will coconut oil go rancid on wood
Kristina Davis

There’s nothing quite like the foul smell of rancid wood, so you are wondering will coconut oil go rancid on wood?

It isn’t the worst smell in the world, but it’s not pleasant, and preventing it on wood furniture and products is vital to most people.

Coconut oil is a great tool that has multiple uses. People use it for their hair, skin, cooking, and even on furniture.

But when you’re trying to prevent the wood from going rancid, will coconut oil go rancid on wood?

No, coconut oil won't go rancid on wood. This oil is perfectly safe to use on wood furniture and finishings because of its resistance to rancidity. 

What is Rancidity?

the rancidity

Rancidity is when oxidation isn’t complete on certain exposed oils and fats.

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When exposed to light, heat, air, moisture, and bacteria, these elements can’t fully oxidize.

The oil is changed to different elements, which cause a foul smell and even taste.

Sometimes, when you touch something that has gone rancid, you’ll notice a sticky texture, or it will even look sticky.

How to Remove Rancid Oil From Wood

If you notice that you have rancid oil on your wood furniture or other items, it’s not always a lost cause. There is a way to remove the rancid oil from the wood.

The best way to do this is to use half a lemon and salt. You’ll add regular salt to the surface and scrub it with the cut lemon.

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remove rancid oil from wood

The combination of lemon juice and salt will help break down the oil and remove that sticky and smelly oil.

If you don’t have lemon juice on hand, you can use a little bit of vinegar.

Another way to remove rancid oil is to use mild dish soap. Ideally, you’ll use a phosphate-free product and add a bit of water to help break down any unwanted oils.

You can use soft cloths or sponges to help get the job done but never use an abrasive scrub or cleaner.

Tip: Some people recommend lemon juice and baking soda, but this will stain your wood, so it's best to avoid using baking soda. The same goes for mixing baking soda and vinegar.

Will Coconut Oil Go Rancid on Wood?

Other oils like linseed oil, olive oil, or other cooking oils can go rancid on wood, so does coconut oil go rancid on wood?

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Coconut oil won’t go rancid on wood for several reasons.

coconut oil go rancid

Coconut oil has a highly concentrated saturated fat content. About 90% of coconut oil’s fat content is saturated.

Unlike other oils with a lower saturated fat content, it is slower to oxidize, making it much more resistant to rancidity.

Other oils oxidize quickly, making them prone to going rancid.

Tip: All types of coconut oil, refined, non-processed, and virgin, are all resistant to rancidity and can be used on wood.

Why People Use Coconut Oil on Wood

One of the main reasons people use coconut oil on wood products is because the oil helps make the product resistant to moisture.

When there’s moisture, the product can become damaged and even turn rancid.

Preventing the wood from getting too much moisture is helpful in preventing the wood from cracking, breaking, or even shrinking.

It will keep your wood furniture and items shiny, looking brand new, and help them avoid warping over time.

Tip: Using coconut oil on wood products also helps increase its durability.

Cutting Boards

the cutting boards

Wooden cutting boards are aesthetically pleasing, but they can get ruined quickly if not sealed or finished correctly.

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Using coconut oil to seal or finish this type of product is essential since you use it in the kitchen, and you need to wash it with water.

Having coconut oil on the product will last for much longer through various wash cycles and when chopping veggies and fruit containing moisture.

Some people refer to using coconut oil on a cutting board as seasoning.

Seasoning your cutting board will help prevent bacteria from growing in the wood's pores, which could contaminate your food and make you sick.

Finishings on Wood Furniture

Like sealing and finishing a wood cutting board with coconut oil, people can use this product to do the same with furniture.

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It’s especially popular with outdoor furniture to help prevent moisture from seeping into the natural cracks of the wood.

Wood Staining

wood staining

While coconut oil can help seal and finish a wood product, it can also help bring out the natural beauty and color of the wood.

There’s no need to paint wood furniture and products when the wood is beautiful on its own, and coconut oil helps manufacturers do so.

How To Use Coconut Oil on Wood

If you’re making wood furniture and products at home or are looking to ensure that moisture doesn’t cause problems for your wood products, adding coconut oil to them is a great way to do so.

Learning how to do this properly will ensure that you’re not exposing any wood where it could potentially become rancid.

Here’s the best way to use coconut oil on your wood furniture and other items.

Step #1: Remove Dust and Particles From the Wood

remove dust

The first thing you need to do is remove any dust or particles from the surface of the wood.

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If you don’t do this, you risk the coconut oil not sealing and finishing the product properly, exposing it to moisture.

A popular way to do this is to use a rag or duster. It’s also a good idea to do this where you don’t risk dust or other particles returning to the wood after completing this step.

Step #2: Wash the Wood

Next, you’ll need to wash the wood. While this may sound counterproductive to preventing moisture and rancidity, it’s a necessary step.

You can use a rag, water, and soap. You’ll want to wipe down every inch of the wood surface before letting it dry.

How long your wood surface will take to dry will depend on how large it is and how much moisture in the air it’s exposed to.

Tip: Make sure you let the wood completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step #3: Apply Coconut Oil to the Wood

coconut oil on wood

Once your wood is completely dry, you can add coconut oil to it. The best way to do this is to use a dry cloth to rub the coconut oil into the wood surface.

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You can add the oil onto the cloth or directly onto the wood, whatever works easier for you.

Step #4: Let the Coconut Oil Sit on the Wood

Once you’ve wiped the coconut oil all over the wood, you’ll need to let it sit for at least ten minutes.

Ideally, if you can leave it on for closer to 20, that’s better. This allows the oil to seep into the wood’s pores properly.

Step #5: Wipe Excess Oil off the Wood

After no more than 20 minutes, you can begin wiping off the coconut oil. You’ll need another clean cloth and to wipe in circular motions.

You’ll need to continue wiping the wood until all the excess oil is cleared off of the product for this step.

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Remember that how long it takes you to remove the excess oil will vary. If you’re using a larger product, it will take longer.

So, Will Coconut Oil Go Rancid on Wood?

When thinking about using oil to prevent moisture on your wood surfaces, it’s normal to wonder, will coconut oil go rancid on wood?

The good news is that coconut oil won’t go rancid on wood.

Unlike other cooking oils, coconut oil is excellent to use on wood. You can use it to season your wood cutting board or seal and finish any wood furniture that you have.