How to Make an Emergency Light

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

When you live in a small space, you don’t have a lot of room to store a lot of supplies.  But you can learn an unlimited amount of survival skills and tips you can use if an emergency were to come up.

If you find yourself in a power outage at home or at a friend’s house and you don’t have any candles or flashlights, here’s a quick way to make an emergency light* with things you can find in most homes.

Emergency Light

You will need:

Table salt

Vegetable oil

shot glass or votive candle holder (baby food jar would work too)

wooden toothpick

cotton ball (100% cotton)

petroleum jelly



  1. Fill the container with 2/3 salt.
  2. Add around two to three tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Stir until salt and oil are well mixed.
  3. Spread out the cotton ball and wrap it around the entire toothpick until the whole toothpick is covered.
  4. Smear some petroleum jelly on 1/2 of the cotton wrapped toothpick.
  5. Place the toothpick in the center of the salt-oil mixture, with the petroleum jelly end on top.
  6. Light the cotton wrapped toothpick.

That’s it!  Your salt and oil light is ready to use.  It should last for about two hours.

Here is a You Tube video of how I made the emergency light.

*Adapted from Olive Oil Lamps by Ron Brown


© Apartment Prepper 2017

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