How To Make Oxygen Absorbers For Food Storage | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • The materials needed to make oxygen absorbers for food storage at home include grade 0000 super fine steel wool pads, table salt, paper towels, and a stapler.
  • The steel wool pieces are mixed with salt because this begins the corrosion process and causes the steel to begin to rust slowly. Rust is the most crucial factor for oxygen absorbers to work.
  • There are no true alternatives to oxygen absorbers other than trying completely different long-term food storage methods.

Many people assume oxygen absorbers are a complex product, but they are simple to make and can be created at home in just a few minutes for food storage.

To make oxygen absorbers for food storage, get materials like grade 0000 super fine steel wool, table salt, paper towels, and a stapler. Next, break up the steel wool into small pieces in a bowl and mix them with the salt. After that, put them inside the filters and staple the filter shut.

We have provided the exact outline for making oxygen absorbers based on successful results in the past. These oxygen absorbers are the cheapest to make and provide equal results to any pre-made oxygen absorber money can buy.

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How To Make Oxygen Absorbers For Food Storage

Oxygen absorbers are a key tool for long-term food storage. They allow the food to remain safe and fresh for a longer period while allowing you to maximize your food storage space in your home too.

There are multiple ways to make oxygen absorbers for food storage, but you will need a few key ingredients like salt, steel wool, and something to wrap it in, like a paper towel. You want to make sure the material you choose is air permeable.

Oxygen absorbers work by pulling out the oxygen from the air around them. Using the correct type of absorber for the right type of food is vital. This article will cover making oxygen absorbers and why they should be used.

To make oxygen absorbers at home, follow these steps.

1. Gather All Materials

First, all materials need to be gathered together to get started. We provide a full list of everything below, but the primary materials include super fine steel wool, table salt, paper towels or coffee filters, and a stapler.

Other household items like a bowl will be needed at some point too.

2. Break Up The Steel Wool Into Small Pieces

Next, break up the steel wool pads into small pieces. They should be tiny pieces so they can all be gathered together in a bowl for the next step.

We also recommend using scissors instead to get the tiny pieces faster because the steel wool can be hard for some people to rip on their own.

3. Mix The Steel Wool Pieces With Salt

Once the steel wool pieces are ready, load them all into a big enough bowl, so nothing is spilling over the sides. They will be mixed and tossed in salt to cover each piece with salt particles.

This creates a chemical reaction and causes the steel to begin corroding. Rust is the key to creating an oxygen absorber.

4. Place The Steel Wool In The Filters

Now we can place the salt-covered steel wool pieces into our filters. The filter can be a pre-made coffee filter, or paper towels can be used to make a makeshift filter.

Both work well, and while we prefer the safety of the paper towel, coffee filters are much easier, and they hold up better long-term.

5. Close The Filters

Next, use the stapler to close the filters tightly. Use as many staples as needed to ensure there are no openings or leaks because direct exposure to rusted steel during storage will cause the food to spoil.

6. Start Using The Oxygen Absorbers

Once these steps are completed, the oxygen absorbers are ready to use in Mylar bags or storage containers.

What You Need To Make Oxygen Absorbers For Food Storage

Following the above steps will show exactly how to make oxygen absorbers for food storage. But there are some specific materials required to make them effective.

These materials include superfine steel wool, table salt, paper towels, and a stapler or some alternative method to close the absorber filter.

Superfine Steel Wool

Super fine steel wool is the primary ingredient needed to create oxygen absorbers successfully. It should be grade 0000, and at least two or three pads will be plenty to make enough oxygen absorbers.

Table Salt

Next, table salt is required because it’s used to mix with steel wool. This is done because the mixture creates rusting on the steel, which is the primary driver for oxidation to occur to remove oxygen from a container.

Paper Towels

Paper towels can be used as a cheap oxygen absorber container. Other materials like a coffee filter or napkin will work just as well, so the choice can be made based on whatever is already in the house.


Lastly, something is needed to close the container to avoid a leak when using the oxygen absorber. It must be zipped or closed tightly, and the easiest way to do this is by using a stapler to close the wool inside the paper towel or filter.

Why You Should Make Oxygen Absorbers For Food Storage

Oxygen absorbers are used to remove the oxygen from a sealed container of food. This prevents the food from spoiling and going bad.

It is important to note that these absorbers are not meant to last forever and should never be used on anything but food. Consider these benefits for why oxygen absorbers should be used for food storage.

Cheaper Alternative

Making oxygen absorbers at home rather than buying pre-made pouches is cheaper because the materials are low-cost. Knowing how to make them is recommended in all homes with long-term food storage.

They can also be made in only a few minutes, so if anything goes wrong with existing food bags or containers, they can be made right away to avoid wasting more food.

Overall, making these at home will save households more money than buying them. It also gives the person who makes them complete knowledge of what’s inside.

Non-Toxic & Safe

As seen by listing out the ingredients, preppers can feel safe using this recipe to make oxygen absorbers because it’s completely non-toxic and safe.

When buying oxygen absorbers from other brands, there’s a small risk that other ingredients which are bad for us can be included. Making them at home gives the prepper full control over their health and risk exposure.

For example, using a paper towel as the packaging is the safest material. But when buying oxygen absorbers, they may use polyethylene which is slightly more harmful but still non-toxic to humans.

Essential For Long-Term Food Freshness

Oxygen absorbers work by removing oxygen from the container to prevent it from spoiling your food which means that you can store your food for a more extended period without it going bad.

They are essential for every household with long-term food storage. They will keep food items fresh for longer, especially when appropriately sealed in containers or Mylar bags.

As long as the moisture content of the food is low enough, oxygen absorbers are highly effective for long-term food storage.

What Can You Use As An Alternative To Oxygen Absorbers?

Oxygen absorbers are an inexpensive and effective way to keep food stored for long periods. They work by absorbing all of the oxygen inside a food container as the rust inside the absorber oxidizes.

The best way to use oxygen absorbers is by placing them in a small bag with the food to store, then sealing it shut. But are there other alternatives that provide similar benefits to oxygen absorbers?

Unfortunately, no true substitute provides the exact result of an oxygen absorber. It’s a one-of-a-kind solution. Making them at home makes it easier to keep the budget low and make them when needed.