Non-Toxic Wood Sealers and Repellents

We are planning to seal our wood deck this spring and I’d like to use a green product. As an added issue, the existing wood is pressure treated and I am worried about the arsenic in that. What do you recommend?

Good choice, going green for sealing your deck! Don’t look back! And yes, you need to choose a product that is not only green but able to seal in the toxic arsenic in the pressure treated wood. You are in luck, there are now a number of green products on the market, many made of soy. They will succeed in these tasks, thanks to the perseverance and progressive thinking of a number of manufacturers.

Soy oil has become one replacement for petroleum oil, so longer-lasting oil-based repellents and sealants can still be used, but without the toxic petroleum oils used in the past.

Here are some “green” water repellents and sealants for exterior wood:

SoySeal Wood Sealer and Waterproofer
• Manufactured by Natural Soy Products, LLC.

• A natural soy-based 24-month sealer for all wood, decks and docks.

• Contains no V.O.C.\’s, is non-toxic, non-flammable.
• Contains a small amount of a mildewcide to prevent mold from feeding on the soy oil.

SoyGuard Wood Sealer and Water Repellent
• Manufactured by BioPreserve.
• A natural soy-based 24-month sealer for all wood, including pressure treated, decks and docks.
• Contains very low level of V.O.C.’s, non-flammable, low odor.
• Contains a patented mildewcide; claims “no toxic biocides.”
• Does not damage ozone.

Rainforest Sealer
• Low VOC, 100 percent natural, non-toxic.
• Water repelling, insect, algae, mildew, wood decay fungi deterrents based on elements and minerals. (Uses zinc borate as a mildew and fungus deterrent, which has been found to be nontoxic, instead of chemical biocides.)
• Use for timber, siding, decks, floors.

Safecoat DynoSeal
• Low odor, all-weather, waterproof, vapor proof coating and sealer that gives off no offensive chemical fumes.
• Adheres well to concrete, block, metal, wood and hot mop asphalt.
• Safecoat® products eliminate unregulated toxic ingredients such as solvents, heavy metals, chemical residuals, formaldehyde and other harmful preservatives and are as safe and not toxic as possible.
• Products are structured with a unique molecular formulation designed to seal surfaces thus reducing offgassing into your environment.
• Does not use any mildewcides or fungicides.

Safecoat WaterShield
• Controlled penetration water repelling sealer which provides an invisible barrier against water and resists oils, grease and similar liquids.
• Non-toxic, non-flammable, lead free, formaldehyde free, and does not contain surface contaminating silicones.
• Does not use any mildewcides or fungicides.
• Safecoat® products eliminate unregulated toxic ingredients such as solvents, heavy metals, chemical residuals, formaldehyde and other harmful preservatives and are as safe and not toxic as possible.

Some of the hazardous ingredients traditional exterior water repellents and sealers may contain include:

Formaldehyde: Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer.

Petroleum distillates: Can contain long-term toxins and known cancer causing agents, produce local skin irritation, and add to smog and water pollution due to improper disposal or during manufacture and use.

Volatile Organic Compounds: Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

21 comments

Karen H.
Karen H.1 years ago

Like others in this thread (Jane and Bob), I'm looking for a non-toxic wood sealer that can be used around pets and children. I woodburn cigar boxes and wine crates that are used indoors, so I don't need gallons, and I don't need an outdoor sealer. Finding something I can use at a reasonable price and in a smaller-than-a-gallon container is important.
Besides the cigar boxes, I make pet beds from wine crates and coloring with a food-based stain is only half the job--I need to seal it safely. Any suggestions are welcome.

Yara O.
Yara O'Reilly3 years ago

I was looking for a eco-friendly product I could find locally because I had a hard time finding these products at all without having to ship them long distances and came across Lifetime Wood Treatment from Valhalla Wood Preservatives Ltd.It is eco-friendly and non-toxic (it can even be used in contact with garden soil) they sell it in powdered form at home hardware's and timber mart's for much cheaper than the other products and apparently it lasts longer. Anyway, just wanted to share my discovery.

Bob Orr
Bob Orr3 years ago

just finished building a small teak chest i would like to finish with non commercial local finish/sealer i could make.
any suggestions? i am considering bees wax but "other sealing compounds would at least give me options

bob
vancouver island,bc

Jane F.
Jane F.4 years ago

I need to seal the wood on a cat litter box house. Is the soy sealer okay for animals?

Chris Ray
Chris R.4 years ago

Thanks!~

Chris Ray
Chris R.4 years ago

Thanks!~

Dulce R.
Dulce R.5 years ago

Anni, I am making raised garden beds for vegetables. Are all these sealers safe to use? Thank you. Dulce

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C.5 years ago

thanks

Dan S.
Dan S.6 years ago

Hi! Are you the same Annie bond who has to do with the yummy Annie's all-natural pastas and macaronis? I've just been meanng to ask this of you for a long time, but never got up the nerve. For some reason, I had thought that Annie's pastas were created opriginally by someone with your name. Good product, anyway, whether it is you or not.
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