If you spend lots of time in the kitchen raise your hand.
*Raises both hands enthusiastically and waves them around.*
I spend almost my entire day in the kitchen cooking 3 meals and a multitude of snacks for toddlers that are never eaten. I like my kitchen so much I commandeered my kitchen table to be my blog/essential oil/jewelry making space. Look, here is a picture .
In my kitchen I try to use only metal or wood utensils, we do have a few silicone items, but not many. Upkeep of metal utensils is pretty easy wash and dry thoroughly and check for rust.
Wood, is a whole ‘nother story now. You cannot soak your wood cutting board or utensils. That means all of you throwing your wooden spoons and spatulas into the dishwasher need to stop. Soaking wood causes it to swell and warp, and I’ve found that it makes my utensil rough and splintery (shhh, yes I’ve accidentally thrown mine into the dishwasher a time or two when I was feeling extra lazy).
So how do you clean your wood kitchen items???
I’m so glad you asked!
Step 1: Clean
Wash with hot water, a rag, and a teeny tiny bit of soap. Use the rag to scrub off any bits of food.
Step 2: Disinfect
I cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the board and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe off with a damp rag.
Step 3: Dry
Wipe the board (or utensil) with a dry cloth and let it sit for a few hours to make sure it is completely dry.
Step 4: Oil
Yay, now to the actual point of this post cutting board oil/wax.
So if you just go and google what to use on your cutting board pretty much every sight will tell you to only use mineral oil that any ‘organic’, and I am using organic here as in from a plant, based oil will go rancid and can make you sick.
Let’s talk about mineral oil for a few minutes.
- Mineral Oil is produced during the process of refining petroleum.
- Most mineral oils are considered a classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen, meaning it is definitely carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans.
- Highly refined food grade mineral oil is considered a Group 3 Carcinogen, this means there is not enough information on it to be classified as carcinogenic or not to humans. (Sounds totally safe right!?!).
- Mineral oil coats the intestines and can interfere with the absorption of many vitamins and nutrients from food. Especially the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Now I know you are not chugging a bottle of mineral oil, just putting it on your cutting board, but for me personally, I like to try and avoid anything that may effect my nutrient absorption.
Okay, moving on to oils going rancid and making you sick.
- Yes, natural oils can and do go rancid. But what does rancid mean?
- Rancid does not mean it is toxic or full of germs, it means that the oil has oxidized changing the taste and smell of the oil, but nothing in the oil is harmful if ingested.
- This **can** sometimes come off and effect the flavor of your food. But when the oil is soaked into the wood oxygen has a hard time getting at it, especially if you have a wax finish on top.
- Some oils also polymerize when they come in contact with the air (these are the best for wood). This means that when exposed to oxygen they being to harden and form a thin hard protective layer over your wood. Most oils take heat and time for this process to occur (think cast iron) but others, like walnut oil, do it when exposed to the air.
DIY Cutting Board and Wood Utensil Oil/Wax
- 1 oz Beeswax
- 8 oz Walnut Oil
- 10 Drops Thieves Essential Oil
- 10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
I use Young Living Essential Oils, you can find out more about them here and how to save 24% on all your oily purchases.
1) If you are silly like me and get a solid bar of beeswax you need to break it up, I just put mine in a plastic bag and beat it with a meat mallet.
2) If you bought beeswax pellets then go ahead and weigh out the beeswax walnut oil and add them to a mason jar and screw the lid on tight.
3) Place the mason jar into a pan of water on the stove and turn the stove onto medium-high heat.
4) Allow the jar to sit in the water bath until all of the beeswax has melted and then carefully remove.
5) Let the oils cool for 15 minutes then add in the essential oils and stir or shake it to combine.
6) Allow the mixture to cool all the way it will turn into a thick paste consistency.
How to Use Your DIY Cutting Board and Wood Utensil Oil/Wax
- Clean and dry your wood board.
- Apply a teaspoon sized amount of oil onto your board and rub in, if you need more add more. I like to rub mine in with my hands because it makes my hand all soft.
- Allow the oil to soak in overnight.
- In the morning polish with a cloth, or turn a sock inside out and stick your hand in it and use it to polish your board.
- I like to oil all of my wood utensils at least once every other week but many people do just fine oiling them once a month, it just depends on how often you use them.
Hello Kayla, I enjoyed your article on a natural cutting board oil, and totally agree with you about the drawbacks of using mineral oil for anything coming in contact with food! I am so glad to find an alternative.
But I have a question. I have a brand new, unused cutting board. Is your oil recipe all I need, or should I oil my new board with just walnut oil first, like some sites recommend, letting it soak in overnight, wiping off the excess, and THEN apply your recipe?
Thanks so much!
Pat in California
Has your cutting board been previously oiled? If so then just maintain it with the recipe I use. If not then I would do walnut oil first and maybe do 2-3 applications of it and then use this recipe to maintain it.
Love the idea of using something other than mineral oil! I am allergic to walnuts, is there another oil you recommend in place of it?
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