oiling your cutting board. An quick alternative would be to use mineral oil only. DO NOT USE ANY TYPE OF COOKING OIL ON YOUR WOOD CUTTING BOARDS. THIS WILL DAMAGE YOUR BOARDS. With a minimum amount of care and maintenance, you can lengthen the life of your Boos ® Board by many years. Be sure to visit our Media Page for Care & Maintenance.

Q: Boos Block ® Board Cream or Boos Block ® Mystery Oil? Which one should I use?
A: You can use Board Cream or Mystery Oil separately but is recommended to be used together for extra protection. The best way to describe it is to think of the Boos Block Mystery Oil as shampoo and Boos Block Board Cream as conditioner.

Boos Block Mystery Oil is a food-grade oil and thinner product than the cream; it more easily absorbed and penetrates more deeply into the grain of the wood to help protect and revitalize it. When using the oil, it is recommended you apply a generous amount and let it sit overnight. After checking the result the following morning, add more oil if there are dry spots or for any other necessary reason.

Boos Block Board Cream contains a natural, unbleached beeswax and food-grade oil formula. Board Cream is a denser, thicker product than Mystery Oil, which gives a protective layer to the board against food and moisture. (good to apply before preparing fish and poultry). It helps keep the water out and oil in. Beeswax does not evaporate as quickly as oil. When using the cream, it is recommended you apply it directly onto the cutting board surface, massage it by hand into the grains and let it sit overnight. Then remove the excess with a paper towel.

Q: How do I store my cutting board?
A: Store your wood cutting board on end to dry if it is damp. Or if it is already dry, store flat in a dry area away from extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Q: How do I rid my cutting board of onion and garlic odors?
A: Lemon or lime juice with a little salt will go a long way to reducing odor. Sprinkle your Boos ® cutting board with kosher or table salt. Cut a lemon or lime into quarters and use these quarters to rub the salt into the board, squeezing juice onto the board as you go. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe the cutting board clean with a damp cloth. Use a clean paper towel to remove excess water or let the board air dry by standing it on end.

Q: What if my cutting board is stained or discolored?
A: Sprinkle kosher or table salt on your cutting board and then use a damp sponge or paper towel to rub the stained or discolored area. The salt will absorb stains, flavors, and odors. For stubborn stains, try sanding down the area with a fine grit sand paper. It is very important to sand with the grain of the wood, never against the grain. This sanding process exposes a brand new wood work surface. Once sanding is complete, it is recommended to oil your cutting board with John Boos ® Mystery Oil and/or  Boos Block ® Board Cream with Beeswax. This product protects the board and controls its moisture content, keeping it from drying out, cracking or splitting.

Q: Plastic or Wood Cutting Boards...which one is more sanitary?
A: A scientific study conducted by Dr. Dean Cliver, Ph.D has proved that maple cutting boards inhibit bacteria growth, while plastic boards have been scientifically proven to harbor bacteria inside the cut grooves.  Also wood cutting boards are known to be easier on your expensive knife blades. Click Here to read more on Dr. Dean Cliver's study.

Q: Do I use the same cutting board for fish or poultry that I use for vegetables?
A: Although Boos ® Hard Rock Natural Maple cutting boards DO NOT harbor bacteria, it is a good habit to use separate cutting boards for different types of food prep. For example, use one for raw meat, poultry, or fish, and another for cooked or ready-to-eat foods such as salad, vegetables, and breads. This will ensure protection against cross contamination and will prevent the spreading of certain food borne bacteria such as E-Coli.

Q: What type of material is used to make the Chef Lite board series and how are they made?
A: Chef Lite products are made using layers of natural wood paper sheets impregnated with phenolic resin fused together through a balanced pressure-temperature process. Natural wood paper as its base material combined with phenolic resin provide extra strength and resilience in a lightweight form as dishwasher-safe cutting surface alternative. Chef Lite cutting surfaces are approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and offers long service and sanitation under the toughest conditions of use.

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Butcher Blocks FAQ

Q: How can I purchase Boos Blocks® Products?
A: You can purchase directly from our authorized John Boos & Co. retailers. To find a authorized retailer near you, visit our How To Purchase page.

Q: What's the difference between Varnique Finish vs. Natural Penetrating Oil Finish?
A: Varnique Finish is a smooth semi-gloss finish, this type of finish is used for aesthetic purposes or for general food preparation tasks, including rolling dough, but you do not wish to cut upon it directly for it will damage the varnique finish. This finish requires low maintenance and can be easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water and will not need refinished or re-oiled. Varnique is also more resistant to water spotting and staining. If varnique surface is cut, it will need to be resealed using our Boos ® EZ-DO finish. Natural Penetrating Oil Finish is a type of finish used as a cutting surface and is food-safe. The natural oil finish seals and protects the surface of the wood and unlike the varnique finish, can be cut directly upon the surface. It is recommended to re-oil the wood surface every 3-4 weeks depending on your usage. This maintenance keeps the butcher block from drying out and helps preserve the block and extend its life over time. Natural oil finishes can easily be sanded and re-oiled for a like-new appearance.

