Coconut Oil with coconuts


After working with wood for over 30 years now and oiling chopping boards I have done extensive research into the best oils and food safe finishes to use when oiling cutting boards, chopping boards and kitchen utensils.
In this blog entry I answer the following questions for you.

  • How do I care for my chopping board to keep it looking great?
  • What are the best Chopping Board Oils?
  • What natural oil is best to seal wooden kitchen utensils & where can you buy it in Australia?
  • Can I use cheap oils from the supermarket to oil my cutting board?
Chopping Board Oil Instructions

What chopping board oils are safe to be in contact with food?

What oils are ALL natural?

If you have questions about oils to use on your wooden kitchen items you’ve come to the right place. I will answer these questions below. These care instructions provide a list of safe oils you can use on your cutting boards and any wooden utensils you have in your kitchen. Even on a budget!

Does anyone in your family have allergies?

*If you have any allergies please research safe oils for wood by using my links in the headings below then decide which oil is best for your situation. This list is updated as I personally test chopping board oils in my own kitchen and do more research.

Allergy Warning

*These options are advice only and your unique circumstances may be different.
For example Peanut Oil is not a good option for those allergic to nuts.

Caring for your Chopping Boards

Tasmanian Oak Chopping Board corner detail on grass

I’d received a few emails asking what oil is best to use for care and maintenance of my chopping boards, so rather than re-write most of it I thought I’d paste it here for all to read. Part of this text is from my email reply to a happy owner of one of my Australian timber chopping boards.


  • The main thing you need to do is make sure nobody puts it in the DISHWASHER as this will dry out the wood fibres and may cause it to warp or split.

  • Wipe it down after use.
    We just wipe ours clean with a damp cloth when needed, it stays on the bench, has quite a few cuts on the surface now from making sandwiches over the years but it just adds a bit of character, can’t worry too much as that’s what it’s for.
    As long as you don’t leave stuff on there to dry crusty I think that’s the best way to look after them.
    Wet chopping boards need to be put up on edge to allow both sides to dry.
  • How safe are wooden cutting boards?
    Wood is the safest cutting board, in my opinion, plastic boards trap moisture and germs breed like crazy in the cuts.
  • Can I cut Meat on it?
    Of course you can – Butchers have used Ash and Oak for cutting meat on for 1000’s of years, as long as it’s wiped then allowed to dry it should be fine, even if it does get a bit stained sometimes. Just remember the rules when handling raw meat.


Some people don’t use any oil at all, eventually the wood will dry out and split a little bit, especially if it’s used a lot and has a lot of cuts on it. Wood is the safest option for cutting boards as these cuts can dry out and don’t trap moisture, wood breathes and is a lot safer than plastic cutting boards and much better for your knives than glass! By regularly applying oil to the wood (when it’s fully dry) you can help prevent moisture or germs from breeding deep in the cuts and wood fibres.


It’s always best to buy a ready made oil that is especially suited and food safe to protect your chopping boards and wooden kitchen utensils. Although there are some cheap chopping board oil alternatives in my list mentioned below.

What do I use for oiling my chopping boards?

What do I use in my kitchen for maintaining my wooden cutting boards, kitchen utensils and chopping boards?

I’m always looking for the easiest solution otherwise I tend not to do it enough.
For this reason I recommend you grab a small bottle of Gilly’s chopping board oil by clicking the link below.

Bottle of Gilly's Chopping board oil 100ml orange oil
An easy to use bottle of the finest chopping board oil.
Gilly’s Chopping Board Oil is great for all your kitchen utensils and woodwares.

Gilly’s Chopping Board Oil – I find this small bottle of food-grade oil is best for maintaining wooden chopping boards, spoons, spatulas and any other wooden kitchen utensils. It has a nice fresh orange aroma and has rave reviews.
Keep a bottle handy in your kitchen!
Purchase your very own bottles here in My Shop, for a bargain price, only $9 postage no matter how many you get.

  • I use Livos Countertop Oil on the wood to seal it when I make them, that’s the best hardwax oil I’ve ever tried and it’s fully natural, unlike others that have poisons & drying agents even though they claim to be all natural.

    So you could always buy a tin of this if you make wooden chopping boards or you have some raw unfinished boards you need to finish but there are some alternatives below that are easy to find at your local supermarkets or chemists.

a can of livos countertop oil environmentally friendly plant oil finish
This is the best sealing oil I’ve found in all the years of using natural oil finishes. It’s a unique blend of organic food grade sustainable environmentally friendly plant oils. And as an added bonus it really works!


  1. Some people rub Canola Oil on every now and then but I’ve heard mixed reports – some say it goes rancid eventually. This is the same with most vegetable oils.
    But if it’s getting constant use and not left sitting in a damp dark cupboard for 6 months I think you’ll be fine with any oil.

  2. Grapeseed Oil is better, less likely to go rancid.
    This is a great natural chopping board oil & available in most supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths or IGA.

  3. Coconut Oil Is great for use on chopping boards any many other uses (see below). In our cold winter it is solid in the jar though so you need to heat it first to make it liquid,  easily done with a hair dryer on the board while you rub it in with your hand being careful not to overheat.

    I’ve been using it on pine chopping boards and the Beard Combs and it adds a nice colour which is surprising because it looks white in the jar when solid. It’s also totally natural, edible, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, so I think it’s possibly the best choice I’ve come across at the local shops. Coconut Oil has many uses & benefits to your health but there are some things you may not be aware of.
    If you would like to learn more about the health effects (and topical uses!) of coconut oil, its potential benefits and downsides, and its components such as lauric acid and MCTs.
    please visit Gerard’s helpful website called ManyEats. A wealth of information!

