Getting old oil out of wood, help!

I am refinishing a 50 year old salad bowl. It is carved out of a solid piece of wood. The end grain runs along the length of it.
Where the finish wore off in the end grain area, the grain is filled with olive oil. The salad bowl finish looks great, but will not dry over the contaminated end grains.
I have soaked it in soapy water, and the oil comes off. I wait till it drys(the water) and it seems like it is ready to apply the finish, but the old oils seep out again.
What can I use to clean this well enough to allow the finish to dry?
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Probably nothing.
But fuller's earth can help absorb some (some cat litters - the grey ones, and you need to powder it up yourself)
Some washing up detergents are helpful too. I use Ecover, which is based on coconut oil.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Dunno 'bout salad bowls, but getting oil out of model airplane structures is an ongoing chore for modelers who need to re-cover their models. The oil comes from engine exhaust, and new covering will _not_ bond unless the wood structure is oil free.
One solution is "K2R" spot-lifter, made by Spontex. I get it in the household section at Kroger.
Spray the K2R on to get an even coating.
Let dry. And I mean _dry_. The coating will turn bone white when dry. Brush the dried powder off.
Repeat until the oil is gone.
Works great on balsa, bass, and birch plywoods. Might be slower on hard woods, though.
Note that K2R is not a food product, so you will definitely need to clean all the powder off the salad bowl, preferably with denatured alcohol, before refinishing. Cheers, Fred McClellan the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
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Burn it. The oil will come right out.
-Jack
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This would be my suggestion also - using a propane torch and rag. The flame will make the oil bubble up - then swipe with rag. Timing is everything so be careful not to overdo the heat and damage the wood.

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ddinc wrote:

Do what people who refinish old oily military rifles stock do. Spray it with oven cleaner, let set for 10 minutes, wash with hot water, and dry. You may need to repeat three times. I've got old stocks don't show any oil surfacing after several years that were once as oil soaked and dirt filled as you could imagine.
In my experience, washing with soapy water, heating and wiping, and covering in fullers earth or other oil absorbent are either a pain in the butt or just don't work well. Good luck.
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Generally heat will help oil to leach out. I have used acetone and just kept appl;ying it. Also soak it in Acetone and quickly put oil dry on it to soak up oil.
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 02:14:04 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

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Neither acetone nor denatured alcohol worked for me when cleaning old stock that had been oil soaked for 20-80 years. But oven cleaner does!
"Lawrence A. Ramsey" wrote:

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"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

I can certainly see why that would work. The extremely caustic (basic/high pH) chemicals in the oven cleaner will will turn any fat or oil into soap thus making easy to remove. ARM
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Yep, I'm a big fan of the oven cleaner approach since it is fairly fast and only takes two or three applications to work on an oil soaked stock.
If you want to be a little less aggressive, for "finer" stocks I find that I can place the wood in a garbage bag full of dusted kitty litter and then place the whole thing on my dashboard for the summer. The heat forces out the oil and the litter soaks it up. Takes time but wont bleach out the wood like the easy off...
-Bruce
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I will try the oven cleaner. Thanks.

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