Q: How do I keep my Butcher Block sanitized?
A: Keep your Butcher Block sanitized by simply wiping the surface with a clean hot and wet soapy towel after each use and dry it with a clean paper towel or let it air dry. If you want to sanitize the block more thoroughly, use a diluted mixture of chlorine bleach or vinegar solution that consist of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Do not soak or submerge the board in water, for this will disrupt the moisture content and cause the rails to split. 

Q: How do I maintain and prolong the life of my Butcher Block?
A: It is extremely important to give your Butcher Block a good oiling on all surfaces every 3-4 weeks depending on your usage.  For oil finished Butcher Blocks, we recommend keeping the it oiled with John Boos Mystery Oil and Boos Block ® Cream with Beeswax. When the Butcher Block becomes dry and lighter in color, you know that the time has come to re-oil your block. NOTE: Use only John Boos ® Mystery Oil or Boos Block ® Cream when oiling your Butcher Block. An quick alternative would be to use mineral oil only. DO NOT USE ANY TYPE OF COOKING OIL ON YOUR BUTCHER BLOCKS. THIS WILL CAUSE DAMAGE YOUR BLOCKS. With a minimum amount of care and maintenance, you can lengthen the life of your Butcher Block by many years.

Q: Boos Block ® Board Cream or Boos Block ® Mystery Oil? Which one should I use?
A: Boos Block ® Mystery Oil and the Boos Block ® Board Cream is recommended to be used together. The Boos Block ® Mystery Oil acts as the shampoo. The oil and minerals penetrates through the wood surface to increase its longevity. The Boos Block ® Board Cream acts as the conditioner. It is used after the Mystery Oil to seal the top coating of the wood surface to provide a thick surface protection.

Q: How do I rid my Butcher Block of onion and garlic odors?
A: Lemon or lime juice with a little salt will go a long way to reducing odor. Sprinkle your Butcher Block with kosher or table salt. Cut a lemon or lime into quarters and use these quarters to rub the salt into the board, squeezing juice onto the board as you go. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe the cutting board clean with a damp cloth. Use a clean disposable towel to remove excess water or let the butcher block air dry.

Q: What if my Butcher Block is stained or discolored?
A: Sprinkle kosher or table salt on your Butcher Block and then use a damp sponge or paper towel to rub the stained or discolored area. The salt will absorb stains, flavors, and odors. For stubborn stains, try sanding down the area with a fine grit sand paper. It is very important to sand with the grain of the wood, never against the grain. This sanding process exposes a brand new wood work surface. Once sanding is complete, it is recommended to oil your Butcher Block with John Boos ® Mystery Oil and/or  Boos Block ® Board Cream with Beeswax. This product protects the block and controls its moisture content, keeping it from drying out, cracking or splitting.

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Kitchen Countertop FAQ

Q: How can I purchase Boos Blocks ® Products?
AYou can purchase directly from our authorized John Boos & Co. retailers. To find a authorized retailer near you, visit our How To Purchase page.

Q: What type of finishes do you offer with your Kitchen Countertops?
A: We offer two types of finishes for your Kitchen Countertops. Varnique Finish or Natural Penetrating Oil Finish. Varnique Finish is a smooth semi-gloss finish, this type of finish is used for aesthetic purposes or for general food preparation tasks, including rolling dough, but you do not wish to cut upon it directly for it will damage the varnique finish. This finish requires low maintenance and can be easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water and will not need refinished or re-oiled. Varnique is also more resistant to water spotting and staining. If varnique surface is cut, it will need to be resealed using our Boos EZ-DO finish. Natural Penetrating Oil Finish is a type of finish used as a cutting surface and is food-safe. The natural oil finish seals and protects the surface of the wood and unlike the varnique finish, can be cut directly upon the surface. It is recommended to re-oil the wood surface very 3-4 weeks. This maintenance keeps the butcher block from drying out and helps preserve the block and extend its life over time. Natural oil finishes can easily be sanded and re-oiled for a like-new appearance.

Q: What do I do if I want to cut my Kitchen Countertop to fit certain sinks and sizes?
A: Cutting a butcher block top exposes unprotected hardwood. This needs to be refinished immediately. Failure to do so could lead to cracking of the top. Once you have made a cutout in the top, you should coat the exposed area with EZ-DO poly gel or a silicone acrylic clear caulk. EZ-DO gel is available from your John Boos dealer, the caulk is available at most hardware stores. The EZ-DO poly gel or caulk should be spread evenly with a putty knife the full thickness of the cut portion. EZ-DO poly gel or caulk should also be spread one inch wide around the face side of the cutout perimeter. The bottom side of the top should have a three inch wide spread of caulk around the cutout perimeter. Allow EZ-DO poly gel or caulk to dry. Run a bead of caulk around perimeter of cutout where sink ring will rest. Once sink and ring are in place, wipe off excess caulk squeeze out from ring with a damp cloth. For other concealed cutting alterations apply caulk to unprotected area of cutout only. For areas above dishwashers apply caulk to bottom side of countertop that is overhung from the front of the dishwasher. The caulk should be applied with a putty knife and spread three inches past the unit’s width on either side. All exposed edges that have been altered should be refinished w/oil or EZ-DO poly gel.

