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Treating your wooden cutting boards and utensils with homemade lemon spoon oil

I’ve been meaning to share my recipe for lemon spoon oil with all of you. It is what I use to care for my wooden cutting boards, wooden kitchen tools and wooden bowls. And it’s how we treat and protect our butcher block countertops.

When we remodeled the Woodlawn kitchen, I knew that I wanted to put in butcher block countertops. I did lots of research and it seemed like everyone had a different opinion. High maintenance. Low maintenance. Stand up to anything. You’ll have to baby them. But despite the mixed reviews, I was really attached to the idea and knew I was willing to deal with high maintenance, if necessary, and that a few stains would only add character. And that didn’t bother me at all.

Much of the utensils and tools in my kitchen are wooden. I’ve rarely met a wooden bowl I didn’t love. My cutting boards are wood and my spoons and kitchen tools are either wood or have wooden handles.

This is a great recipe for a spoon oil for seasoning and treating any wood utensils, bowls or cutting boards in your kitchen. This blogger also uses it for her butcher block countertops.

But this means that I need to take a little time every few weeks to treat and season them so they don’t crack and dry out. And the same goes for my butcher block counter tops. We purchased them unfinished from IKEA and use mineral oil and spoon oil regularly to season and care for them. We even have the butcher block around our under mount sink and regularly apply spoon oil around all the edges to keep water out and the surfaces protected. Two years in and they are still beautiful and are turning a darker, richer color as they age.

There are lots of seasoning oils you can purchase in specialty kitchen stores to do the job. And many people recommend using mineral oil to season wooden cutting boards. And while all of those work, I’ve found that this recipe for spoon oil is by far the best for giving a longer-lasting finish to my wooden tools and countertops.

Years ago, I discovered the spoon oil recipe from Stephanie. But over the years, and many batches later, I have tweaked the recipe to a consistency I like a little better. It is a bit softer and I think it’s easier to work into the wood. And recently, I started adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to my batches and let me say–it is heaven in a jar.

This is a great recipe for a spoon oil for seasoning and treating any wood utensils, bowls or cutting boards in your kitchen. This blogger also uses it for her butcher block countertops.

The spoon oil is so simple to make and only requires beeswax and mineral oil. I buy my beeswax locally and buy mineral oil by the armload from the grocery store. (I can only imagine what the checkout clerk thinks.) It’s not only great for your countertops and wooden spoons, it’s also makes for the absolute best hand salve for really dry, cracked skin. Bonus points for oiled countertops and soft skin. And double-bonus points for being one of my favorite gifts to make at the holidays and give to family and friends.

Here’s my simple recipe for Lemon Spoon Oil (with a bonus tip at the end!)


6 ounces beeswax (You can purchase beeswax here on Amazon. But if you want to support your local beekeeper (YAY!), use LocalHarvest.org to find someone near you.)

16 ounces mineral oil (You can find this in the laxative section of the grocery store)

~8 drops of Lemon essential oil

Place a glass quart canning jar into a heavy-bottomed pan of simmer water. Chop your beeswax into chunks and place it in the jar with about a third of the mineral oil. Stir and allow the beeswax to melt. When the beeswax has melted almost completely, add the rest of the mineral oil. Once the beeswax has completely melted and has combined with the mineral oil, remove it from the heat and add roughly 8-10 drops of lemon essential oil. Now breathe in the goodness. Stir the spoon oil well to incorporate the lemon oil. (Tip: I usually add the lemon oil after I have poured it into my jars. Just divide out the drops evenly among the jars and stir.) Pour the spoon oil into your jars and allow to cool.


To use the spoon oil, simply rub it into any of your wooden utensils, cutting boards, butcher block, bowls and countertops. Work it in with circular motions or with the grain of the wood. Any excess can be wiped with a soft cloth. If you haven’t treated your tools in awhile, you might find another coat is needed after the first has had some time to soak in.

*Bonus tip! I save all my Bonne Maman jams. This batch of spoon oil will perfectly fill 3 Bonne Maman jam jars, which makes it a super cute way to give it as a gift. But even better? We discovered that these sponges the girls use to oil their horse tack, fit perfectly inside the jar. I keep my sponge inside the jar all the time and it’s perfect when giving as a gift.*


This is a great recipe for a spoon oil for seasoning and treating any wood utensils, bowls or cutting boards in your kitchen. This blogger also uses it for her butcher block countertops.



17 comments on “Treating your wooden cutting boards and utensils with homemade lemon spoon oil”

  1. So do you run your wooden utensils through this dishwasher when treated with spoon oil? I love the look of wooden utensils but don’t buy them because I don’t want to hand wash.

    1. Hi Beth. No I don’t run any of the wooden utensils through the dishwasher. Generally, I find that they are pretty easy to clean and I try to use as little soap as possible, because it dries them out.

  2. ah! perfect timing as we have run out of the stuff we use on our butcher block and the guy who made it has closed up shop. thanks, molly!

  3. So glad to discover your directions. The commercially available oil costs too much, and this sounds so simple to do. I’m looking forward to trying it. Thanks so much!

  4. I tried this on my cutting boards and wooden spoons, and LOVE it!!! My in-laws and parents even begged me to give them some of the spoon oil! Their cutting boards have never looked or felt better!!! I had a whole batch made, but am now down to one jar after giving the rest away to family! πŸ™‚

    1. Yay! I’m SO glad you like it. I have the same problem. I make a batch and give it all away. But it does make the best gifts! Thanks so much for letting me know you like it, Katie!

  5. How do you clean your wooden kitchen items? I usually wash mine by hand but I get scared that they are not clean enough. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jackie, I do the same thing. I wash by hand with very hot water and a little mild dish soap–which I know isn’t good for wood boards or utensils. But I’m pretty religious about oiling everything, so I tell myself that I can get away with a good washing every now and then. πŸ™‚

    2. A salt rub with a little white vinegar will disinfect and de-scent wooden cutting boards. Rinse well with boiled water (not boiling, but off the boil) Then treat with this awesome spoon oil! ☺️

  6. How do you treat this to your countertop? Just massage it in…? Circular motion or go with the grain?

  7. I made this today exactly as suggested. The oil cooled and I went to use it on my cutting boards and it feels very hard. I have to use a knife to scrape it out of container. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Kim, The consistency of mine is like a wax shoe polish. I kind of have to dig in a little bit with the sponge to get it out of the jar but it warms and works well into the boards. Hmmm. I can’t figure out what might have gone wrong with the recipe. My best guess is that maybe somehow the ratio of beeswax to mineral oil was off, making it too hard? I’m sorry I don’t have a more straightforward answer! Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll try to help!

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