Top 10 preparedness uses of mineral oil…mineral oil is a colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid byproduct of petroleum refinement. Mineral oil is often used for it’s hydrophobic properties which means that it repels water. Mineral oil is non-conductive and will also air. Mineral oil doesn’t expand when heated which is why it’s often used for hydraulic and heating (like space heaters) applications. There are a number of different grades of mineral oil available including ‘food grade.’
Mineral oil can be purchased at pharmacies, grocery stores, pet shops, veterinary supply houses, hardware stores or online but you should only stock and store ‘food grade’ mineral oil to have the most potential uses and reduce the risk of using the wrong type for your application. Some grades that aren’t as refined are believed to be carcinogenic so stick with ‘food grade.’
1. Rashes: Treating the affected area topically with mineral oil can relieve the symptoms of and speed healing of rashes including diaper rashes.
2. Laxative: When taken internally mineral oilcan relieve constipation through a lubricating effect. This treatment should be discontinued after a short period of time as the mineral oil will block the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
3. Ear Wax Removal: I remember my mother using mineral oil or a mineral oil based product to clean out my ears as a child. It still works and it works much more safely and gently then using cotton swabs. Just pour a little into the ear canal after tilting your head to the side (to keep it from running out), wait a couple of minutes and then let it drain out.
4. Food Safe Wood Sealant: A light coat of oil will seal and preserve wood, keep it from drying out and expand it’s useful life. This is especially useful for kitchen applications including butcher blocks, salad bowls, wooden utensils and the like. Oiled wood is much more hygienic as well because bacteria can’t hide in cracks that aren’t allowed to start (wood cracks when it dries out). As an added benefit, mineral oil will improve the appearance of your wood. Mineral oil won’t sour like vegetable oil would if used for this same purpose.
5. Food Preservation: Damian over at ReThinkSurvival has been successfully running an experiment for the past 10 weeks (as of this writing) in egg with mineral oil. Check his experiment/demonstration out HERE and see how simple the process is as Damian has explained it HERE.
6. Metal Lubrication & Preservative: In addition to lubricating moving parts, like treating a squeaky hinge, mineral oil’s hydrophobic properties will protect metal from absorbing atmospheric moisture and rusting. Mineral oil is also used as a lubricating oil when honing knives on a sharpening stone.
7. Leather Conditioning: A light coat of mineral oil will add or restore elasticity to your leather goods and help repel water.
8. Cleaning Without Water: Mineral oil can also be used to clean many items that can’t tolerate water such as guitar strings.
9. Latex Removal: Mineral oil can be used to help remove latex paint that dries on your skin. Just rub a little on the affected area in a circular motion and the latex will break down for easy removal.
10. Residue Removal: Adding mineral oil to a coarse rag will help remove adhesive residue from metal, glass and porcelain.
Bonus Tip… Veterinary & Horticultural Uses: Mineral oil can be used to smother mites in chickens and bees. Swab mineral oil onto your chicken’s feet to smother scaly mites. Place a saturated paper towel inside your beehive to treat for tracheal mites. A similar use can be used in horticulture to smother aphids although in that case the mineral oil is usually mixed with detergent.
As mentioned above, limit your stores to ‘food grade’ mineral oil to maximize the possible uses and not run the risk of using the wrong bottle.
Very Important Not To Do Bonus Tip: Never use mineral oil as an, ahem…personal lubricant if you are using a latex condom unless you’re ready to expand the size of your family. See #9 above.