As a prepper, it’s essential to have a stockpile of items that can be used for various purposes in case of an emergency. One such item that you might want to consider adding to your prepper’s kit is Vaseline.
Vaseline, a brand of petroleum jelly, has a long shelf life, making it an ideal item to include in your emergency supplies. An unopened jar of Vaseline can last a lifetime, and even an opened one can last for years beyond its expiry date. According to a senior vice president of Chesebrough-Ponds U.S.A, Vaseline can last for up to five years beyond its recommended shelf life without becoming harmful to use.
However, it’s important to note that once you open a jar of Vaseline, the risk of contamination increases. Each time you dip your fingers into the jar, you transfer moisture and nutrients from your skin, providing an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Therefore, it’s crucial to store Vaseline correctly, keeping it tightly sealed and in cool temperatures away from direct sunlight.
Despite the risk of contamination, Vaseline can still be used for household purposes like fixing squeaky doors or frozen locks, even if it’s no longer safe for skincare use. It’s also worth noting that Vaseline and petroleum jelly are essentially the same thing – a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons. Both have a long shelf life and can be useful in a variety of ways.
Vaseline is a versatile and long-lasting item that can be an excellent addition to any prepper’s kit. By storing it correctly and being mindful of contamination, you can ensure that it will be useful for years to come.
Shelf life and storage conditions of Vaseline:
|Opened||Up to 5 years past the expiry date|
|Stored tightly sealed, in cool temperatures and out of direct sunlight||10 years or more|
How to Use Vaseline for Survival
Vaseline is a household staple that has numerous uses in a survival situations. It’s an inexpensive, multi-purpose product that can help you in a variety of ways. Here are some ways you can use Vaseline in a survival situation:
- Fire Starter: Vaseline makes a great fire starter when combined with cotton balls. Simply take a cotton ball and coat it with Vaseline, and then light it with a match or lighter. The Vaseline will help the cotton ball burn longer and hotter, which makes it easier to start a fire.
- Rust Prevention: Use Vaseline to protect your metal tools from rust. Simply coat your tools with a thin layer of Vaseline before storing them. This will help prevent moisture from getting to the metal and causing it to rust.
- Wound Care: Vaseline can be used to protect wounds from infection. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the wound and cover it with a bandage. This will help keep the wound clean and prevent bacteria from getting in.
- Moisturizer: Vaseline is a great moisturizer for dry skin. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your skin to help keep it moisturized.
- Weapon Maintenance: Use Vaseline to maintain your guns and other weapons. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the metal parts of your weapons to help prevent rust.
- Tent Zipper Lubricant: Use Vaseline to lubricate the zippers on your tent. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the zipper and it will slide more easily.
- Blisters Prevention: Apply Vaseline to your feet before a long hike or walk to help prevent blisters. Vaseline will reduce friction between your skin and your shoes.
- Emergency Candle: You can use Vaseline to make an emergency candle. Simply coat a cotton ball in Vaseline and light it. The cotton ball will burn like a candle and provide you with light.
- Resin Remover: Vaseline can be used to remove sticky resins from your skin or other surfaces. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the resin and it will dissolve.
- Lip Balm: Use Vaseline as a lip balm to prevent chapped lips. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your lips to keep them moisturized.
Does Vaseline Expire?
An opened tub of Vaseline will expire eventually, although it can last for up to 10 years if stored correctly. Unopened Vaseline will last a lifetime as there are no active ingredients, so there’s nothing in there to expire. Although Vaseline may lose some of its effectiveness over time, the only reason it has an expiration date is because of FDA regulations. Some brands of petroleum jelly are packaged without an expiry date because the FDA doesn’t require cosmetic products to carry one.
How Do You Know if Vaseline’s Gone Bad?
A tub of Vaseline that’s survived years beyond its expiry date but still looks as good as new, it probably is. Vaseline that’s changed color or developed a strange smell may still be good for lubricating a sneaky door, but it may no longer be something you want to apply to your skin. Although contaminated Vaseline would still be good for household uses, like fixing squeaky doors or frozen locks, it would no longer be safe to use as a skincare product.
Vaseline contains very few nutrients, which is why most people choose not to eat it. That characteristic also means bacteria will struggle to grow in it. However, every time we plunge our fingers into a jar of Vaseline, we risk contaminating it. Our skin cells contain both moisture and nutrients. Each time we dip them into the Vaseline, we transfer enough of both for bacteria to survive.
here’s an updated table with additional survival uses of Vaseline:
|Survival Uses of Vaseline||Details|
|Moisturizer for dry skin||Vaseline is commonly used as a moisturizer for dry skin, making it softer and smoother.|
|Protect against windburn||In harsh weather conditions, Vaseline can provide a protective barrier against windburn.|
|Soothe sunburn||Applying Vaseline to sunburned skin can help soothe the pain and promote healing.|
|Lubricant for tools||Vaseline can be used to lubricate bushcraft tools, guns, and other weapons to prevent rust and keep them operational.|
|Starting fires||A cotton ball coated with Vaseline can be used as a fire starter in emergency situations.|
|Protecting wounds||Applying Vaseline to a wound can help protect it against infection and promote healing.|
|Treating chafing and blisters||Vaseline can be used to reduce friction and prevent chafing or blisters on the skin.|
|Emergency candle||Vaseline can be used as an emergency candle by soaking a piece of cotton or cloth in it.|
|Removing sticky substances||Vaseline can be used to remove sticky substances such as sap, glue, or tar from skin or surfaces.|
|Preventing chapped lips||Vaseline can be used to moisturize and protect lips from becoming chapped in dry or cold weather.|
|Lubricating zippers||Applying Vaseline to a stuck zipper can help loosen it and make it easier to open or close.|
In summary, Vaseline is a versatile and long-lasting product that can be useful in many survival situations. As long as it is stored correctly and used in a sanitary manner, it can provide protection, moisturization, and lubrication for a variety of needs.