is teak oil food safe

Is Teak Oil Food Safe? – All You Need To Know

Neither Bernard Arnault nor Elon Musk could buy health. Hence, we always tend to be very careful in choosing safe and healthiest possible feeding means. Back to your alarming concern, is teak oil food safe? 

The probability of teak oil being food-safe remains very low. It is suitable to say that it isn’t food-safe in most cases. 

Pretty confusing, huh? Calm down. We’ve got you covered. 

I will have all your questions answered as we move further into the article. How to know if the teak oil is safe/ unsafe, where can you use it, where can you not use it, and more of what you may ask?

All you got to do is stick around to learn everything you will want to know. 

What is Teak Oil? 

“What a silly question!” 

I know, right, that you already know it. But we still have something that needs to be clarified in the context as there are plenty of misconceptions. 

As the name suggests, the teak oil comes from the teak tree. Cool. What you don’t know is if there’s more to it. 

Teak oil isn’t an oil that is naturally extracted from teak trees, as you may have thought. (No offence to you, as that, is what the name suggests)

It is a blend of many other essential oil ingredients, most chemically processed. Finding even a small amount of natural ingredients is extraordinary. 

Why Use Teak Oil? 

It is well known for its protective abilities. 

From ancient times up until today, it has been preferably used to coat different wooden surfaces and furniture to increase their shelf life and slow down the greying process (just like how we use anti-ageing creams to slow down our ageing process) 

Additionally, it provides a shiny finish and enhances the appearance of the furniture (who wouldn’t love it?) 

Teak oil has always been a perfect go-to for protecting and maintaining wooden projects. 

Is Teak Oil Food Safe?

So the majestic teak oil, is it food safe? 

Unfortunately, not at all. 

Teak oil can be food safe if its ingredients are natural, non-toxic and edible. But that is not the case. 

There are numerous teak oil brands in the market (I wish I had more fingers). When looking at the ingredients of teak oils in one brand and another, they do not contain the same ingredients. Although the primary elements do remain the same, the others differ. 

It is a pain point if you have to sit and study the history of ingredients before purchasing one, isn’t it? 

If we analyze different teak oils available in the market today, almost all of them contain the below-mentioned ingredients, 

  • Tung oil – it is a non-toxic natural oil. But if you ask if it is added in its pure form, the answer will disappoint you. It is NOT. Most of the portion is chemically processed. 
  • Linseed oil – it is also a non-toxic natural oil. Like Tung oil, linseed oil is also chemically processed in most parts. 
  • Mineral spirits – they are toxic. 
  • Turpentine – is very toxic that it can even cause death. 
  • Varnish – another toxic ingredient. 

Three out of the five commonly present ingredients are TOXIC. Who wants to eat poison? 

Mineral spirits, turpentine and varnish, can literally kill people and animals. 

Note that the ingredients mentioned above are COMMONLY present and not the only ones. There are more ingredients which may differ depending on the brand. But these 5 above are present in almost all kinds of teak oils. 

Given teak oil’s toxicity and high chemical content, it is NOT food safe. 

Finding a food-safe teak oil can be like finding a needle in a haystack. 

 Can You Use Teak Oil on Cutting Boards? 

No, you can’t. 

Why? Because teak oil is not food safe. (Safe to assume)

A cutting board is a culinary object regularly in contact with food. Would you want your food to be in touch with something toxic before you eat it? 

Exactly, nobody would want that! 

Using teak oil on cutting boards has a risk of contaminating your food with its content which we do not want to bear the consequences of. 

Cutting boards and other objects that may have contact with food shouldn’t be coated with teak oil for safety purposes. 

There is a key to every lock. So what is the solution to this problem? 

Teak oil is one of many options. You could use many other food-safe alternatives in the market in place of teak oil. 

Let us take a look at such solutions that may help you. 

Food-safe Alternatives for Teak Oil 

  • Mineral Oil – you can easily purchase this since it’s widely available. It is completely food safe, and there is no odor or taste. So you don’t have to worry about taste alterations. But mineral oil requires frequent re-application, which wouldn’t be much of a headache. 
  • Coconut oil – can also protect and treat wooden surfaces while being a safe option for food. Use fractionated coconut oil since the regular oil isn’t the same. Fractionated oil is odorless, tasteless and non–drying. 
  • Beeswax – it is food safe and protects wood surfaces well. However, please refrain from using it on hot surfaces as it can start to melt with heat. 
  • Walnut oil – it is also safe for food, and it dries upon application too. Be on the lookout if you have allergies to nuts. If you do, you should stay away from this alternative. 
  • Shellac – this resin is food safe and can be used on objects that require contact with food.
  • Tung oil: Unless it is 100% pure (which is very hard to find), it is advised not to use it. 
  • Linseed oil – Raw linseed oil is a food-safe option. But again, it is very hard to find in the market. 


Teak oil is not a food-safe option due to its high chemical content. If the teak oil is natural and free of harmful content, it is food safe. 

However, it is advised to avoid using teak oil when dealing with food-related objects, as pure teak oil is extremely rare. 

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