Cutting Board / Salad Bowl / Wood Conditioner

Cutting boards, Wooden spoons, Wooden knife handles, Knife blocks, Wooden salad bowls and other wooden kitchen objects all have something in common:  The more they’re used & cleaned off, the dryer & more bleached out they get.  This is especially true when they’re cleaned in the dishwasher (come on, you know better than that!  It IS so convenient though…).  Show them some love with this simple, food-contact friendly wood conditioner that restores wood’s natural lustre and glow:


Pharmaceutical grade Mineral Oil (available cheaply in the pharmacy laxative section … don’t be embarrassed!)

Pure Beeswax (a bit more of a chore to obtain most likely, but any local beekeeper will generally be happy to sell you some – they tend to have scads of it that they’d love to sell).  Search online & support someone local.  Lately I’ve been getting mine shipped to me from these guys.  Also available online from various candle making supply sites.


You want to weigh out about 5 parts mineral oil to 1 part beeswax.  A kitchen scale helps here obviously, but if you don’t have one you can try to wing it by guesstimating around 5 times as much oil as wax.  The proportions aren’t all that critical and in fact the recipe can be adjusted to make the final product harder or softer as desired.

Gently heat the oil & the wax until the wax melts & can be blended in with the oil.  A double boiler is best for this as it helps limit the heat of the oil, but otherwise it can be GENTLY heated in any normal pot.  KEEP WATCHING and stirring while heating gently & heat just enough to get a nice consistent blend of the oil & wax, then remove from heat.  Mineral oil is combustible if you let if overheat so be warned, but as long as you’re careful it’s fine.

Allow the mixture to cool a bit until it’s cool enough to pour in to a wide mouth mason jar or other wide mouth container, then pour it in there.  Allow to further cool & set.

Congratulations, you’ve just made a great, food-safe wood conditioner.

To Use Your Wood Conditioner:

To use, just scoop some out with a clean cotton rag and wipe a generous amount on to your target object.  Allow to soak in for as long as possible – a day is great, an hour is OK – the longer the better within reason … diminishing returns … yadda yadda.

After it’s all soaked in, take another clean rag & wipe it off, then yet a further clean rag to really buff it dry & shiny.

Although you’ll want to give your hands a good wiping afterwards, your skin will thank you for the treatment as well … some people even like to use a bit as a lip balm!


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