Advantages of beeswax mineral oil combo on cutting boards

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 02-28-2019 01:40 AM 1098 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 2893 days

02-28-2019 01:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: beeswax boards mineral oil

I’ve been using straight mineral oil on my cutting boards. What’s the advantage of using a beeswax mineral oil combo on the boards instead? Does the combo enhance the appearance? What about using paraffin instead?

11 replies so far

View hookup's profile


17 posts in 607 days

#1 posted 02-28-2019 02:01 AM

I also just use mineral oil and would be interested in some opinions. I decided to just use mineral oil because I wanted to make it easy on the end user. I tell my customers to apply the mineral oil once per week for the first month and them whenever the board is looking dry. What I don’t have to tell them is to make any type of mixture. I think they would be less likely to make and use the mixture leading to disatisfaction with the look of the board and not making sales thru referrals from them. This has worked well so far. by the way to date the most expensive board I have sold was $600. It was a monster 2.5ft by 2ft by 2 in.

View Travis's profile


477 posts in 650 days

#2 posted 03-25-2019 08:07 PM

Mineral oil alone is fine for hydrating the board. The benefit of adding beeswax (or other waxes like carnuba) is that you can buff a little shine out of it, and the wax can help fill in some knife marks as the board gets used.

What I usually do is treat a new board to 2 doses of mineral oil and then for the third and final coat I use a homemade mineral oil + beeswax blend. I give a jar of the oil + wax blend with the board and instruct them to just use that whenever the board looks battered or thirsty. I assume regular folks will NOT follow the common maintenance schedule (weekly for the first X number of weeks, then monthly, then ….).

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 2835 days

#3 posted 03-25-2019 08:26 PM

I originally just used mineral oil, but once I tried Howard Butcher Block Conditioner I was sold. It gives the boards a much nicer appearance and feel, and the wax helps protect against moisture and extends the time before needing retreatment. Howard’s is mineral oil with beeswax and carnuba was. You can get it on line, at the BORG, or places like Woodcraft. I include a fresh bottle with every board along with a document detailing care instructions. The most expensive board I ever sold cost zero. I make the boards for fun and give them to friends to use and enjoy. I have only given out 26 end grain boards thus far, combinations of hard maple, walnut, Purple Heart, or cherry.

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3263 days

#4 posted 03-25-2019 08:39 PM

For a long time I used nothing, now I use Howards, it’s just a cutting board, a consumable surface you cut and chop things on to save your countertop. When it gets too messed up you resurface it or throw it away.

-- Rick M,

View pottz's profile


11711 posts in 1867 days

#5 posted 03-25-2019 09:18 PM

+1 on howards mineral oil/wax great stuff makes coats last longer.i get mine at lowes.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6786 posts in 2604 days

#6 posted 03-25-2019 09:20 PM

It’s delicious!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View sgcz75b's profile


72 posts in 644 days

#7 posted 03-26-2019 03:05 PM

Try walnut oil. Unlike Howard’s Butcher Block oil (mineral oil with waxes) it’s far cheaper and just as good, if not better. There’s no use adding waxes on cutting boards and other food-use products.

Get it in the supermarket or Amazon. I use La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil, 16.9 Ounce, for about 8 bucks from Amazon.

Smells better than mineral oil, and unlike mineral oil will harden in the wood.

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

View mel52's profile


1704 posts in 1148 days

#8 posted 03-26-2019 03:25 PM

I do the same set-up and use as Travis does in an earlier comment. I use a mixture of 8 oz. of bees wax ( Hobby Lobby ), and 16 fluid oz. of medical grade Mineral oil from Walmart. This same mixture does wonders for chapped hands, skin, etc.

-- MEL, Kansas

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6112 posts in 3192 days

#9 posted 03-26-2019 03:27 PM

Straight mineral oil has kept my end grain cutting board in great shape for many years. It’s cheap easy to find.

Disclaimer, I probably don’t know what I’m missing by not using the the more expensive stuff.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Travis's profile


477 posts in 650 days

#10 posted 03-26-2019 10:03 PM

You can find some videos on YouTube for making your own mineral oil + beeswax concoction, if you’re interested. It’s super cheap and super easy. The hardest part for me was finding a good source of food grade beeswax pellets, reviews on Amazon were always mixed (noxious odor seemed to be the common complaint). But I found a bag (I think 1 lb for $10-15) and have made several jars without making a dent in my bag of beeswax. If I remember correctly it was 6 oz. of mineral oil and 3 Tbs of beeswax pellets, but I ended up doubling the batch to fill the canning jars I use. Just takes a few minutes to heat up the pellets in the mineral oil and then let it dry in the jar. You can add carnuba wax if you want more shine, but it also makes the wax thicker and I think adds a yellow color cast.

IF you want to add wax to your routine, and IF you want to save money. It’s very easy and very economical. There is certainly nothing wrong with just using mineral oil, or using the other products commercially available like butcher block oil.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1631 days

#11 posted 03-26-2019 11:14 PM

I’ve used mineral oil, tung oil, walnut oil, and Howard’s. I can’t see where one lasts longer than the other. Howard’s smells better.

That said, a big time BBQ guy (fed 10,000 people for an airline outing) asked me to make a big, and I mean BIG, cutting board for him. He’d been getting them out of Maine, but the maker discontinued the big one. At the tough service he put them through, they didn’t last forever. He brought me the used up board for me to copy it, and it still had some sort of oil deep into the wood. I could duplicate the board but not the deep oil type treatment. So, my point is that there are obviously better oil/wax treatments than what we are using, but I don’t know what they are. Maybe heat and pressure treating is the trick.

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