20 Reasons Why I Store Bag Balm® And You Should Too

20 Reasons Why I Store Bag Balm® And You Should Too!

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20 Reasons Why I Store Bag Balm® and why you should store it in your emergency preparedness supplies. The product was first introduced in 1899 in Vermont. The formula was purchased by John L. Norris.

I have used it for years. I bet I have 10 containers of it. Yes, I am a little OCD when I purchase products I LOVE. My daughters always tease me…”Mom, why do you always buy ten”?

Here’s the deal with me, I always worry I will run out. LOL! I just want to be prepared for the unexpected. If I see a fantastic deal on something I will pick up extra to save money in the long run.

The Bag Balm® product was originally used in the cold Vermont winters to protect the cow’s udders from getting chapped. It seems the farmers that applied this to their cows soon realized their hands became remarkably soft after using this lanolin-based ointment.

This is when the product soon became popular for human use. Over the years this wonder antibiotic ointment has become useful for so many things.

20 Reasons Why I Store Bag Balm®

Great For My Puppy-Bailey

I use it on my Shih Tzu, Bailey when his little paws get sore from abrasions. I do it right before bedtime, then he is less likely to lick it off.

Here are the ingredients in these little cans: 8 Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate (0.3% in a Petrolatum, Lanolin Base) listed on the can.

Bag Balm® has been around for a long time and continues to help so many people and animals in many ways. The Bag Balm® salve is a thick yellow product and stays put where you rub it on. It has a light medicinal fragrance but is not too strong.

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This is where I buy Bag Balm®: My favorite size container of Large Cans. I also like the small containers of Bag Balm: Small Cans.

Here are 20 Reasons Why I Store Bag Balm®:

1. It heals my cracked heels in the summer

2. Great for my dog’s paws when scraped or raw

3. Protects trees when accidentally sliced or cut-cover with Bag Balm

4. Used after radiation treatments to soothe skin

5. Great for rough Volleyball player’s hands and feet who play on the sand or on courts

6. Works wonders for saddle sores

7. Great for bike riders to keep their clothes from rubbing their skin raw

8. Awesome for sore cuticles

8. Diaper rash

9. Heals chapped lips

10. Psoriasis – soothes the sores

11. Use on acne to help fade acne scars

12. Super for Eczema and very dry skin

13. It inhibits bacteria growth because of its antiseptic ingredient

14. It soothes sunburned skin

15. Bag Balm® helps with windburned skin as well

16. I love it for chapped skin, especially elbows

17. Cuts-cover with Bag Balm® and a sterile cloth because it will heal faster

18. Deep cuts around your fingernails thoroughly clean the deep cuts and apply Bag Balm® at night

19. Quilters and sewers keep a can close by to heal their hands

20. Helps heal cold sores

Is Bag Balm® a Drawing Salve?

It’s designed to soften and moisturize your skin. It will not draw out a sliver.

Is Bag Balm® an Antibiotic?

No, it is not an antibiotic. It will, however, provide relief to sore heels, hands, and any rough area on your body that needs some moisture.

Will it help my sore hands that crack?

Many nights I have washed my hands, then rubbed this soothing product on my split knuckles, and cuticles. I sleep with them covered in white gloves from the pharmacy to protect them during the night.

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It’s almost magical when I wake up, my hands are smooth and they are healing.

Can I Put it in my Hair?

Please do not put it in your hair. You will never get it out. Just giving you the heads up from experience.

Does it help Eczema and Psoriasis?

Yes, it does. Because of the trace coal in this product, it will work wonders on your skin, I would give it a try.

What can humans use it for?

It’s great for cracked heels, sore feet, dry hands, extremely dry skin, sore lips, elbows, and knee caps. You will be amazed at how quickly your skin will heal from using Bag Balm® on a daily basis.

Is it good for your face?

It will be a great moisturizer for the dry skin on your face. It will help with wrinkles around your eyes and lips.

Has The Bag Balm® Formula Changed?

If you are wondering if your can is too old, please look at the ingredients. They stopped putting mercury in the cans years and years ago. The newer cans have this product, 8-hydroxy quinolone.

Please discard the cans that have mercury in them. The newer formula is safer and better for our skin.

What’s the difference between Bag Balm® and Vaseline®?

You need to know that Vaseline® is 100% petrolatum without water. It has no medical effect on healing our skin or wound.

Bag Balm® contains 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and works great for antiseptic purposes inside a petroleum jelly and a lanolin base, which works best for soothing and aiding in the healing process of chapped and very dry skin. Remember, it no longer contains mercury.

What Can I Use It For:

  • Dry hands
  • Cracked Heels
  • Dry elbows
  • Windburn
  • Use after tattoos
  • Paw care
  • Chaffing
  • Saddle sores
  • Family care
  • Babycare
  • Cuts and scrapes

Final Word

I love to store products that can be used for several things in everyday life, as well as an unforeseen emergency. Bag Balm® is perfect for my stash.

