Make Your Own Penetrating Oil

In case of a major change in our life style that resulted in a collapse of society, we would be forced to improvise many things that we now take for granted.  Just simple things like loosening a rusty bolt would be a challenge to many of us, not being experienced mechanics.

Yesterday a friend sent me information on a study performed by Machinist’s Workshop magazine in their April 2007 issue.  They looked at different penetrating oils to see which one did the best job of removing a rusted bolt by measuring the pounds of torque required to loosen the bolt once treated.

They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a “scientifically rusted” environment.

Penetrating oils ……….. Average torque load to loosen

  • No Oil used ………………. 516 pounds
  • WD-40 ………………… … 238 pounds
  • PB Blaster ……………….. 214 pounds
  • Liquid Wrench ……………127 pounds
  • Kano Kroil ……………….. 106 pounds
  • ATF-Acetone mix…………53 pounds

The ATF mentioned above is automatic transmission fluid (not a federal agency).

The ATF-Acetone mix is a “home brew” mix of 50 – 50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone.  Note this “home brew” released bolts better than any commercial product in this one particular test.  In some additional comments that I found while double-checking on the article I found that with some of the new ATF fluids it is hard to get a good mix.  However if you add a small amount of diesel oil to the mixture this will help.


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1 thought on “Make Your Own Penetrating Oil”

  1. Interesting history note about mixing oils and fuel . On the eastern front , the Russian winter is an enemy in its own right . The Russians had a practice of mixing their weapon oil and grease with diesel fuel . This was to extend the supplies and they found out that diesel fuel helps prevent mechanical freezing . The Germans didn’t pick up on this , and they had a much higher rate of weapon freeze at the worst possible time than their Soviet opponents .

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