Every kitchen around the world has some form of cooking oil. If it is stored properly, it can have quite a long shelf life. However, like other food items, oil won’t last forever in your pantry.
Even cooking oil kept in ideal storage conditions will start to deteriorate and you may notice a decrease in quality after one or two years. Once cooking oil has gone rancid, it becomes unfit for cooking.
You can prevent oil from going bad by rotating your stock, but in case you have rancid oil in your kitchen, don’t be too quick to throw it away. Here are eight survival uses for rancid oil, from rust-proofing to paint remover. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)
Wicker and rattan baskets are useful containers. You can even learn how to make them by hand.
Woven baskets require a bit of maintenance to prevent them from cracking and splitting. Rub a bit of warmed rancid oil onto baskets to give them a glossy finish that’s also dirt- and water-resistant.
Alternatively, you can use rancid olive oil to soften and preserve leather. The oil will help restore the suppleness of leather clothing or shoes and protect the material.
Did you know that diesel engines can run on rancid oil? If you use rancid cooking oil as an alternative to diesel fuel, you won’t need to make modifications or notice a loss of performance.
Make sure you filter cooking oil to remove any impurities or water before using it as fuel.
Oil lamps are simple, non-electric light sources that you can use when SHTF. To make an oil lamp, all you need is a container, a wick and oil.
If you run out of high-quality lubricating oil, you can use rancid oil as an alternative. For example, you can fix a squeaky door hinge with several drops of rancid cooking oil.
Keep a bit of rancid oil in your garage or shed. If you spill paint on your hands, dab a bit of cooking oil to remove the paint.
Massage the oil onto the paint-stained areas of your hand, then let it soak for about five minutes. The oil will help loosen the paint from your skin so you can easily wash it off with soap and water.
Cooking oil can be used as a cheap rust preventative for various tools. Once your tools are cleaned, dab a bit of cooking oil on them, then wipe them down.
Rancid oil can be used as an ingredient for homemade soap. To make soap, you need oil and lye, which you can make from wood ash.
Rancid oil and vinegar can be turned into a homemade wood finish. (Related: Cleaning, first aid and food prep: 20 Survival uses of salt.)
To make a wood finish, mix equal quantities of vinegar and rancid oil in a plastic bottle. Rub the mixture onto wood.
Homemade wood finish works as a polish and conditioner. Rub it onto the surface and buff it up to restore old, scuffed wood. Apply the wood finish on wooden work surfaces to give them a water-resistant finish that’s easy to clean.
Shake the bottle vigorously before using. If the wood finish is left standing for a long time, the oil and vinegar will separate.
Waste not, want not. When SHTF, even rancid oil has many survival uses.