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How to Make Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

With so much trouble in the news, it is no wonder that so many people are buying food for long-term storage, learning about food preservation, or even bagging up their own emergency food. These are all things that you can learn how to do yourself, like learning how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage.

Have you ever wondered what is so special about long-term emergency food storage? Why is it different than dry food on supermarket shelves?

How to make oxygen absorbers for food storage

Emergency food storage has many layers of protection built into it and these layers assure that the food inside remains safe from things that would spoil it. Oxygen absorber packets are one of these things.

The rest of the parts and pieces seem rather mundane. 5-gallon buckets and Mylar bags make up the rest of what you need for that long-term food storage. If you knew how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage, there would be nothing stopping you from putting up all the food you need for years and years!

Why Do I Want to Know How to Make Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

There are a number of ways that your food storage investment could be at risk. Things like moisture and fluctuations in temperature can all have a detrimental effect on your food storage.

Another way things can go wrong in your long-term food storage is if pests start to hatch inside of the food. This is tough to avoid because foods with a long shelf life are often packed with a certain amount of pest eggs. It sounds horrible but it is true and really not that big of a deal in the short term.

However, if you store rice in its original packaging for around 3 months you could see these small black bugs starting to hatch inside the sealed bag.

Rice bugs in rice that's been left too long without proper storage

If you know how to make oxygen absorbers then you will be able to prevent these eggs from hatching as they need oxygen to develop.

Oxidation is another thing that can degrade your food over time. Of course, you can solve many of these problems if you just learn how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage. Once they are placed down in your food they will keep your food safe.

How do Oxygen Absorbers Work?

If you want to know how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage then you have to first understand how they work. There is actually a chemical reaction taking place in oxygen absorbers and it is this chemical reaction that uses up all of the oxygen in the surrounding area.

Commercial oxygen absorber for food storage

That chemical reaction might sound like something complex but it is really just the process of corrosion. This reaction requires oxygen and in a confined space the chemical reaction happening in your oxygen absorbers sucks up all the oxygen and uses it.

This is how you pull the oxygen away from your food and the pests and oxidation of your food. It seems almost too easy to be true but the average oxygen absorber is simply iron powder in a packet that is primed to rust and allows for that oxygen-consuming chemical reaction.

What do I Need to Make Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

The best thing about knowing how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage is that you need very few items to do it. Even better is the fact that every single item is cheap! So, why not give it a shot and try and make your own oxygen absorbers at home.

The main ingredient in oxygen absorbers is steel wool. That might sound crazy but that is exactly what you are after. Now, you are looking for the ‘0000’ superfine steel wool. SOS pads are not superfine steel wool so do not use these.

The next ingredient you need if you want to learn how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage is salt. Nothing special in the salt but just simple table salt.

A coffee filter as the outside of the oxygen absorber packet.

Item number three is another easy one. something as simple as a paper towel can be used to house your oxygen absorber. You could also use a coffee filter in place of the paper towel.

Finally, you have to seal these new oxygen absorbers and the best tool for that job is a stapler.

How to Make Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

The process of how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage begins with looking over your steel wool and breaking it up into pieces that are small enough to fit in a folded-up paper towel or a coffee filter. You do not want, or need, these busting at the seams.

The rusting steel wool has to be contained completely or else you will get rust into your food storage and that is a failure. Rust contamination can cause things like tetanus and if you are eating through your long term food storage there is a good chance that dealing with injury and illness will be a struggle, too!

Maybe tetanus becomes something of a death sentence. We just don’t know. Better to seal the homemade oxygen absorbers up well, not overfill them and carry on with safe food for bad times.

Once you have broken your steel wool up into small enough pieces then you can gather them together in a bowl and toss them in plenty of salt. This does not have to be fancy Maldon sea salt. Table salt will do just fine!

Salt to cause a reaction inside the oxygen absorber

By mixing the two together you will start the chemical reaction and corrosion process. From here you are going to start filling the coffee filters or napkins. Personally, I prefer the coffee filters as a better option. They are a bit more durable and fold up better.

Place the wool in the center and then fold your container in half. Now fold that half in half against you have what looks like a quarter of what you started with. At this point, you can staple up the openings to assure you do not have any wool or salt that might leak out.

At this point, you are finished and you have successfully learned how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage and you’ve succeeded in creating your own. It is quick and it is painless.

Testing Your Homemade Oxygen Absorbers

Before dropping your oxygen absorbers into the food you should test them. The best way to test a fresh-made oxygen absorber is to grab a mason jar with the lid and drop your homemade oxygen absorber inside. Place the lid on and tighten it.

Mason jar for testing your new oxygen absorber

If you really know how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage and the process is working then in a day or two that lid will get sealed as the oxygen absorber uses up all the oxygen inside the jar. This is a great test but be patient and make sure you place the oxygen absorber into a small jar to give it a fighting chance.

What Size Oxygen Absorber Should I Use?

In the world of DIY food storage, you determine the oxygen absorber that you need by size. The problem with homemade oxygen absorbers is that we do not know exactly the capability of that absorber. In other words, a 500cc oxygen absorber is enough for a 1-gallon mylar bag filled with food.

A 2000cc oxygen absorber is enough to handle 5 gallons of food storage. Your oxygen absorber is going to remove some oxygen but it will not have an exact measurement.

5 gallon bucket for food storage

When it comes to how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage yourself, I would recommend using one inside of a 1-gallon mylar bag and 2 inside of a 5-gallon mylar bag. You can increase the efficacy of your homemade oxygen absorbers by simply packing the food and squeezing as much air out of each bag as possible before sealing it.

Now that you know how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage, you should give them the best chance possible to be successful. If you get good at this then you will be able to seal up long-term food storage without buying anything in the future. A simple stockpile of mylar bags, buckets, steel wool, salt, and coffee filters will give you everything you need to store food for the long term.

Wrapping Up How to Make Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

Food storage and the concept of having extra food on hand are as old as humanity itself. It has always been the choice of putting up extra food or starving through the winter and early spring.

Knowing how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage gives you the ability to put up food for tough times. It allows you to do this at will! You see a good deal at the supermarket or you bring in a good harvest then you can process these foods accordingly and preserve them for leaner times.

These are not new skills they are simply old forgotten ways that we used to survive.