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How to Use Propylene Glycol to Prevent Wood Dry Rot

Propylene glycol is an odorless, colorless compound often found in stores as an environmentally friendly alternative to antifreeze. The liquid is used for a variety of applications and can be found in some foods, cosmetics, hydraulic fluids and fragrances. By mixing propylene glycol with a few other easy-to-find ingredients, the product can be applied to wood and used as an effective preservative against weather, bugs or fungi. This homemade mixture can be just as efficient as wood preservatives sold in stores.

A propylene glycol-based mixture can help preserve wood.

Step 1

Bring 1 gallon of propylene glycol to a boil, and then add 4 pounds of laundry soap and 3 1/2 pounds of boric acid. Stir the liquid constantly until it thickens and homogenizes.

Step 2

Reduce heat on the stove after the compound thickens, but continue to stir for a few minutes longer. Remove the mixture from the stove and allow it to cool to a lukewarm temperature.

Step 3

Carefully pour the lukewarm mixture into a plastic 1-gallon container. Wear latex gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals. Cap the container with an airtight lid, and use the concentrated compound within a few weeks for the highest level of effectiveness.

Step 4

Dilute the mixture with water (remember, it is a concentrate) before applying to wood. Paint the diluted liquid onto the wood surface using a paintbrush. Allow the wood surface to dry completely before use.

About the Author

Kristen Erickson has been writing professionally since 2008 for the Ohio Department of Transportation's Public Information Office. She also is a freelance journalist for cuyahogafalls.patch.com. Erickson won third place in Mercyhurst College's annual fiction writing contest in 2008 and was published in the college's literary magazine, "Lumen." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Mercyhurst College.