Food grade mineral oil has a lot of uses in the kitchen. It is primarily used for oiling cutting boards and wooden bowls, and it can also be used to lubricate cooking equipment and sharpen knives. But if you are using a substance in the kitchen around open flames, it’s important to consider fire safety. This article will answer any questions about whether mineral oil is flammable and give you some tips on how to use it safely.
Is Food Grade Mineral Oil Flammable?
The word flammable is used generally to describe something that easily catches fire, but there is a specific definition. For a substance to be considered flammable and carry a warning label, it must have a flash point of 93 degrees Celsius (199.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. The flash point is the temperature at which the vapors will catch fire when exposed to an ignition source. So, the lower the flash point, the more likely the substance is to catch fire.
Food grade mineral oil has a flash point of 168 Celsius (335 degrees Fahrenheit), so it is not technically considered a flammable liquid and doesn’t carry a warning on the label. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t catch on fire. Mineral oil will still burn quite easily, so it can be dangerous considering you are using it in the kitchen near open flames.
Will Mineral Oil Catch on Fire when Exposed to a Flame?
Yes, even though mineral oil isn’t classified as flammable, it will still light easily when exposed to a flame. As this is a product you often use in the kitchen, you need to be very cautious. If you are oiling a cutting board, for example, make sure that you keep it away from the stovetop.
Can Mineral Oil Catch on Fire from a Spark?
It is unlikely that mineral oil will catch on fire from a spark because it has a high flash point. So, a spark is not usually enough for it to set on fire because it doesn’t reach the right temperature. However, if the mineral oil has already reached high temperatures because it has been left near a heat source, a spark could potentially cause a fire.
Can Mineral Oil Catch Fire from High Temperatures?
This is very unlikely because mineral oil combusts at around 365 degrees Celsius. That means that it would have to be heated to this temperature before setting on fire on its own. If it is exposed to an ignition source, it will set on fire easily, but there is very little chance that it will get warm enough to catch fire from high temperatures alone.
If I Leave Mineral Oil in the Sun Can it Catch on Fire?
No, leaving mineral oil in the sun won’t make it catch fire. Although the heat from the sun can warm it up a lot, it won’t get hot enough to combust. However, leaving it to heat in the sun will create more vapors and these can build up inside the container, making it more susceptible to setting alight when exposed to a naked flame.
Is Mineral Oil Flammable when Dry?
No, when mineral oil dries it completely evaporates and disappears from the surface. Once the oil has completely dried, it no longer poses a fire risk. When using it to treat wooden items in the kitchen, make sure that you give them plenty of time to dry properly before using them near the stove.
What is Mineral Oil Flash Point?
The flash point of mineral oil is around 168 degrees Celsius. However, different products will vary slightly. If you need a more specific figure, check with the manufacturer and they should be able to give you an exact number for your mineral oil.
Is There A Specific Way to Dispose of Mineral Oil?
Food grade mineral oil does not pose the same fire risk as highly flammable liquids, so it can be disposed of in the trash. However, just be aware that it does burn easily, so don’t put it anywhere near a heat source.
Are Rags with Mineral Oil on them Flammable?
If exposed to a flame, rags with mineral oil on them will go up very quickly. There is not much chance of them spontaneously bursting into flame though, so you don’t need to worry about putting them in the bin like you would if you were using highly flammable solvents, for example. If you are a bit concerned, simply leave the rags on a non-flammable surface to dry before you throw them away.
How Should You Store Mineral Oil?
There is no need to be concerned about sunlight when storing mineral oil, but you should still be aware that it will cause a fire to spread quickly. So, keep it away from any ignition sources and avoid storing it near highly flammable liquids because if they go up, the mineral oil will just fuel the fire.
Mineral oil will last a long time if you keep it fresh, so store it in airtight containers to prevent damage from oxygen and moisture.
How Do You Safely Put Out a Mineral Oil Fire?
Starving mineral oil of oxygen will put the fire out, so if you can cover it with a non-flammable material quickly, you can stop it from spreading. Otherwise, you can use a fire extinguisher, preferably a CO2 or foam one. Avoid using water because this will most likely spread the fire without putting it out. Always remember that if the fire gets out of control, call the fire department and keep away from the area.
Is Food Grade Mineral Oil Toxic?
No, food grade mineral oil has been highly refined so that it is completely safe to ingest. It is used on a lot of items that come into contact with food, so it has to be non-toxic.
Is Food Grade Mineral Oil Toxic to Pets?
Mineral oil is not toxic to pets. In fact, it is used as a treatment for constipation and hairballs in cats. So, it may make them go to the toilet if they consume too much and you shouldn’t leave it where they can get to it. But if they do end up drinking some of your mineral oil, they won’t be in any serious danger.
Food grade mineral oil may not be classified as flammable but it does burn easily, so you need to be very careful. When using it on items like cutting boards or knives that will be used in the kitchen, make sure that they are dry and free from oil before using them in the kitchen again.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.