Beeswax Paste for Cutting Boards and Butcher Blocks

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Beeswax Paste - Andrea Meyers

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Caring for wood in the kitchen may seem like a mystery, but it’s actually pretty easy. We have wood cutting boards, salad bowls, a few wood plates and utensils, and a butcher block top on the baking center/floating island, and it only takes a little effort to maintain them.

For cleaning, we scrape off all stuck on bits of flour or whatever, then we rub them down with hot soapy water but avoid submerging in water. If wood items soak in water, they tend to crack when drying, so avoid that especially with good cutting boards or plates/bowls. For the same reason you should never put wood items in a dishwasher. To remove odors, I spray on undiluted white vinegar and let the pieces sit overnight without wiping off the vinegar, but you can also use lemon juice.

Our boards and butcher block get a weekly rub down with a homemade beeswax rub, which helps repel water but does not make them waterproof. Cleaning removes this coating, which is why you need to make this a weekly activity. It only takes a few minutes, and it adds a layer of protection as well as luster and a light beeswax aroma.

*Walnut oil, almond oil, and pure tung oil make good food-safe finishes if you prefer to avoid beeswax or mineral oil, but should not be used if you cook for someone who has tree nut allergies. Avoid olive oil or other kinds of vegetable oils that turn rancid quickly.

Beeswax Paste - Andrea Meyers

BEESWAX PASTE

Makes about 10 ounces.

Equipment

small sauce pan
12 to 16 ounce wide mouth glass jar with lid (I use a wide mouth Mason jar so I can get my hand in it.)

Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) pharmaceutical grade mineral oil (inexpensive and available at drugstores, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)
2 ounces (57 g) pure beeswax

Preparation

MAKE: Pour the mineral oil into the pan and add the beeswax. Melt over low heat just until the beeswax has completely dissolved, stirring as it melts. Once the mixture is blended, remove from heat. Allow to cool for a couple minutes so it’s not too hot for the glass, then pour into the glass jar and allow to finish cooling completely. Add the lid, label it, then store in a cool location.

TO USE: Scoop some onto a smooth clean cloth or towel (not terry cloth). Wipe on clean wooden surface, adding more as you go. There will be some excess on the surface, and that’s ok. Allow it to rest for about 30 minutes or overnight, then smooth the excess. Reapply weekly to protect wood.

More Make Your Own Recipes

Andrea's Recipes - How to Make Vanilla Extract Andrea's Recipes - Vegetable Stock

Resources

eBeeHoney.com (my source for beeswax)

Local Harvest – Beeswax

References

What’s Cooking in America – Cutting Boards

Finewoodworking.com – Food-Safe Finishes

Wikipedia – Tung oil

More Beeswax Recipes From Around the Blogs

101 Cookbooks – Canneles de Bordeaux

Elana’s Pantry – Vanilla Butter Lip Balm

[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]

[Disclosure: This blog earns a few cents on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in posts.]

Comments

  1. Germaine says

    Thank you Andrea! We actually found a product for our cutting boards, but to be able to make your own is wonderful. Thank you for the tip!

  2. Florence says

    Thank you for the recipe. I both enjoyed and appreciate your blog on the subject of how to make your own beeswax mineral blend for cutting boards and wood items. I have a beekeeper right down the road from me and can obtain beeswax easily. I definately will feel more confident that the beeswax mineral blend for my cutting boards will be completely natural and sanitary given the recipe now to make it myself.

    Thank you,
    Florence

  3. Richard Woodbury says

    Can the homemade beeswax paste be used exclusively? You mentioned that it will repel water but not make the board waterproof. Should the board be treated with mineral oil first then the paste/oil mixture?

    • says

      Hi Richard. Food-safe finishes such as mineral oil or beeswax will not technically make the wood waterproof, just water resistant. If your cutting board or butcher block is brand new untreated wood, you might want to put down a coating of mineral oil first, then maintain with the beeswax paste.

      • Richard says

        Thanks for the really fast reply. I made my first batch of past and it turned out great! Do you recommended a place to buy the best pure beeswax? Maybe organic?

        • says

          Hi Richard. I recommend finding local sources of organic beeswax. You can check LocalHarvest.org for that sort of thing. But if you can’t find anything local, they have plenty of good mail order sources.

  4. Neil Ensign says

    Hello,

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I have butcher block counter tops and the beeswax/mineral oil is working. I was using just mineral oil before and felt like I needed to reapply every day.
    Neil

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