Complaints on durability of a cutting board with mineral oil/wax finish?

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 04-15-2011 02:46 PM 4181 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3221 days

04-15-2011 02:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cutting board finishing

From what I’ve seen, end-grain cutting boards seem to be amongst the most popular sales for a woodworker focusing on craft fair / online store (non-commissioned) items, and my question is geared towards people who have sold these or even just given away a number as gifts.

For those using a mineral oil / beeswax combination, do you ever get dissatisfied customers complaining about the durability of the finish? Do you supply instructions / bottles of mineral oil with your sales? Do most people just use salad bowl finish to avoid this? (though this can deteriorate as well, often with worse consequences)

I, as a woodworker, understand the need to refresh the non-hardening oil finish and personally enjoy renewing it, but someone dropping $100+ may not feel the same way. I also understand that cleaning instructions are to be gentle, but I am guilty of using a scouring pad and dish soap on mine, which can strip the oil fairly quickly given daily use (or more), and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I can only imagine what a dishwasher would do.

Any and all input is appreciated.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

11 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 04-15-2011 02:59 PM

wooden cutting board are most certainly NOT dishwasher safe for starters… regardless of who made them. and if someone dropped $100 on one, I would expect them to be able to give it the proper care it requires.

I have not sold any but made a few and but from my experience people that are getting unique high value wooden cutting boards do treat them with better respect then a piece of plastic. Usually it’s the reverse scenario than what you mentioned – people would feel bad for even cutting on those and would rather use them for display ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#2 posted 04-15-2011 03:19 PM

Uhhhh, its a CUTTING board for cryin’ out loud. Unless the customer doesn’t use it for it’s intended purpose the board will loose the finish unless it is restored from time to time.


View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3734 days

#3 posted 04-18-2011 04:31 PM

Some type of maintenance is required for just about everything….. from the less expensive to the very expensive.
- JJ

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3164 days

#4 posted 04-18-2011 05:06 PM

I don’t think it is an issue unless the seller misleads the customer. If you tell them how to treat it and they don’t follow the instructions then it’s on them. You know if you buy a car and don’t change the oil and the engine blows up… good luck getting that covered under warranty.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View SteveMI's profile


1092 posts in 3263 days

#5 posted 04-19-2011 04:43 AM

A friend sells cutting boards and had people comment on how they liked them, but would feel bad about cutting on them. He tells them to cut on only one side and flip the “good” side up between cutting.

He tells them to use mineral oil if it gets worn or doesn’t look as nice.


View Verna's profile


202 posts in 2742 days

#6 posted 04-19-2011 04:49 AM

I know one woodworker who gives each customer a small card with “Care and Feeding Instructions of Your New Cutting Board”. He also gives the advice to not be afraid to contact him if the customer wants a renewal of the cutting surface.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View KnifeLife's profile


14 posts in 2547 days

#7 posted 05-06-2011 04:39 PM

As a Chef and Cutting BOard maker I always Include a Thank you letter with care and cleaning instructions on the back. I also sell “Board Butter” ( Beeswax & FDA Food Grade Mineral oil mix) and Mineral Oil to go with the boards. As far as the time to care for a $200.00+ board the people that buy them usually use $400.00 Knives on them so they know about having expensive things that have to have maintence done on them. When I sell a board to someone I make sure I tell them to NEVER EVER even get a board near let alone inside a dishwasher. I clean my boards with Lemon juice and Kosher salt then apply a good coat of BOard Butter and they will last generations. I also (Jokingly) tell My customers that if they dont use the board (i.e. Cut on it) I will come by and repo it because as beautiful as they are they were made to use.


View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2745 days

#8 posted 05-06-2011 05:06 PM

I gave a walnut board and found out that it was on their coffee table. When I asked if she cuts a lot on the coffee table in the living room, she told me she was afraid she would hurt it. I told her that it was meant to be used but—don’t drop it and do not put it in the dishwaster. If you need to clean it with a soap, use “Anywhere” spray, rinse after 5 minutes, dry thoroughly (let sit for 2-3 hours, re-apply mineral oil. The beeswax is melted into the board and seals it. The mineral oil keeps the wood from cracking or splitting. Oh, and never use chlorine bleach.

Now she uses it as a cutting board.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2662 days

#9 posted 05-06-2011 05:09 PM

I agree with all above. The few boards I’ve sold, I provided a detailed care flyer and included a bottle of mineral oil. It was a good excuse for a brand sticker and some nice advertising. I’ve got an 18” thick vintage Boos that hails from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans (compensation for bailing one of their chef’s out of jail). I’ve used nothing but mineral oil on it & have no complaints. To JD, I’m a Shun guy and I would never abuse a knife or board. I suspect your customers are of similar philosophy.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3310 days

#10 posted 05-06-2011 05:42 PM

being rich doesn’t necessarily mean being smart

if you don’t oil your ferrari or your cutting board
once in a while

they probably won’t last any longer
than the many wives or mistresses
they go thru

‘a little dab will do ya’

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3294 days

#11 posted 05-06-2011 09:24 PM

“being rich doesn’t necessarily mean being smart” – touche, David.

Even if you give instructions, they will sometimes ignore them….

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