Most people would consider used motor oil to be useless, something to be disposed of. Actually, it can be an extremely valuable resource, especially post-disaster.
If SHTF, a lot of people will probably be looting and scavenging anything they can get their hands on. And when certain things are hard to come by, motor oil can actually be used as a substitute.
Surviving in a severe crisis can come down to making due with what you've got. That also means being able to repurpose.
But whether there's a disaster or not, used motor oil can still really come in handy for a resourceful Prepped Survivalist.
So next time, instead of throwing it away, consider saving it for future use.
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Read This BEFORE Reusing Motor Oil
While used motor oil is a common part of daily life, that does not mean it can be handled without precautions, and here are a few of them.
- At a minimum, wear latex or rubber gloves. Aside from tiny bits of metal, reused motor oil also contains all kinds of chemicals that can cause rashes, dizziness, nausea, or other ailments if they get absorbed by your skin. It is best to use oil resistant gloves, or ones that are rated for use with a wide range of toxic chemicals.
- Oil resistant garments – any kind of spill can allow oil to get through your clothing and into contact with your skin.
- Oil resistant shoes or boots – make sure that the soles are also oil resistant.
- Get a breathing mask or respirator that will filter out any harmful agents that might be found in the motor oil.
And finally, here’s how to use the motor oil instead of throwing it away.
1. Mix with Creosote to Weatherize Wood
Even though many people have used plain motor oil to preserve wood over the years, it is best to mix it with some creosote in order to avoid dry rot. You will also find that used motor oil can make a very slick surface.
While this may be ok for fence posts, it can pose problems for floors or other areas where you need some traction.
2. Protect Wood From Insects and Animals
When people think about protecting wood from the elements, they are usually most concerned with water and dampness. Insects and animals can also wreak havoc on wood and cause it to be destroyed very quickly.
In particular, if you have a homestead or farm with horses or other large animals, they might want to chew on wooden posts or other objects. Motor oil mixed into creosote will create a taste these animals do not like; and thus deter them from chewing on the wood.
3. Mix With Diesel to Make Penetrating Oil
If you are plagued by corroded or stuck bolts, screws, or other fasteners, then you may be well accustomed to using penetrating oil to try and loosen them up. While you may already have a few cans of good quality oil in your stockpile, the need for penetrating oil will never end as long as there are metal fasteners to contend with.
If you have some diesel and used motor oil, you can mix them together to make penetrating oil. Give this a try now to see how it works when compared to other formulas. Knowing when and how to use this replacement can help reduce the need to draw from your stockpile as well as enable you to innovate during an actual crisis.
4. Burn as Fuel
When you have nothing else for fuel, used motor oil can be burned to provide heat.
But used motor oil has many contaminants in it that can be toxic when burned and then released in the air. You will be better served by burning used motor oil outdoors.
Aside from reducing the smell of burning fumes in your home, tent, or other enclosure, you will also avoid deposits of toxins on the walls and ceilings.
5. Make a Torch
As plentiful as flashlights and batteries might be right now, that can all change faster than you realize. If you find yourself in a situation where you only have motor oil, some rags, and a wooden stick on hand, you can still make a torch that will produce light and heat.
Just remember to use the torch in a well ventilated area so that the fumes from it do not make you sick.
6. Start a Fire
Rainy weather, damp wood, and other conditions require something a bit more than a match to ignite. A little bit of used motor oil can help you start and maintain a fire in just about any situation.
7. Mix With Gas to Run Tractors
Unlike motor vehicles, older style tractors can run on a surprising number of different fuels without being damaged. In this case, you can stretch fuel reserves for your tractor by adding some motor oil. You may be well served by filtering out the oil so that stray bits of metal or other contaminants do not damage the tractor engine.
Since every tractor is a bit different, you should start off with small amounts of oil and then see how the engine performs. The last thing you will want to do is add too much oil and wind up with a seized engine.
8. Soften or Clean Leather Boots
Unless you have a stockpile full of shoes and boots made from synthetic materials, it is likely that you will need to use leather conditioners to keep footwear in good condition. You will also wind up making shoes from leather that must also be kept clean and soft.
Using discarded motor oil for this purpose will work well enough now as well as in a crisis situation.
9. Use With Steel Wool to Remove Rust
If you are scavenging for all kinds of metal items, you’re also very likely to find that possible replacements for needed items have a good bit of rust on them.
Rather than discard these items on sight, you can use motor oil and steel wool to clean the items up a bit. Needless to say, if you have items in your stockpile with rust on them, you can also use this method to remove the rust and restore them to good order.
You can find more ways to repurpose used motor oil at Survivopedia.
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