Developed in the late 1800s as a pharmaceutical product, Cosmoline was originally used for a variety of cosmetic and medical purposes and functioned basically as an ointment. Over the years, the needs for a product like this evolved, and Cosmoline evolved as well. New formulations hit the market that were heavier in consistency and more appropriate for long-term protection—not of skin, but of heavy machinery and equipment. Much of this need developed due to World War I when the military required a heavy-duty rust protector to keep its tanks and other equipment free from corrosion—especially during overseas travel. The new formulas of Cosmoline were so effective in these situations that the U.S. military continues to use it to this day.
However, the military is not the only industry that can benefit from this miraculous product. Here is some more information on what Cosmoline is, what you can use it for, and the many different types of Cosmoline available today.
What is Cosmoline?
So what is Cosmoline, exactly? Basically, it’s the trademark for a petroleum-based, wax-like rust inhibitor. The original Cosmoline had a viscous, slightly fluorescent consistency when it was first applied. The product solidified over time as it was exposed to air. This proprietary blend of ingredients proved to function incredibly well as an industrial lubricant as well as a rust and corrosion inhibitor and it has become a popular staple in mechanics’ shops, industrial application, and in the home for those who need to care for firearms or just treat squeaky doors.
What Can Cosmoline Be Used for?
The beauty of Cosmoline is that it can be used for so many different purposes. Depending on what type of Cosmoline you have, you can effectively use it to displace water, prevent and penetrate rust in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications, reduce squeaking, surface cleaning, or the storage and cleaning of injection molds. It has a place in winterizing vehicles, especially when it comes to undercoating and preventing the damage that can be caused from driving on roads treated with salt before, during, and after winter storms. Cosmoline can be used to care for guns, tools, marine equipment, vehicles, and even guitar strings. Whether you’re using it to pre-treat to prevent damage or to undo damage from weather, age, or poor storage techniques, the benefits of Cosmoline just can’t be overstated.
What are the Different Types of Cosmoline?
Though it was available in just one form for many years, Cosmoline is now widely available in four different varieties. To find out which one will work best for your needs, read a little more about the different types.
Original Cosmoline. Unfortunately, the originally formulated Cosmoline is no longer available. However, we have a product that is the closes to the original formulation available on the market today. This produce has a fluid-like, thin consistency that is easy to apply and appropriate for many uses.
Cosmoline Aerosol. Perfect for shop work, Cosmoline Aerosol sprays on with a colorless, thin film that protects and cleans. Stop squeaks, solve sticky mechanical problems, and treat rusted parts with this convenient and easy-to-use product.
Weathershed Cosmoline. If you need a heavy, extra-tough version of Cosmoline, Weathershed is your best bet. This is a heavy wax preventive that can be used for long-term outdoor and indoor rust-proofing purposes. If you live or work in a salty atmosphere or have multiple steel or other metal tools to take care of, this is the right product for you.
Rust Veto Cosmoline. If drying time is a consideration for your project, you should look into Rust Veto Cosmoline. This version dries in just 15 minutes and leaves the perfect coating of waxy protection. If you need Cosmoline for auto parts, hardware, power machinery, or firearms, this could be the right choice.
Cleaning Items That Have Been Treated with Cosmoline
Because many use Cosmoline as a preservative, people often find that older firearms, tools, or engine parts that have been in storage are coated with Cosmoline. Though it may look like a mess when you first encounter something covered or dipped in Cosmoline, removing it is a relatively simple process.
The first step is to disassemble the items as completely as possible. If it is a firearm, the Cosmoline can get into the chambers, into the stock, and in the sights. If the item is an engine part, the product can get into all the nooks and crannies and you need to be able to get to it to effectively clean it out.
Once you have disassembled the item as much as possible, you can go a couple of different routes to clean out the product. The first is to heat it in an oven on extremely low heat. This will melt the Cosmoline and make for easy rinsing and removal. Another option is to use mineral spirits (paint thinner) to dissolve the product. If you decide to use paint thinner, simply put the parts in a bucket full of the liquid and scrub the items with a paint brush and use a tooth brush if you need to get into any smaller areas. As a final step, use an air compressor to blow out the remaining Cosmoline and then let the item dry. It’s important to note that mineral spirits are much different than gasoline and gasoline should never be used to remove Cosmoline.
Where Can I Buy Cosmoline?
It’s important to purchase Cosmoline from an authorized dealer who can guarantee its authenticity. As with any trademarked product, there are knock-offs of Cosmoline that simply don’t perform as well and you’re always better off going with the original. We sell all forms of Cosmoline on the market today at unbeatable prices and with top-notch customer service. Don’t go anywhere else for your Cosmoline needs. At Schafco Packaging, we care about our customers’ project needs and will help in any way we can.
If you need to lubricate, prevent rust, or preserve anything from firearms to tools and machinery, Cosmoline is the absolute best product on the market. Ready to try it out for yourself? You can find all Cosmoline products here.