DIY Wooden Cutting Board Conditioning Cream

I love my wooden cutting board. It was handmade by my son-in-law and he made it in a nice big size for me that’s perfect for cutting up lots of stuff at once. I use it all the time and my cutting board has made several appearances here on the blog in my photos (in this photo I was making homemade microwave applesauce – Yum!)

Wooden cutting board with apples

But because I love it and use it a lot, my wooden cutting board was starting to look dried out. This is to be expected with wooden cutting boards after repeated usage and repeated washings. It was definitely time to show my favorite cutting board a little love and give it a conditioning treatment to revive it again.

So when I came across this butcher block board cream in the store the other day, I was intrigued and almost bought it. Almost. Why can’t I just be like the rest of the ordinary people in the world and buy stuff if I need it? 🙂

No, instead I had to be curious and read the ingredients. There were only two: beeswax and food grade mineral oil. This was immediately followed by a thought I often have . . . “Hey, I bet I can just make my own!”

Homemade Wooden Cutting Board Conditioning Cream - easy to make with 2 ingredients!

Yes, the store bought butcher block board cream went back on the shelf and I hurried home to start doing my research and experimenting. Now I’m sure it was a fine product that I would have been quite pleased with if I had bought it. But I knew I already had beeswax at home, and if I bought the food grade mineral oil, well then I would have TWO options for conditioning a wood cutting board. I could just use the food grade mineral oil straight – OR – I could make a homemade conditioning cream and use that as needed too. This sounded good to me.

No more dry wooden cutting boards when you use this homemade conditioning cream

I purchased a bottle of food grade mineral oil at my local Home Depot. I ended up buying the Howard Products brand of cutting board oil. Thankfully a salesperson came along and asked if he could help me find something. {Yes, please!} It turned out the food grade mineral oil was in the paint aisle (what?!) with the paint solvents. That would have been about the last place I looked!

After reading this helpful article about cutting board oils, I decided to go with their suggestion of 1 part beeswax to 4 parts oil. You can also use beeswax pellets if you don’t want to grate a block of beeswax. This ingredient ratio made a nice consistency that I was happy with, it was easy to rub into my cutting board, and looked almost just like the product I had seen in the store.

Make your own wood cutting board conditioning cream

To make the mixture, I combined my two ingredients in a small glass jar (I used a pint canning jar). I then put my jar in a saucepan filled with a couple inches of water and slowly heated it on the stove until the beeswax had melted and the contents of the jar were completely liquid. I then poured my melted mixture into a small jar to cool. Once it’s cooled it has a gel-like consistency. (Note: I did make one attempt to melt my ingredients in the microwave and did not go well. The jar got way too hot and the ingredients were still not melted. Therefore I recommend the water bath method described above).

To use this cream, you just dip a corner of a rag into your mixture and rub it around. As you can see in the photo below, when you start going this, there will be a very obvious and beautiful improvement, and your poor dry wooden cutting board will start looking a whole lot better!

Renew your wooden cutting board with this easy homemade conditioning cream

One final note – It is recommended to NEVER use vegetable oils like olive oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil for a homemade solution for cutting boards. These types of oils can go rancid, which in turn could give your cutting board a bad smell or transfer a bad taste to your foods.

Homemade Cutting Board Conditioning Cream

Make your own cutting board conditioner with this quick two ingredient recipe. You'll be surprised at how revived your wooden cutting board looks after you've used it!
Author: Beverly


  • 1 Tbl Beeswax Pellets (or grated beeswax)
  • 4 Tbl Food Grade Mineral Oil


  • Combine the beeswax and the food grade mineral oil in a small glass jar (I used a pint canning jar). Place the jar in a saucepan filled with a couple inches of water.
  • Place the saucepan with the jar on the stove and slowly heat until the beeswax has melted and the contents of the jar are completely liquid.
  •  Pour your melted mixture into a small jar to cool. Once it has cooled it will have a gel-like consistency.
  • To Use:  Dip the corner of a rag into your mixture and then spread it onto your cutting board, rubbing it in gently.  Continue until you have conditioned your entire cutting board


Note – It is recommended to NEVER use vegetable oils like olive oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil for a homemade solution for cutting boards.  These types of oils can go rancid, which in turn could give your cutting board a bad smell or transfer a bad taste to your foods.

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  1. I also had been using food grade mineral oil on my wood board (and wood cooking utensils). But like so many others, exposing food to a petroleum based substance doesn’t feel like a good idea… regardless of what the FDA says

    Afterall, FDA stamp of approval really only means they havent (so far) proven something to be unsafe…and once that proof does come in, it’ll still take decades to revoke that approval.

    Truth is folks, we’re on our own.

    Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for mineral oil. It conditions deeply and doesnt go rancid

  2. Mineral oil is petroleum based, and not a healthy option. Grape seed oil, tung oil, almond oil are all great options instead.

    1. The benefit of food grade mineral oil is that it will not go rancid, something than can happen with other food/vegetable based oils.

  3. I also was worried about using mineral oil because of it being a petroleum product and vegetable oil does go rancid pretty quickly so I use boiled linseed moil it’s the best of both worlds because it has been boiled it won’t go rancid and it is a natural food safe product besides doing a really good job of keeping your cutting board in great shape

  4. Mineral oil is a petroleum product, and while it may be fine for using on wood surfaces that don’t come in contact with food, such as one’s coffee table or a wooden cart, using it on a cutting board or a spoon would be a unhealthy idea. After all, we wouldn’t use motor oil or gasoline or kerosene on food-related products, right? And petroleum products are hormone disruptors.
    I understand the concern about going rancid, but I think with the daily use and scrubbing of a wooden cutting board, the vegetable oils would not have a chance to become rancid, and are a more healthy option.

  5. Excellent post and excellent recipe. Had ordered a commercial butcher block conditioner, but your instructions were so clear and concise that I decided to go ahead and make a homemade batch. Simple, and came out perfect. Thanks

  6. Use this mix for my toys. Be careful not to go over 150 deg., mineral oil fumes can flash fire at higher temps.

  7. You can use the microwave if you heat the oil with the beeswax in it. Stir occasionally until liquid. Make sure to let it cool some before pouring into jar.

  8. Thank you Beverly! I just purchased a second had butcher block cart that I’m in the process of cleaning up. This information will be helpful!

    1. I hope this DIY solution works for you Irene and makes that second hand butcher block cart look great again!

    1. Yes, I believe this should work on bamboo cutting boards too. There is a product sold for bamboo cutting boards called “Bamboo Goo” that is a mixture of beeswax and oil (just like this homemade mixture) so it must be a combo that is OK to use on the bamboo boards too.

  9. Did you do a price comparison between the pre made and your recipe? Also, what else do you use beeswax for? I always like your posts!

    1. Good question Gail – this is one of those projects where the initial outlay of ingredients costs more money, but the cost per individual batch of your homemade product will cost less than the store bought version. My calculation is that my homemade version cost about 72 cents per ounce as compared to $1.60 per ounce for the store bought version. I had bought beeswax when I made my homemade olive oil moisturizer, and I’m hoping to use beeswax in other homemade beauty moisturizers I would like to try making.

  10. Thank you so much for this! I have several boards that need oiling and wanted to try something different than coconut oil, which doesn’t seem to do much for the board.