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Oil for cutting boards?

 
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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I've always used mineral oil, and I've never heard of any health problems related to this use. Still, I'd rather not use petroleum products on food surfaces.

I'm sure other people here have come up with a solution. What do you use, and why is it better than other choices?
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1678
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Hmm, I haven't thought of oiling my cutting board, and it doesn't look to me like it needs it. Sometimes when some of my other wooden kitchen implements look dried out I'll rub in a bit of whatever oil is at hand. Like, veg oil, olive oil, or ghee. If you're using it frequently I don't think the oil will have a chance to go rancid.
 
master steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I usually just use cooking oil for cutting boards and knife handles.  I have never had a problem.
 
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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probably walnut- and linseed-oils (for cooking) would be best, because the harden. so they won t stay oily or get sticky
 
Posts: 61
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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I use raw linseed oil once a year on my boards, butcher block counters, and 160-year-old pine floors. It's food safe and not a petroleum product, which makes me happy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 109
Location: Idaho
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I use walnut oil.  It polymerizes on the wood and also does not go rancid.  It is really the best of the healthy oils to use on wood (unless you are allergic to walnuts).  It also has a pleasant smell.  Coconut oil is my second pick.  It can eventually go rancid but if you use your cutting board regularly you'll need to oil it again before the coconut goes rancid.  

You can make a really nice treatment for your board by mixing the oil with melted beeswax (like you are making a comfrey salve or lip balm).  The beeswax helps to give a better oiling to the wood.  

I definitely use walnut or coconut over linseed.
 
Posts: 38
Location: Canada, Zone 3
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100% pure tung oil is food safe, doesn't turn rancid, and is available by mail-order or at the outlets at Lee Valley.
 
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