Wood Butter

After all that spinning for Tour de Fleece, it’s time to give my spindles a “spa day”, so even though I had intended to share this post in January, it’s still appropriate.

Jar of yellow wood butter in front of baking sheets with spindles on them.

In the past year I’ve been asked for this recipe quite a bit so I figured it was probably time to type it up and officially share it. I got the original ratio of oil to wax from the blog 3191 Miles Apart but the link I have to the page is dead and I can’t find the page using Google. I’ve taken the liberties to write the up more of a recipe for people who aren’t a fan of just the ratios:

Wood Butter

(Recipe makes 1 quart of wood butter)

Ingredients:

16 oz bottle of food-grade mineral oil*

¼ lb beeswax cut/broken into small chunks

Tools:

1 pan

Water

2 Quart jars

Something to stir with

Directions:

Place water in pan and bring to boil. Place beeswax in one of the quart jars and place in the boiling water (essentially creating a double boiler). Once wax has melted, place the other jar with mineral oil in it in the water to gently heat. Once warm pour the mineral oil into the beeswax and allow them to continue to heat and emulsify. Gently stir until the wood butter is smooth and even. Remove jar from the water bath and allow to cool (or pour into smaller jars then allow to cool)

To use:

Rub wood butter into any wood you want to treat. Allow the wood to sit and absorb the oil for up to a few days (for very dry wood), then wipe off and buff with a clean cloth.

* You could use other oils like walnut or olive oil, but I like mineral oil because I don’t have to worry about anyone having an allergic reaction to my cooking utensils.


I tend to treat my spindles with this once a year (in January) when the weather tends to be drying and any other time they start to look like they need some TLC. My wooden utensils and cutting boards get treated once or twice a year as needed and anything I carve gets treated with this after I’m done sanding it.

My mother likes to use this wood butter to treat antique butter molds and presses that have dried out and look like they’ve seen better days. The transformation of those antiques is nothing short of impressive and they absolutely glow afterwards.

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