Q: When should I install my Kitchen Countertop?
A: The wood in a John Boos butcher block top has been kiln dried to a 6% moisture content. During times of high humidity it tends to absorb moisture, which will cause it to expand in width. During low humidity (winter months) it will contract back to its original dimension. When installing a butcher block, allowances need to be made for the seasonal changes. Some cabinet manufacturers slot the top mounting bolt holes. If your cabinets have this feature, be sure the mounting bolts are centered in the slot to allow for both expansion and contraction. If the wood or metal mounting brackets are not slotted, allowance can be made by drilling the hole through the counter approximately 3/8” oversize, and using a washer under the head of the bolts. Attach countertop to counter base using 1/4” lag bolts. The length will vary on the application, but a good rule of thumb is to use a bolt long enough to penetrate one half the top’s thickness. Use one bolt per foot to attach the top widthwise. Use a minimum of four bolts on both ends. Use one bolt per every two feet to attach the length on both sides.

Q: My Kitchen Countertop is starting to warp. What do I do?
A: Warpage of a kitchen countertop occasionally occurs, if one surface expands at a greater rate than the other side. Since the moisture content of the wood used in producing butcher block countertops is tightly controlled, a warped top can be easily corrected. Placing the block onto your cabinet base, it can be drawn down to a flat condition by using 3 or 4 bolts across the width. On an oiled butcher block top the warped condition can also be corrected by covering the convex side with mystery oil and plastic, and then rubbing oil into the concave side of the board repeatedly. This evens out the moisture content of the counter top, and will bring it back to its flat condition.

Q: There are splits at the ends of my Kitchen Countertop. What do I do?
A: Minor splits may occur at the ends of your kitchen countertop, if it was cut for installation and the end not properly resealed. If you notice this condition, the cracks should be immediately filled with a matching color wood filler, sanded smooth, and refinished with Boos ® Mystery Oil or Cream.

Q: Kitchen Countertop Overhang Instructions
A: A diagram on the proper procedures of overhang installation on kitchen countertops can be found here. Overhang Instructions Diagram PDF.

Q: Edge Detail Styles For Kitchen Countertops
A: Here you will find a variety of Edge Detail Styles that we offer for our Boos Block ® Countertops. Edge Detail Styles - Kitchen Countertops.

Q: Butcher Block Countertop Installation Guide
A: You can find a installation guide for your butcher block countertops here. Butcher Block Countertop Installation Guide

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Stainless Steel FAQ

Q: How do I care and maintenance my stainless steel equipment?
A: In-depth instructions on the care and maintenance of stainless steel. Covered are the tools and cleansers recommended. Other vital information about stainless steal is included in this document pdf. Download Stainless Steel Care & Maintenance Instructional PDF.

Q: What should I use to clean my stainless steel?
A: Stainless Steel is durable, and can be long lasting if proper care and maintenance is provided. We recommend using our  Boos® Stainless Steel Cleaner to be sprayed on and wiped down with a clean disposable towel. NEVER use an abrasive cleaner or chlorine bleach.

Q: Whats the difference between stainless steel gauge (GA) thicknesses?
A: When referring to the gauge (GA) thickness of stainless steel, the lower the number the thicker the stainless steel. For example, 14GA is a thicker quality stainless steel than 16GA while 16GA is a thicker quality stainless steel than 18GA.

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Product Warranty

Q: What is the warranty on your products?
A: The only warranty, expressed or implied, is a one year guarantee against defect in workmanship and material.

This warranty does not apply to damages which may result from neglect, accidental or intentional damage, damage or wear to any swivel mechanism, normal wear and tear, misuse of product, unauthorized repair, exposure to extremes in temperature and humidity, and alteration or abuse of the product. Wood products ordered "unfinished" do not come with a warranty.

Repairs or replacement under this limited warranty will be made through an authorized John Boos & Co. distributor, if possible, the same dealer/distributor from which the product was purchased. Should the dealer or factory representative find return of the product to the factory necessary, all packing and shipping costs will be the responsibility of the customer. If a dealer/distributor is not available, contact the Customer Service Department at John Boos & Co., 3601 S. Banker St, Effingham, IL 62401 or call at (888) 431-2667 for the name and location of the nearest authorized distributor.

Factory obligation under this warranty, is limited, at the option of John Boos & Co. to repair or replacement of the product (or one of equal type and quality if the product is no longer available), within 90 days after receipt of written recommendation from the dealer, provided none of the above exceptions are evident.

dJohn Boos & Co. shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from use, or for consequential damages. This warranty gives certain legal rights and there may be other rights that vary from state to state.

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