If you have any ideas I can add to this list please comment and I will add them to the list. Here’s to being prepared for the unexpected! May God bless this world, Linda

Please check out my first aid kit, you may find something you need to add to yours: First Aid Kit by Linda

You might want to make a good first kit for your car: First Aid Car Kit

Epsom Salts by Linda

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  1. I had no idea it could be used for all that! I got it to use on my ankles that crack worse then other areas of skin for some reason, and learned it works awesome for dry skin!!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I use it on those really deep cuts on my heels. I use this razor blade tool for pedicures and get the hard thick skin removed very carefully. I soak my feet in warm water first and the skin is a lot easier to “trim down” I guess you could say. I then add that Bag Balm, it is so soothing! Good luck with your ankles…dry skin is not fun! Hugs! Linda

  2. I grew up with this in the house! Along with some that you have mentioned, we have used it on our dogs’ ear mites. Both dogs had ear mites and I knew that going to the vet would be costly. I started to investigate online for a home remedy. I came across someone’s recommendation of using Bag Balm. I thought what the heck it’s antiseptic, let’s give it a try. You will need plenty of Q-tips! Dip one end of a Q-tip into the bag balm, make sure you have the tip coated well. Carefully swab the interior of the ear. Do not go into the canal area, treat it like it was your own ear! You will need to do this once a day for about 2-3 weeks, depending on how bad the dog has it.

    1. Hi Marsha, I am so glad to hear this because I have a dog as well. This is amazing! Great tip! Thank you so much! Hugs! Linda

    1. It can be used for ear mites in RABBITS also. However, do not ever ‘pick’ the scabs out of the ear. Let nature take it’s course and they will fall out as it heals. I used to use mineral oil, but it is messy and has no antibiotic properties. This stuff heals as it killed the mites.
      You mentioned radiation treatments. Ugh I wish I had known this 2 yrs ago!!! I would have used it for after rads, for my bloody nose from the chemo and the extreme dry skin all over the body. Now that I know about it, I will use it for all of my scrapes and scratches that NEVER seem to heal. I may even get little cans of it to donate to my treatment center! I am always looking for little things to leave for the patients.❤️

  3. My mom and grandma used bag balm for lots of things but, I use coconut oil for all of these things listed. I find it works better and stores just as well.

    1. My parents swear by bag balm. They sent me home with a can and yes it stinks! I put some in a small container, added some coconut oil and added tangerine essential oil. Smells wonder now!

  4. We used this stuff at the hospital for Peds with runny stools. As you can imagine, by the time we saw them, the poor babies had been sick at least a few days. Protected and healed those raw, sore little bottoms. My second son was sensitive to diapers, even the unscented – I used this on him all the time. It worked wonders. I didn’t know some of the other things, but it would make sense.

  5. My husband lit some firecrackers one year on the fourth of July and they blew up in his hand…it wasn’t bad, but a few burns….we got home, I cleaned it and covered it with bag balm and wrapped it…the next day it was all healed, wasn’t even barely red…so it works for minor burns also! Great stuff!!

  6. Hi, after working in dry cleaning plants for years we have used bag balm for steam burns as well as burns from the hot presses. Works wonderfully. Great tips here thank you, I have three chihuahuas who are always getting into things. So the pet tips will help a lot.

  7. Just ran across this article and as a fellow bag balm lover I thought I’d share my number 1 use for it: to treat active and inflamed pimples and ingrown hairs. I’ve never had major acne problems but every once in a while I will get one of those really painful, invisible, red ones that won’t come to a head or on the bikini line I can get a really painful swollen ingrown hair. Slap a pea size dollop of bag balm on at night, cover with a bandaid and by morning it’s either gone or has come to a head so it can be removed. This is definitely a my mother’s mother mother used this trick and passed it down for generations!

    1. Hi Courtney, this is a great tip! I have a friend that has ingrown hairs on his knees because he’s a tile layer. I’m passing this one onto him, Thanks so much! Linda

    2. I cane across bag balm when my elderly dog was having accidents and would get urine burn. Diaper rash cream isn’t good if they kick it off and someone recommended it in a dog forum. I used it on his rash and the next day it was gone. I’ve been using bag balm for my own skin now too. Helps heal chapped lips, which I get chronically and wrinkles under my eyes. Recently I’ve just had stitches removed after a lip laceration and I’m hoping this helps with healing and to eliminate the scar!

  8. I have used this for years on fresh tattoos. Dab it on the fresh ink. Helps keep the itching away and keeps it moist. I have also used this on my residual stump after I lost part of my leg for moisturizer and healing some abrasions. And of course a lot of the previous mentioned ideas. There are some new ones, like the acne. Never thought of that. Thanks for the good read and ideas.

