Mineral oil is cheap and easy to find -- your local pharmacy probably has a big bottle of some generic brand available for less than a dollar. And that makes it a darn good value for a surprisingly versatile craft supply.
Here's 6 reasons you need to buy a bottle of mineral oil for your craft space:
6 Uses for Mineral Oil
- Cleaning your hands. Mineral oil works so much better than alcohol for wiping highly-pigmented colors of clay off your hands. I just rub a little dab of mineral oil into my hands, then wipe it off with a paper towel (repeating if necessary). And it's not just polymer clay that it's good for either -- mineral oil is also very helpful for getting alcohol inks off your hands... which isn't an easy task otherwise!
- Cleaning your supplies. Glass Attic recommends using mineral oil to clean your cutting blade. You can also use it in combination with dish soap or rubbing alcohol to clean your pasta machine.
- Conditioning old clay.
- Thinning polymer clay & liquid polymer clay:
- Mineral oil + Polymer clay = A nice mosaic grout
- Mineral oil + Liquid polymer clay = A good consistency for a glaze or for adding frosting to miniature food (thanks for the yummy tip, MossyOwls!)
Be sure to check out Jeanne Rhea's experiments comparing mineral oil to Sculpey diluent for liquid clay mixtures. The diluent mixture seems to be clearer and stronger, making it a better choice for certain projects.
- Using as a release agent. Apply mineral oil first to glass, metals, or styrofoam to act as a release agent. Glass Attic also recommends applying it to your bead corer to prevent sticking.
- Smoothing clay before baking. MossyOwls suggests brushing down clay with mineral oil before baking to help reduce fingerprints.
Did You Know...?According to Wikipedia, baby oil is just mineral oil with added fragrance. So if you happen to have baby oil around, you can substitute it for any of these mineral oil uses.
Your Uses for Mineral OilGot a favorite tip for using mineral oil? I'd love to hear it!