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Old 11-08-2010, 06:09 AM
JungleSurvival JungleSurvival is offline
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Question Cotton balls soaked in Hand Sanitiser VS Cotton Balls soaked in Petroleum Jelly



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Hi everyone,

Which is better? Has anyone used both for tinder items? Which one lights faster? I think the hand sanitiser version might be more versatile because it becomes a pseudo anti-septic wipe that can be reused for tinder.

Conversely you can use real anti-septic wipes that can double as tinder and still carry the cotton balls with petroleum jelly.

Which combination is best? If for space considerations only one could be carried in a small pill box, which would you use?

Thanks for the info!
Old 11-08-2010, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JungleSurvival View Post
Hi everyone,

Which is better? Has anyone used both for tinder items? Which one lights faster? I think the hand sanitiser version might be more versatile because it becomes a pseudo anti-septic wipe that can be reused for tinder.
I vote petrolum jelly every time. Though hand sanitizer may be a little easier to catch flame petrolium jelly balls are very easy to spark also.

Sanitizer will evaporate faster than petrolium jelly though unless you have it in foil or other airtight container that prevents evaporation.

But Petrolium jelly is a lot more versitile than Sanitizer. Chapped lips, lubricant, temporary water proofer, moisturizer, helps chaffing, kills chiggers etc. And you can use it multiple times. After it is used up, it will still work as a firestarter and burn for a long time.

For sanitizer... you sanitize once and it is evaporated or contaminated. Done.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:06 AM
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PJ gets my vote. Hand sanitizer is alcohol-based and evaporates readily. You might go to use it and find it is no longer useable. PJ also has medicinal uses. PJ and cotten balls all the time to start fires.... that doesn't sound right but it does remind me.... An excellent fuse to start a fire and give you time to escape is a cigarette.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:19 AM
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I have been using PJ-soaked cotton balls for years now. I never tried the hand sanitizer but I will just to see how it works.
Old 11-08-2010, 08:52 AM
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The alcohol in the hand sanitizer would work but, can evaporate on you, but ... can be used to sanitize too
Petroleum Jelly won't evaporate and can be used for chapped lips/ hands, leg chaffing etc.

I would soak the cotton balls in PJ and bring small sealed hand sanitizer to use for other things. In a pinch you could squirt some hand sanitizer on your tinder to help your fire lighting.

The PJ is more idiot proof. You don't need an air tight setup to preserve it's usefulness.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by survive View Post
The alcohol in the hand sanitizer would work but, can evaporate on you, but ... can be used to sanitize too
Petroleum Jelly won't evaporate and can be used for chapped lips/ hands, leg chaffing etc.

I would soak the cotton balls in PJ and bring small sealed hand sanitizer to use for other things. In a pinch you could squirt some hand sanitizer on your tinder to help your fire lighting.

The PJ is more idiot proof. You don't need an air tight setup to preserve it's usefulness.
I agree, there both multipurpose. I carry a film canister of the PJ and cotton balls, then one of those very small things of hand sanitizer.
Old 11-08-2010, 01:06 PM
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The vaseline burns hotter and longer. It's my choice. I carry dryer lint soaked with vaseline. I also carry hand sanitizer. But the alcohol flame just isn't very hot or long lasting.
Old 11-08-2010, 02:03 PM
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Nowadays you have to look for hand sanitizer that will catch flame due to stupidity and safety regulations.

I soaked a cotton ball in hand sanitizer and tried to light it with my firesteel and it wouldn't light, then I tried to light it with a lighter and it still wouldn't light. After reading the bottle it had flame retardant ingredients to keep it from catching fire.

If you are going to depend on hand sanitizer as tinder fuel definitely test your brand before taking out in the field.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:36 PM
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I like the idea of petroleum jelly because it won't evaporate away on you. plus it doubles as a source of lip balm and skin moisturizer.
Old 11-09-2010, 04:15 AM
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Petroleum jelly and cotton !

And if your clever you dont have it pre mixed ( Then you have at least 3 different uses for it as it comes )
Old 11-24-2010, 09:57 AM
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I think I'm sold to PJ instead of hand sanitiser.

Thanks for the responses!
Old 11-24-2010, 10:06 AM
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PJ is better. If you really want the most versatile combo, use Neosporin- its 99% White Petroleum Jelly, but also an anti-bacterial ointment.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:11 AM
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Anybody ever tried a hand sanitizer towelette? They make some that are dripping with sanitizer. One will burn for several munutes.

I agree with the PJ and cotton ball, but the sanitizer wirks pretty well too.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:45 PM
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PJ is better. If you really want the most versatile combo, use Neosporin- its 99% White Petroleum Jelly, but also an anti-bacterial ointment.
Yikes, this option seems waay too expensive.

Small tube of the stuff can be $5-10. For the same price you can can a heck of lot more PJ.

If money is no option, knock yourself out, but otherwise this is crazy!
Old 11-25-2010, 08:51 AM
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The multi-use capability of PJ has won out for me, I carry PJ filled cotton balls and a couple foil packs of PJ for other uses as well as back up for tinder.
Old 11-25-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtticusFinch View Post
I have been using PJ-soaked cotton balls for years now. I never tried the hand sanitizer but I will just to see how it works.
LOL I don't know why but when I was reading that response I thought PJ was Peanut butter and Jelly LOLOL
Old 11-26-2010, 02:37 PM
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There are better, less mess options for tinder, like wet fire or trioxane, or esbit tabs, fat wood, char cloth, etc.

The point about petroleum vs alcohol gel/hand sanitizer is that the petroleum is waterproof, and the alcohol isn't. That can be important. I still count my hand sanitizer as another possible fire starter, but if it gets wet it's not going to light or stay lit long.
Old 11-26-2010, 02:43 PM
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Thanks guys! I didn't know about the PJ as a fire starter. It just never crossed my mind as something that is flammable. Now I have something to do tonight.
As far as the hand sanitizer goes, my concern would be the alcohol eventually evaporating. Then you would be left with.....soap. But a well sealed container may solve that problem.
Old 11-26-2010, 04:02 PM
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Both work well for starting fires, the alcohol seems easier to ignite with a ferro rod. However the alcohol evaporates very fast unless kept in a totally airtight container, then you got nothing.
I prefer the PJ for EDC.
Old 11-28-2010, 02:53 AM
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I'd go with the petroleum jelly. I soak cotton balls in lighter fluid, then the petroleum jelly. Then I pack them in large plastic freezer bags, you can get lots of them in there. And I've never had a problem with them lighting off.
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