mineral oil alternative for cutting boards?

Joined Dec 23, 2000
What's wrong with USDA-approved mineral oil?  It's the only treatment that doesn't go rancid and it is also food safe.

Is your car powered by non-petroleum-based fuel?

Mke  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Well alternatives are that "board butter" snake oil that some vendors sell for big bucks, or expensive walnut oil, or other nut oils (need to do homework for some), but you get the picture.  I apply USP mineral oil until there are no dull spots on the board usually twice a year.  It's cheap too.
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Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I've never once oiled a cutting board.  I've been using wood cutting boards for 25 years.  Regular use will "oil" it so to speak.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I've been afraid to say that Kuan. But inspired by this forum I oiled my old boards once earlier this year. I'm not sure it really makes much of a diff.
Joined Mar 19, 2009
A classic paste made from beeswax and mineral oil makes a difference in my experience. Without the paste wooden boards get wet, the fibers open up and duration of the board is compromised. The paste is easy to make and can be used a lot whenever wood is implied, such, for instance, on knife handles.
Joined Mar 15, 2013
From all my experience and research I have come to the conclusion that walnut oil does not go rancid. Many boardmakers and bowl makers use it and recommend it for oiling your board. The best way to treat your board, is a mix of 6-1 or 8-1 walnut oil to beeswax. You can substitute the walnut oil for mineral oil if you want.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Oh, mine did. I wasn't using it on boards but on salad and in brownies. Even stored in the fridge it went rancid. Nut plus, except tung nut seem to go bad.
Joined Nov 6, 2004
   I use a homemade board butter...

 BeesWax Paste for Cutting Board

  There are commercially available products out there to care for your cutting board, but here's a little recipe you can do at home.
  • 1 cup pharmaceutical grade Mineral Oil
  • 2oz pure beeswax
   Heat mineral oil and beeswax in a small pot, on your stovetop, until it's completely dissolved (stirring along the way).  Once the beeswax is completely dissolved, pull it off the heat and allow to cool down a couple of minutes...then pour it into glass jar.

     Use a clean rag to apply to your cutting board, apply liberally.  Allow to soak in overnight and wipe any excess off with a clean dry rag.  Your board may need several treatments at first, just keep applying if it quickly soaks into your board.  Once your board is sufficiently treated you can cut down to once a week treatment.  As you treat the board even more, you may notice that you can reduce the time interval even further and further until it's hardly needed at all

    Your board will perform and clean better/easier than before.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
From all my experience and research I have come to the conclusion that walnut oil does not go rancid. 
In my personal experience, walnut oil gets rancid much faster than most other oils out there!! In fact walnuts get rancid quite quickly as well. I always keep my walnut oil in the fridge to avoid it getting rancid too quickly. 
Joined Dec 23, 2000
I posted this several years ago-

When my son owned a cabinet shop, he made a lot of cutting boards to utilize scraps.  He found research papers from the University of Wisconsin/Madison Department of Food Science that concluded that USP mineral oil was really the only choice for oiling boards as it never became rancid, whereas all nut/vegetable oils definitely did.

If you make a board, use TiteBond III glue, which is USDA approved for foodservice use, waterproof, good open time, and easy cleanup.  Like Norm Abrams says, use LOTS of clamps. Hard rock maple is the preferred material, although other woods like teak or oak can make attractive variations in pattern. Has to be a hardwood with very close grain structure.

New board- oil daily and wipe down for a couple weeks, then weekly for a couple months, then once a month or so. NEVER in the dishwasher.  If you must sanitize in the dishwasher, get a plastic board. Most health codes don't allow restaurants to use wooden boards.

Joined Sep 28, 2008
Linseed oil takes a LONG time to go rancid, and with regular cleaning, you shouldn't run into a problem. Failing that, coconut oil is good too, especially if you clean your board periodically with lemon.

Neither of these will be okay for most health authorities. In that case, if you use a sanitizer then that is what you should demonstrate to your inspector.

I use mineral oil myself, it is derived from paraffin, same stuff used in jam making.

What is the reason you want to go petroleum free? Is this an eco-conservation need, or an allergy need?
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