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Old 09-22-2009, 03:43 PM
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joraft joraft is offline
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Default Re: Some oil finish info

Mineral oil's ability to prevent water absorption, combined with its lack of flavor and odor, make it a popular preservative for wooden cutting boards, salad bowls and utensils. Rubbing a small amount of mineral oil into a wooden kitchen item periodically will prevent absorption of food odors and ease cleaning, as well as maintain the integrity of the wood, which is otherwise subjected to repeated wetting and drying in the course of use. The oil fills small surface cracks that may otherwise harbor bacteria.

It is occasionally used in the food industry, particularly for candy. In this application, it is typically used for the glossy effect it produces, and to prevent the candy pieces from adhering to each other. It has been discouraged for use in children's foods, though it is still found in many candies, including the popular movie theater treat Swedish Fish.

It can be used as a release agent for baking pans and trays, but food oils like vegetable oil are a more popular choice.

Mineral oil is also often used as a coating on metal tools and weapons, knives in particular, as a way to inhibit oxidation. The Japanese swords Nihonto, for example, are traditionally coated in Choji oil which consists of 99% mineral oil and 1% oil of cloves. The use of oil of cloves is sometimes explained as a means of differentiating sword oil from cooking oil to prevent accidental ingestion, but may also be purely aesthetic.

Mineral oil can be used as a leather conditioner as well, though most shoe polishes use naphtha, lanolin, turpentine and Carnauba wax instead.

It can also be used as a wood preservative. A light coating of mineral oil, rubbed into well-sanded wood, provides an easy-to-apply and relatively durable finish, without the odor or drying time (or toxicity) of varnish or urethane.
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