When I was growing up, whenever David or I got a cut, a scrape, or a bad sting, our mom would get out the Oil-O-Sol, a reddish-orange, highly viscous liquid that has a smell that, while indescribable, I can recall to this day. I tore a chunk of skin off my hand setting up a computer yesterday, and went to the drugstore on the way home tonight and asked if they carried it. None of the druggists had ever heard of it.

A quick Google search showed lots of hits saying to avoid it in regards to post-op for plastic surgery, and several listings for antique bottles and ads, but only one that had some actual info on it:

I can’t find this stuff for sale anywhere except for perhaps eBay.
But it’s no wonder why these old medicines have died out. This stuff contained Linseed Oil (a known skin irritant), Oil of Turpentine ((Mucous membrane and eye irritant. Harmful if inhaled) , Camphor Oil (also an irritant), Oil of Spearmint, and Eucalptus. Egads!

Still, a bottle of that would have somehow seemed more comforting that the tube of Neosporin I got, even if the latter is more effective.


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9 Responses to Oil-O-Sol

  1. Mojo says:

    What about when we were up in the country and Grammaw would get out the monkey blood? Damn the Clinton Administration for pulling mercurochrome off the shelves!

  2. raygun76444 says:

    This stuff works. My dad sold it in an oil well supply store in Coleman, Texas. He kept it at home and we used it for cuts and insect bites also I still have one bottle left. This was 50 years ago.

  3. hank70 says:

    Wife is using this on her badly sprained ankle & it is working. She ‘inherited’ a bottle from her mother (88 yrs young)several years past & it is still useful.

  4. Lynular says:

    I had to make a comment about Oil-O-Sol…I’ve been searching for information about it. I think it worked wonders on road rash from bicycle wrecks! My grandmother always had some and used it! I’ll never forget that smell either. What memories!

  5. swane says:

    Oli-O-Sol, That is some GREAT stuff.
    Ive used it on sunburns ,cuts,scratches anything.
    I still have a original bottle.
    I use to only be able to get it at a pharmacy here in Michigan.
    Ive called the compnay and they no longer make it.(To Bad)…
    But the contents here does not have anything to bad in it according to the label.
    Ive even went to a natural store and bought the ingerdeents nad made my own batch.
    Heres what they are according to the label.
    Active Ingredents:
    Corn Oil 52%
    Castor Oil 40.8%
    Camphor Oli 6.5%
    and Hexylresorcinol 0.1%( ok I didnt add this one) I may be the one one that other guy was talking about..
    (all % shown are WT./WT.)
    But my recipe I followed worked for me…
    Good luck all you OIL-O-SOL users

  6. my_passtime says:

    I still use it frequently for cuts and scrapes. The ingredients that were listed by swane are for the later made product. The original didn’t have any chemical names, just oils. The closest thing to the old Oil o Sol that is on the market now is a veterinary medicine called Cut Heal and the difference is that it is made with crude fish oil instead of corn oil. You can by it at alot of feed stores, TSC, Rural King type stores.

  7. kr1nger says:

    I, too, used Oil O Sol when I was younger.
    It was great! It would take out splinters within a day or two. Just put on a bandage and leave it on. The splinter would work out. I did not like having to dig them out with a needle. We used it for all scrapes and cuts.
    Was the greatest!

  8. lucasjt says:

    Mom still has several bottles of Oil-O-Sol that she uses to this date. She provided the same ingredients listed by swane and also said it was manufactured by Healthcare Industries of Elkhart, Indiana 46514. She bought her last bottles at a Hooks Drugstore in Frankfort, Indiana many years ago. Said she had to have the pharmacist order it.

  9. mommadawl says:

    I have a bottle of oil-o-sol that is over 20 years old. The only thing I use it for is bruises. It takes them away in just a day or two of use. It’s amazing. My daught who is 27 tried to find it when she started her home and could not. My bottle also has Healthcare Industries of Elkhart, Indiana.

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