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Heavy or Light Mineral Oil

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Forum topic by danofpaco posted 315 days ago 2431 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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danofpaco

90 posts in 415 days


315 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question mineral oil

My wife works in a pharmacy where I can get a good deal on mineral oil for finishing things like butcher blocks. I guess it comes in two varieties though – heavy and light.

Does anyone know which I should be picking up for wood finishing? Does it matter? She says the light stuff has more the consistency of water, where the heavy stuff is more viscous. My assumption is that the heavy stuff is probably what I need but I thought it worth asking in case anyone here knows better.

Thank you!

-- Dan :: Minnesota


12 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

3013 posts in 1311 days


#1 posted 315 days ago

I steer clear from straight mineral oil for butcher blocks / cutting boards. Mineral oil takes forever to dry, and an oily residue lingers. I prefer Howard’s butcher block conditioner, as it dries in short order, and leaves the surface feeling velvety smooth. Available at Home Depot.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Charlie

1001 posts in 784 days


#2 posted 315 days ago

Howard’s (or probably most any) “butcher block conditioner” or “butcher block oil” is just mineral oil and wax. If an oiled board still feels too oily a couple hours later, then simply rub it with dry paper towels and it’ll be fine.

If you WANT a waxed board, then by all means spend your money. I guess I get anal about boards that get heavily used (because I actually use them daily). A “pretty board” that sees little use and/or gets displayed but rarely used, ...then I could see waxing it..

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danofpaco

90 posts in 415 days


#3 posted 315 days ago

Thanks for the input, guys. Any idea on the heavy vs light question?

-- Dan :: Minnesota

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pintodeluxe

3013 posts in 1311 days


#4 posted 315 days ago

Charlie,
I guess what I meant to say is mineral oil never wipes clean. The oil/wax/dryers combined in products like Howards wipe easily, and dry within a day. Howards is non-film forming, and really leaves the wood nice to the touch.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 784 days


#5 posted 315 days ago

danofpaco,
Mine just says mineral oil. I would think the light mineral oil would be easier to deal with. Any way you can get a sample of each? I mean… “light” and “heavy” are such subjective terms. If it’s “heavy” like liquid dish washing detergent, then I’d look at the “light”. Mine is pretty watery.

View Toolz's profile

Toolz

984 posts in 2240 days


#6 posted 315 days ago

I only use “Mineral Oil USP” that is pharmaceutical grade i.e. safe for human consumption light mineral oil. Used it as a mild laxative in the Navy many many moons ago. Get it from your local pharmacy.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2543 posts in 1930 days


#7 posted 315 days ago

I bought some animal grade mineral oil one time and it was too thin. I think that is the light grade.
I now only buy regular mineral oil at Target or one of the discount stores. It is cheap enough to use plenty and a little goes a long way… I think that is the “heavy” stuff you are talking about. I think Toolz is correct. You probably want to use the pharmaceutical grade as it will come into contact with food…maybe!

I’m sure the butcher block oil works well, but if you are oiling a lot of stuff, it can get expensive.
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View RogerInColorado's profile

RogerInColorado

270 posts in 452 days


#8 posted 315 days ago

From the MSDS for Howards, the sum total of all ingredients:

INGREDIENT: CAS # % VOL
White Mineral Oil 8042-47-5 100%weight
Di Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E) 59-02-9 <1%

So the difference between food grade mineral oil and Howards is vitamin E added to the mineral oil, less than 1 % by volume.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11605 posts in 2186 days


#9 posted 315 days ago

Walmart Mineral oil , less than $2.00 pint. Been using it for years , no issues. It is the light grade , which soaks into the wood fibers very quickly , whereas the heavy grade takes longer and doesn’t soak in as deeply in my experiences with it. You can always warm the Heavy stuff up to make it thinner , but why bother unless it is the only grade available.
I’ve yet to find anything specifically made for cutting boards or chopping blocks that doesn’t have Mineral oil as the main ingredient in it.

Get the light weight stuff and be happy : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1318 posts in 859 days


#10 posted 314 days ago

Mineral oil is a laxative. Use raw tung oil.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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Grandpa

2975 posts in 1173 days


#11 posted 314 days ago

Mineral oil is a laxative. Use raw tung oil.

That means it really won’t hurt you unless you dip in it. Is Tung oil safe to consume and is it handled properly for consumption? I vote for the mineral oil. I have never had an adverse side effects from using it. Just my 2 cents.

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Dusty56

11605 posts in 2186 days


#12 posted 314 days ago

Clint , how many licks on your cutting board would it take for the “laxative” effect to occur ?
Is it like a Tootsie Roll Pop ? LOL

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

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