Reply To: White oil?

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Finishing White oil? Reply To: White oil?

Larry Geib

Be careful purchasing anything called ‘white oil” that’s a catch-all for any clear oil. In the gardening industry that is usually camphor oil sold as an insecticide and stinks to high heaven.

Ordinary medical grade mineral oil works fine. You can buy it at any pharmacy where it is sold as a laxative. (In the UK it is called medical grade liquid parafin). A pint is $2-$3.
Baby oil is the same thing but scented. If you don’t mind the smell, you can used that.
All it does is prevent your pad from sticking while you rub. Then when the alcohol evaporates you wipe the oil that’s left behind off.

And most “camellia oil” is just mineral oil (liquid paraffin in the UK) with enough camellia oil to give it a scent.
Here, for example, is highland woodworking’s “camellia oil” note they say it is a blend of liquid paraffin and camellia oil.
Lie Nielsen used to sell a similar product that they didn’t inform was mostly mineral oil. They now sel jojoba oil.

You can get pure camellia oil online, but it is also sometimes cut with mineral oil by disreputable sellers.

When you buy it, ask for an SDS or MSDS sheet that will tell you the ingredients. Vendors must provide an SDS sheet on request by law.