Other Uses For A Toilet Wax Ring

toilet wax ring

Guest article by Bogan:

One of the themes in Modern Survival Blog is “improvise, adapt, overcome”, borrowed from the US Marines but so fitting for many of us as we try to approach a self-sufficient lifestyle.

This thinking can be in big doses or small. For example,  the variety of uses for vinegar, salt, soap, aluminum foil, Mylar blanket, Ziploc bags, WD-40, duct tape and (more recently) sea foam, and other dual-use preps.

Well lets consider the lowly toilet wax ring.

What is a toilet wax ring? These are the donut looking gaskets designed to attach your toilet to the outlet in your bathroom floor. It prevents leaking at the fitting. However its uses can also be scaled to other purposes.

Wax rings are made from petroleum and other ingredients that each manufacture holds as proprietary. But it feels like one of the ingredients is probably beeswax, or something closely resembling it. In recent times the composition has increasingly been something artificial rather than natural.

Anyway, the blend of ingredients is heated, mixed and poured into molds. When cooled they are released as wax rings. Wax ring molds are made in different thicknesses: they come in standard 3- or 4-inch sizes. Ubiquitous, they are sold everywhere plumbing supplies can be found for a few bucks.

Just how many uses can a toilet wax ring be put to when pinch comes to shove?

Here are a few:

Wax Ring as a Lubricant

For screws: dip screw threads into the wax before driving them into wood. Quiet and slick! This works with a bar of soap too, but is a lot easier with the wax ring compound. For ease and accessibility, melt some into a compact covered container like an old piece of Tupperware with lid, tin can or a can that might once have held cocktail peanuts. Great for a re-decking or re-roofing project.

Free rusted nuts: Coat the threads with some melted wax and start torquing!

Drawer, window and screen door slides: A thin coat of wax on wood or aluminum rail surfaces helps drawers and screen doors slide smoothly. Likewise to un-stick windows: use the wax to lubricate the slides.

Wax Ring as a Preservative

Wax wood: For wood that would benefit from being sealed but is not in a heavy traffic area, such as exposed beams and joists. Melt wax and apply when warm with a brush or rag.

One commentator recommends combining and heating equal parts wax, linseed oil, and turpentine, with a warning to not mix over open flame as the turpentine will ignite.

Preserve metal: Melt wax and brush on. If a durable and shiny finish is needed, buff it out.

Coat hand tools: Before storing rub all metal parts and wooden handles with wax, this will prevent rust and degrading of handles.

Miscellaneous uses for a Wax Ring

In your orchard: as a substitute for grafting wax for apple and other trees, and for saving girdled trees!

Fence posts: pour melted wax over the top of exposed fence posts to reduce water seepage.

How about Bullet casting? Probably not recommended, unless the ring has a high percentage of beeswax. This one has already been tried more than once….

Here’s another one: The toilet wax ring can be warmed up and worked into leather boots, gloves and hats to waterproof them.

Undoubtedly there are many other uses. The bottom line? Might be worth having an extra wax ring or two around, even if just for the intended purpose of keeping nasty leaks off your bathroom floor!