horticultural mineral oil

Asked March 17, 2018, 6:50 PM EDT

What is the difference between the "mineral oil" that one buys in a store for baby oil, constipation and use on skin and the "mineral oil" in the horticultural oil or dormant oils now being sold for mite and grub protection?

Doddridge County West Virginia

2 Responses


My name is Brad Cochran and I'm an Extension Agent at WV State University Extension Service.

To answer your question there is no difference between the two mineral oils. The difference in the products is that typically the horticultural or dormant oil is a similar mineral oil base with other minerals included based upon proprietary formulation that is slightly different between each products. They also are much more refined that the mineral oil you can get off the pharmacy shelf. Meaning they can me mixed with an emulsifier to help it mix with water. For a more in depth read about dormant oil read this article from the University of Illinois http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/050303.html

I hope this helps and if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me directly at bcochran2@wvstateu.edu.


Brad Cochran
WVSU Extension Service

Thanks, Brad. That helped my understanding. I guess from your analysis that Volk oil is a less refined oil than the more highly refined mineral oils. The article you referenced also aided my understanding of how the oils work.