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Mar 17, 2012 03:28 AM

How do I remove boiled linseed oil from my new chopping block?

I have just bought a new chopping block and applied boiled linseed oil to it to find out that it is very toxic. Am I able to remove and start again and what oil is best used?

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  1. Isn't linseed oil flaxseed oil? Does the boiling make it toxic? Otherwise flaxseed oil tastes awful but isn't toxic that I know of. I'm not sure you can remove this.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      I was curious about this so did a little reading. Turns out it is not boiled but solvent is added so it acts like it has been boiled---odd huh? I would use steel wool and Dawn and scrub like crazy. If that didn't work I'd go to the sanding like mikie mentioned. Otherwise, can you turn the board over?

      1. re: escondido123

        "As you probably know, raw linseed oil, sold as flaxseed oil in the grocery store, is edible and considered by some to be a health food supplement. To make boiled linseed oil, metal salts are added. They cause the oil to dry faster. While these render boiled linseed oil inedible, you'd have to consume a decent amount before it would be toxic. "

    2. Nothing is going to take it off that's not more toxic than the linseed oil. The good news, it doesn't penetrate all that deep and it's not really all that toxic once it dries. If you have access to a power random orbit sander I would start sanding with 100 grit and work up to 220 grit to remove as much as possible, then I would scrub it very well. Since boiled linseed oil sets up the mineral oil you should use will not penetrate unless you can get most of the boiled linseed oil out of the cutting board.

      1. I don't believe raw linseed oil is toxic. Now boiled linseed, as other posters have mentioned, is not really boiled, but rather have organic solvent. The added solvent can be toxic, but once it is dried and evaporated, then it is fine.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Fine as a furniture finish, but I'd still be concerned about chopping on it, and I'm usually pretty lax about those things.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I use it on my deck and I know they use it on barns but I wouldn't want it around food. Here is the MSDS for the brand I use:

            1. re: SanityRemoved

              Are you two talking about the pure linseed or the "boiled" linseed.

              If you think the boiled linseed is pretty dangerous, then the original poster will have to toss away the cutting board. One of the properties of these chemical solvents is to improve the penetration of the linseed oil. So while natural linseed oil does not go too deep, linseed oil with mineral spirit can travel much deeper.

              And if we are to believe that some of the toxic chemicals cannot be easily evaporated, then the cutting board can no longer be used as a cutting board.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Thanks for your comments, by the sounds of it, it's back to the shop!

                1. re: Hillary01

                  Wait, what? You're going to return something that you messed up? That's a crappy thing to do. What if they try to sell it again?

                  1. re: sarahendipity

                    No that is not what I meant. I meant I am going back to the store to buy another one.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  The MSDS I linked is for Boiled Linseed Oil, hope that clarifies it.

                  1. re: SanityRemoved

                    Thanks. I forgot to comment this. The MSDS for the Boiled Linseed Oil may be toxic, but is it not possible that the dried version is safe -- after the solvents are evaporated?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I don't know how exactly it is classified after it has dried. It's commonly referred to as a drying oil and is frequently mixed with stains for wood. It does harden and I imagine that in a kitchen environment it may build up with repeated applications. It fairs pretty well outdoors when exposed to the elements.

            2. If you have some money invested it it, I'd find a wood worker and have 1/8" planned off of it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: subal

                Great idea! I had a large chopping board and when it got bad I took it to the lumber yard and they put it through their planer. Of course it split it in two, but I was able to glue, clamp and continue to use it no problem.