    Coconut Oil with coconuts

  4. Liquid Paraffin Oil

    The other alternative many woodworkers use and recommend is Liquid Paraffin Oil, also known as Mineral Oil a highly refined petroleum product (processed) sold in the chemist as a laxative so it is safe to use on chopping boards however I have stopped using it in my woodworking.
    It’s a liquid so it’s sold in a bottle usually.
    I used to use it on my chopping boards but these days I’ve gone more for natural oil products, rather than products from industries that are bad for the environment.
    It also stays liquid, it doesn’t seem to set like a hard wax oil so this means it is not protecting the wood as much and tends to continue soaking in, it never seems to dry so the board stays oily and needs re-applying often as it tends to migrate deeper into the fibres or wear off faster than orange or citrus based oils do.


Your best bet is to use an oil that is all natural, great for your health and the environment.
Not something that is just cheap and easy to buy locally.
Order the best chopping board oil online from me and you’ll have a bottle handy in your kitchen for many years to come.
Posting out each week day, you’ll have it in no time!

Don’t forget to pick up a 2-pack of my highly recommended lint free cloths to apply the oil to your chopping board.
They are washable, just throw them in your machine and re-use them over and over.
Great value for money!

polishing cloth made from bamboo fibre
Polishing cloth for wooden products – 2 pack measuring 26cm x 26cm

Hopefully that helps answer some of your questions about the best oils for chopping boards and I haven’t confused you with all my rambling on!

Please contact me if you have any questions about your wooden kitchen items or would like to order a custom made chopping board to fit a stove top or a certain size you need.

With a little care you will continue to enjoy beautiful wooden kitchen wares in your kitchen for many years to come.

If you appreciate the information I provided here please consider making a purchase from my shop, every little bit helps me to continue to provide hand made environmentally friendly Australian Made wood products.

Andrew Wilkerson

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Follow My Blog | Andrew Wilkerson | Woodworker | AusWorkshop

Photo of Andrew Wilkerson Woodworker

Here’s a list of places you can find me around the web and follow my blog.
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Originally Published
2017/07/24 at 1:01 pm

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Case / Box Work In Progress Part 2

Squaring up the end of the slot with a chisel

Custom Made Case Notary Public Stamp Seal Press Pt 2

Night time workshop goings ons!

  • Fitting the base
  • Fitting the Lid
  • Shaping the Raised Panel

Some more work in progress photos of the Stamp/Seal box. In this post I will show the steps involved in fitting the base and lid into the slots as well as fitting the solid brass plaque into the top.

Squaring up the end of the slot with a chisel
Extending the slot length into the dovetails and squaring up the end without breaking through! Just a nudge with the palm is enough, this QLD Maple works well with sharp hand tools.

It’s little things like this that take the extra time — I like to sneak up on the fit rather than create a slot that’s slightly too wide or too deep, there’s nothing worse than getting half way through the glue up only to find something is slightly out of line or the base bottoms out in the slot and throws the whole thing out of square.

It can be very hard to correct once you have glue on the tight fitting dovetails, so preparation is key.

Read more

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Case / Box Work In Progress

work in progress dovetail box case

Custom Made Case Notary Public Stamp Seal Press

Night time workshop goings ons!

Here’s some work in progress photos – in between making signs I have started a new box/case build. This will be used for a Notary Public to keep his stamp seal press and other items he will be carrying to meetings. The box will be posted to Brisbane when complete. The timber is from the cleanup after Cyclone Yasi – some rare rain-forest species.

shavings on the workbench

I’ve been working at nights and have made some progress so here are some ‘work in progress’ photos of the build so far and some close-ups of my messy but reliable workbench!

Read more

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MERBAU TIMBER DECKS Sustainability? > Bad

Orangutan family

Merbau Timber Sustainability

The Hidden Damage Caused By Merbau Decks In Australia

Orangutan family endangered
Orangutan families are losing their homes and populations are becoming extinct just so we can improve our homes and have a nice looking deck! – Ridiculous!

“Merbau is not only considered an endangered species, at the prevailing rate of indiscriminate usage it will also be extinct within the next 35 years.”

Does this sound like a 
Sustainable timber to you?
Come on Australia, we can do better than this. PLEASE READ ON!

What about the animals?
Does anyone care?
Or do you just love your new deck & not aware where it came from?

“I looked into the eyes of this vulnerable orangutan and pledged to do something to be part of the solution.”

Learn more about Tracey Bailey’s story here.

Click the link above to learn more about Tracey’s business, helping the rainforest by buying sustainable products.

Why not use Merbau?

  • The destruction of large forest areas to get just one tree is shocking!
  • It doesn’t grow easily in plantations.
  • The small Islands of Indonesia cannot sustain this continued destruction
  • It is very difficult to enforce any laws put in place.
  • Logs are often smuggled over near-by borders or officials are paid off to turn a blind eye.
  • It is rapidly causing the extinction of beautiful defenceless animals
  • Not only losing their homes – THEIR SPECIES IS BEING WIPED OUT!

Where there is big money involved it will only continue.


I think it’s important to get the word out about the sustainability issues & damage from Merbau timber as many people are not aware of the destruction caused by the continued importation of this timber species to Australia.

Please read then share this post.

Merbau seems to be a very popular choice here in Australia
– DIYer’s walk into their local hardware store looking to build a deck and don’t know better!
The sales staff will probably point you in the direction of the Merbau racks without a second thought.

CHANGE IS UP TO YOU – Your choice of decking timber can help
So what can we do?  – Education and choice when purchasing is the key to this change, we must make change happen through the choices we make when building decks and other outdoor projects.
Get the FACTS right before making a decision based on price and colour alone!

Do we trust them when they tell you it’s sustainable and being managed? – IT’S NOT!

Read more

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