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Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

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  • Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

    For a large counter top (maple butcher block), to protect and condition the wood, you'd go through a lot of mineral oil over time. I've been reading quite a bit on the various products and came across this from the Superstore:
    https://www.realcanadiansuperstore.c.../p/20978401_EA

    It's used as a skin moisturizer. Unscented. The ingredients list is just Paraffinum Liquidum which is another term for mineral oil. Looking at the techincal data sheet for Watco butcher block oil and conditioner, the product is actually Tung Oil Alkyd, not mineral oil. It's also listed as FDA food safe. The Superstore stuff isn't and does say on the label 'for external use only'. But mineral oil is often used as a laxative as well.

    Anyone know if the cheaper mineral oil from the Superstore is safe to use for something like this or just go with the Watco or a similar product?

    Learning something new every day.
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  • #2

    Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

    Yes it’s all the same stuff.
    Its usually cheaper to buy from the drug store vs a woodworking store.

    The only downside is it’s usually in the relief from constipation isle

    Nathan

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    • #3

      Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

      In my experience with mineral oil it would not be good for a counter top unless you refreshed it constantly. I have used it for toys and found it just doesn't hold up to constant use.
      smallerstick likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

        It's just my thinking but if wood countertops were so good we would all have them. I've used lots of them as parts of industrial kitchens but in no way do they stand up and yes we use mineral oil from the pharmacy.
        "Do it Right!"

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        • #5

          Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

          I have a couple of old paring knives in the kitchen. At least one has real rosewood handle scales. I apply a little mineral oil about twice a year to keep them looking good. Just put a few drops on a paper towel and wipe. First time, I left the handle wrapped in the wetted paper towel for an hour or two.

          Craig

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          • #6

            Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

            Why would anyone want to use an oil which never dries? There are many other alternatives among drying oils, all food safe, which are better suited for application to wood. The only advantage to using mineral oil that I can see is the low cost.
            Leo Van Der Loo and PeterTZ like this.
            The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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            • #7

              Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

              Regardless of the practicality of a wood counter top, if the item is like butcher-block (end-grain chopping surface), then a non-drying oil may well be preferable since you can just pour it on and work it in. Putting a drying oil, film finish will just result in dried finish flaking off, IMO.
              billh
              WCraig likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

                Originally posted by PeterTZ View Post
                For a large counter top (maple butcher block), to protect and condition the wood, you'd go through a lot of mineral oil over time. I've been reading quite a bit on the various products and came across this from the Superstore:
                https://www.realcanadiansuperstore.c.../p/20978401_EA

                It's used as a skin moisturizer. Unscented. The ingredients list is just Paraffinum Liquidum which is another term for mineral oil. Looking at the techincal data sheet for Watco butcher block oil and conditioner, the product is actually Tung Oil Alkyd, not mineral oil. It's also listed as FDA food safe. The Superstore stuff isn't and does say on the label 'for external use only'. But mineral oil is often used as a laxative as well.

                Anyone know if the cheaper mineral oil from the Superstore is safe to use for something like this or just go with the Watco or a similar product?
                Here's a thread all about it. Check post #14 for more info.
                PeterTZ likes this.

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                • #9

                  Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

                  Thanks for all the replies. Just to be clear, I installed the top, it's not mine and I wanted to give some advice on care. On smaller items, I've used mineral oil to treat it and keep it from cracking etc. Honestly never did any in depth research on a larger surface area. So after gong to the thread suggested by Wally, it took me to other threads and post. One had the following video posted by 'smallerstick' aka Peter. Flax seed oil (linseed oil) make far more sense than a lifetime subscription to some mineral oil supplier. Apply it once and let it dry. Then maybe apply it again every 6 to 12 months depending on wear.

                  So thanks everyone for the responses. This helped a lot.

                  Originally posted by smallerstick View Post
                  Here is a very good discussion of food safe finishing;
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu42GFVw4Kc
                  Learning something new every day.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

                    Is the BB long grain or end grain?
                    "Do it Right!"

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                    • #11

                      Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

                      Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                      Is the BB long grain or end grain?
                      Long grain
                      Learning something new every day.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Mineral oil. Wondering if this version is safe?

                        Thank you Peter. I asked because many times when we refer to butcher block counters quite a few people think that automatically means end grain only and it does NOT!
                        PeterTZ likes this.
                        "Do it Right!"

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