Care of Wood Finish With Mineral Oil

Written by nicole byerly
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Care of Wood Finish With Mineral Oil
Treat wooden cutting boards with mineral oil to preserve the surface. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Mineral oil is commonly used to treat and maintain wood surfaces. The most common place mineral oil is used is on wooden cutting boards or butcher blocks because it is safe to use on surfaces that come in contact with food, but the same steps can be followed to treat other wooden surfaces with mineral oil. Using mineral oil to care for wood products is a quick task that you can perform to preserve the surface texture and reliability of the wood.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Two rags
  • Two towels
  • Mineral oil

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  1. 1

    Wash the wood thoroughly with dish soap and water. Scrub the surface vigorously to remove any build up. Rinse the wood with water and dry it using a towel. Remove all water from the surface.

  2. 2

    Heat the mineral oil. You can heat mineral oil in the oven or in a microwave. Do not heat to boil, as hot oil is difficult to work with. If using the microwave, heat the oil for 45 seconds to one minute.

  3. 3

    Rub mineral oil on the wood with a rag. Work in the direction of the wood grain to better enable the wood to absorb the oil.

  4. 4

    Remove any excess mineral oil using a dry towel.

  5. 5

    Retreat the wood once per day during the first week, and once per week every week after the first week to maintain a clean, healthy and bacteria free surface.

Tips and warnings

  • As an alternative to water and soap, you can wash your wood with white vinegar. White vinegar kills bacteria on the surface, creating a sterile environment.
  • Mineral oil may slightly change the colour of some woods, especially if the wood has not been treated or sealed.

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