  9. Hello. has anyone tried in as a facial “cream”? If it heals chapped hands and heels, what about wrinkles?

      1. Carmen Dell’Orefice, a lovely model in her 80’s swears by this as a face cream! She is still beautiful, I may give it a try! Rhonda

  10. I’ve grown up using this my entire life. Mom always called it “cow salve.” Got a cut? Cow salve and a band aid. Splinter in your hand? Cow salve and a band aid. Chop a finger off? Cow salve and a band aid. LOL (Just kidding on that last one) It truly is a miracle salve though. Waaaaay back a long time ago, we used a brand that was made with peanut oil. Can’t find that any more. But, this stuff is almost as good. I won’t be caught without it! Thanks for sharing your list of uses!!

    1. Cow salve is what I knew it as also, my grandmother used it for many things. She used it on us kids when we got bad sunburned. While back then I remember the product being significantly thicker in texture. So, it didn’t feel good when initially when she put it on due to how she had to put significant pressure on us with the burn skin to spread it on. Today, it is not as thick and can spread it on the skin much easier. I use it now on my grandchildren for the same purpose. It works wonders, put it on at night and by morning the heat was gone and many time no visible sunburn in the morning.

  11. I use it after I have been doing masonry work. I pulls the lime and cement right out of my skin. It’s also the only thing I use in the winter when my hands start to crack for the cold.
    I don’t have 10 cans but my wife keeps asking where do these keep coming from. lol Thanks Linda

  12. I love this stuff. Helps burns or scabs once they are dry. Use bag balm twice a day to prevent scars. Also works on rope burns on horses. Promotes healing.no scarring. I need to buy 10 cans! I’m 65 and been using it for 35 years!

    1. Hi, Kathy, I love hearing this comment. I just gave a jar to a friend for her dog who had been groomed a little to close. It’s good stuff. Great comment, Linda

  13. Hi Linda, oh my goodness, I had totally forgotten about bag balm. Used it many years ago, but am now going to get it again after reading this. My daughter has extremely dry skin (she has Down Sydrome and this is a common thing) and is sensitive to some ingredients but I bet this will work fine. Thank you for this reminder. Not sure I’ll buy 10 cans though;) Take care.

    1. Hi Rita, I hope it helps your daughter!!! I tend to be the one that hands out little cans of Bag Balm to people to see if it helps them. It’s good stuff! Linda

  14. I am diabetic and have very dry skin. I am going to get some bag balm and try. Thanks for the tips.

  15. Linda – Thanks for this post. I have been using Bag Balm for years – since my early days. Dad used it on the cows and on his hands as well. I have a large tin to use at home and a tiny tin to carry in my purse.

    For those who don’t like the smell of Bag Balm, I would suggest a pure lanolin – I found it in the infant department at a local store. No smell, but it doesn’t have quite the healing properties.

    Always love your posts. They are so informative AND timely.


  16. It is great stuff, I’ve used it all my life off and on but haven’t thought to use it in some of the situations listed here. Thanks for the ideas. Don’t forget…… it also works well on udders in the winter! LOL

  17. My cat has eye allergies and her eyes are constantly running. Tears collect under her eyes mixed with hair and gunk, I roll a q tip of bag balm on the hair under her eyes and it cleans it right up, soothes it and helps the hair grow back. Lots better than pulling chunks of goo and hair off her face! She loves it, must help the itching.

      1. I’ve just recently started using it. I have very dry hard heals that sometimes crack and I have calluses of the outsides of my big toes. I’m hoping to get rid of those with the bag balm. Not sure if its calluses or corns. But any how, I’m using it for that. Havent really seen any results yet but maybe it’s too early to tell. I dont like the smell though! It smells like gas or some bad mechanic chemical. Dont know how that could be good for you! But I guess we will see how well it works.

        1. Hi Lisa, it sounds like you get the same thing I do on my feet. They hurt so bad, those cracks and rough spots. I have to soak my feet in Epsom Salts, then I use a pedicure razor deal ever so carefully. I have to remove the “thick” stuff or nothing works right away. Then I put my feet lathered in Bag Balm in plastic bags. I’m quite the sight, LOL! Then I sleep with the bags. You have to catch the cracks when they are small. I hope this helps, Linda

  18. Thank you Linda. I also use the scraping tool on my toes! But they come back unfortunately. And that’s why I’m hoping the bag balm helps! I’m not sure that there is a cure but I hopeing this would be it! Good luck with yours!

  19. I put a thin layer of Bag Balm on my pet’s paws when the temperature drops below zero. I used to put boots on my schnauzer, because sub zero temperatures can permanently damage a pet’s paws. She hated them and we’d lose them in deep snow.
    Bag Balm wipes off when she comes in.
    Soft hair wax works too.

  20. If you have kids, or animals, you have Bag Balm!!!!! I used it on all the cuts and abrations my dogs cats and horses came up with, I also used to put it on the top of my horses ears as a fly deterent! It also doesn’t change the color of the hair that grows in. Also good as a nail/ good condition er!

  21. The smell brings me back to Vermont in an instant. I love using it for skin. I just bought some tiny tins for gifts for the skiers and gardeners. As a kid there were a
    big green tins in the dairy barns. In a barn it is used for anything and everything.

  22. I have a friend who’s worked in nursing homes a lot. She swears by Bag Balm to prevent and heal bed sores.

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