some thoughts on safety of cutting boards!!!

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Blog entry by woodsmithshop posted 10-14-2014 07:43 PM 2307 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

there seems to be some controversy about which material is safest for use as a cutting board, plastic or wood.

I have a theory, since honey does not spoil, and seems to have some antibacterial properties, does it make sense then that when mixing beeswax with mineral oil and rubbing that mixture into a wood cutting board or rolling pin, that would make them resistant to bacteria, therefore making the wood product safer than plastic?

any more thoughts or comments?

-- Smitty!!!

9 comments so far

View jasoncarpentry's profile


149 posts in 4106 days

#1 posted 10-14-2014 09:10 PM

Sorry, but I don’t see the connection between honey and your finishing regimen. Help me out!

-- Jim in Tennessee

View Ocelot's profile


3808 posts in 4090 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 09:17 PM

Honey doesn’t harbor bacteria because high concentrations of sugar break down the cell walls. It has nothing to do with the wax. We make jams, jellies and preserves at home. We often leave an open jar of perserves on the counter unrefrigerated – because the sugar protects it against bacterial growth.

Back to your original question.

Only actual tests can answer it. Guesses, conjectures, nice theories etc. are not going to do it.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5029 days

#3 posted 10-14-2014 09:19 PM

To be truthful sounds like a sticky mess.If you want a cutting board treatment what’s wrong with mineral oil ?


View jasoncarpentry's profile


149 posts in 4106 days

#4 posted 10-14-2014 10:02 PM

OK, I think I see the connection. Honey & beeswax, right? I’ve always heard that either beeswax or paraffin, mixed w/ mineral oil, is the best way to treat a cutting board. So I think we all agree.

-- Jim in Tennessee

View lew's profile


13532 posts in 5207 days

#5 posted 10-14-2014 10:18 PM

Not sure if it will help, but the beeswax certainly can’t hurt.

Here’s something recently posted here on LJ’s-

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View drewpy's profile


1098 posts in 2809 days

#6 posted 10-14-2014 10:19 PM

People just seem to enjoy controversy these days. I could care less. I have been healthy for 46 years using wooden cutting boards and my grandmother live 95 years using them. I bet the same would be true if we used plastic.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View NormG's profile


6576 posts in 4455 days

#7 posted 10-15-2014 12:30 AM

I like the mineral oil finish like A1 Jim mentions. Glad to see you posting again Jim

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View woodsmithshop's profile


1425 posts in 4997 days

#8 posted 10-15-2014 12:37 AM

ok here is a statment I found on line. it does say that it has antibacterial properties. just wondering if those properies would work on a cutting board.

Here are some of the more potent benefits of beeswax:
Protective: When applied to the skin, beeswax forms a protective barrier that helps protect it from environmental assaults, while also holding in moisture and reducing dryness. This is one of the reasons beeswax is often used in lip balms. Unlike ingredients made from petroleum, however, beeswax doesn’t “suffocate” the skin, and won’t clog pores.
Antibacterial: Like honey, beeswax has antibacterial properties, helping keep skin clean and reducing the risks of contamination in the formula itself. In fact, a 2005 study found that a honey/beeswax mixture inhibited the growth of bacteria and fungus, making it a potential treatment for diaper rash and other bacterial skin conditions.
Humectant: Some ingredients “attract” water, and beeswax is one of them. When you put it on, you attract water molecules, helping to keep skin hydrated over time.
Vitamin A: A good source of this vitamin, beeswax helps support cell turnover and reconstruction.
Fragrance: We always say there’s no reason to use harsh chemicals to make products smell good. Natural ingredients work so much better! Beeswax has a natural honey fragrance, and is a favorite in soaps and perfumes because of its pleasant, light aroma.
Wound healing: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax has been found to help encourage the healing of wounds. Studies have even found that it may be effective against hemorrhoids.
Itching: If you suffer from dry skin itching, dermatitis, eczema, or any type of itching related to a skin condition, beeswax is for you. A study published in 2012 found that those patients who suffered serious burns, and later went through “post-burn itch” when the burns were healing, experienced relief with an herbal oil cream and beeswax combination, so much so that they were able to cut back on their use of medications for the itch. Because beeswax is anti-allergenic, it is also easily tolerated by even those with reactive skin.

-- Smitty!!!

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4581 days

#9 posted 10-15-2014 03:04 AM

Wood is already safer than plastic.

Here is a link to a university study on wood vs plastic.

There is good content in the whole report, but the punch line is in the final paragraph:

” best epidemiological evidence available to date that wooden cutting boards are not a hazard to human health, but plastic cutting boards may be.”

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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