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Butcher Block Island and Mineral Spirits

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Laurie Jo Nov 22, 2010 06:10 AM

I just had a butcher block top installed on my kitchen island. By mistake, the contractor I am working with treated it (drenched it) with mineral spirits (a solvent/paint thinner) instead of food grade mineral oil. I knew something was wrong when I smelled the strong odor and the color of the maple wood did not darker when I had been told it would turn a nice, warmer color. They apologized and said the mineral spirits would evaporate and the butcher block would be fine. I hate to have spent all this money on something that I will now worry about hurting my family. Is there some way to save the top and feel good preparing food on it, or should I replace it?

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: Laurie Jo Nov 22, 2010 06:53 AM

    Have you put any oil or anything on it yet? I hope not. Let the mineral spirit evaporates completely. Once the mineral spirit has been evaporated, then it should be fine. If it still concern you, then ask him exactly which brand of mineral spirit he used and looked up the information accordingly.

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      ZeroSignal RE: Laurie Jo Nov 22, 2010 07:53 AM

      Doesnt mineral spirits have chemicals in it? I would call someone like John Boos and see what they say. I personally wouldnt want it and tell him to replace it.I think it will be absorbed into the wood and the chemicals would be there quite a while. I could be wrong though. Just my two cents.

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        cheesemaestro RE: Laurie Jo Nov 22, 2010 10:58 AM

        Mineral spirits are a petroleum distillate. They will evaporate, but there may be a residue, which may also be under the surface, since the spirits have been applied to untreated wood that is still porous. It sounds as if your contractor doesn't want to eat the cost of replacing the butcher block. A reputable contractor would offer to replace the island top, even if he felt that the mistake would likely not result in harm. You should also check with the manufacturer of the butcher block to find out if applying mineral spirits has voided your warranty.

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        1. re: cheesemaestro
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          Laurie Jo RE: cheesemaestro Nov 22, 2010 06:40 PM

          Thanks to all who replied. We met with the contractor and he is replacing the butcher block for us. Thankfully he agreed that his guy made a mistake and we shouldn't have to live wih the island top if we are concerned about its safety. I feel much better. Thanks again.

          1. re: Laurie Jo
            Chemicalkinetics RE: Laurie Jo Nov 22, 2010 06:50 PM

            good to know. Have fun with your butcher block.

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