Recently I had made a statement on Mr Modtomics blog about using Mineral Oil (unscented baby oil) on wood eating utensils, salad bowls etc. I should have been more specific. This to be done on bare teak with no finish as on cheese boards and salad bowls etc, it is completely safe and actually suggested when reviving the appearance and extending the life span of the piece. It will not go rancid or get tacky to the touch which is why vegetable is not suggested, vegetable oil is obviously plant based and over time being exposed to air will decompose dry and get sticky to the touch. This is why so many teak bowls in second hand shops feel disgusting to the touch and smell bad.
(must not be any finish or paint on the teak)
Cleaning off all gummy residue first is important and if it won’t come off with a cleaner you may need to sand it lightly.
Pre heat your oven to the lowest setting which is usually around 200 degree.
Wipe down the piece with paper towel and mineral oil and place in the oven for 20mins.
By placing in the oven the woods grain will open and soak up the oil.
After 20mins take out of the oven and wipe down with a clean cloth.
Let the piece cool and then give a light wash.
If you are concerned about using mineral oil I don’t blame you I was too. I new before hand of its origins when most people don’t but when I looked at the alternative of decomposing vegetable/olive oil I decided salmonella was not for me.
There are different schools of thought on the use of mineral oil (which is baby oil) for health benefits. Read the WIKI on it and you’ll see. I decided it was ok and couldn’t be happier with the results.
I also used it on a teak lamp (no finish) minus the oven step you just need to use it sparingly and wipe wipe wipe till you can longer feel it on the lamp or whatever you try it on.
Final thought on vegetable oil. BAD for wind up clock mechanisms also. Use sewing machine oil instead.