02/19/14, by Kim Downing
One of the features I love most about my kitchen is the butcher block countertops. They look great and will last forever. As to be expected, though, they tend to get marred, scratched, and slightly discolored over time. So every year or two, I break out the random-orbit sander and clean them up. Then I tape off the fixtures and sink area, and apply two coats of a food-safe finish. I like to use John Boos EZ-DO — it's easy to apply and as tough as nails.
After the latest refinish, I discovered that I didn't do the best job of taping. Removing the tape revealed a few little patches of varnish on the fixtures. It was glued on and absolutely refused to come off — the sign of a good finish. Solvents didn't help, and I wanted to avoid scraping because the fixtures were expensive.
Willing to try anything, I noticed the Magic Erasers among a stash of cleaning products. These handy, sponge-like pads are usually just used for cleaning ... would they remove varnish, too? Yup! With a few quick scrubs of a Magic Eraser, the varnish came right off the fixtures. Plus, even more importantly, it didn't harm the fixtures in any way.