Don’t Throw Out That Used Motor Oil! Here Are 9 Clever Ways to Repurpose It

motor oil

starting a fire

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 Tractor

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.

leather boots

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.

steel wool

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.

What was once a waste product can now be used for useful things. As a prepper and environmentalist that is music to our ears!

If you can think of more great things to do with motor oil we would love to hear from you and if you would like to read more on this idea go over to Survivopedia. When things around this world of ours go bad it is nice to know there will still be elements we can use, especially when an item has out-grown its initial purpose, to better our lives.

Featured Image via Flickr


  1. Kyle Ellis said:

    haven’t read the article yet but one way better be using it as fuel in a deuce in a half

  2. Jarrett Miller said:

    We used to roll it onto the wood beds of hay wagons. The rough sawn oak would soak it up like a sponge and it kept the wood preserved, repelled water, and kept away rot.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Then why does it say motor oil on the bottles that we see for sale in the stores ? Just saying .

  4. Brett Carlson said:

    Repurpose? What’s wrong with reusing it? Sounds just as stupid as vaca. Retards

  5. Steven Bevier said:

    Not to mention that you can mix it with a couple of commonly found items and have an improvised defense tool.

  6. Brad Kidd said:

    Helps get barnacles off of docks without messing up the wood too. My grandfather would cover them in old oil before scraping, and then treat the wood with more afterwards. Used it on the lift slips and boats too