Can you mix it with something with more oxygen? What if I put the container outside in the summer and it evaporates, how do I know it won’t melt? What if I pour it in a bathtub, how can I tell if it’s melting? Can I heat oil in a bathtub before pouring it?”
The answers are different depending on the type of liquid that you’re talking about. So while the oil used in some of the examples above can be heated, the amount of heat required to affect the product isn’t very high.
For oil, if you’d like to know what temperature you can reach, you might need to test it first. Heat an empty container of petroleum jelly in an oven for five seconds. If it reaches 160°F in five seconds, which the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends for petroleum jelly, then you can heat any oil in a container.
To test if some liquid in the container has reached a certain temperature, you need to heat the liquid with a heat resistant thermometer, such as this one from GE. I’ve used two GE thermometers, one from the microwave and one from the oven, both with thermometers built in. The GE version comes with a built-in probe and a clip, so you don’t have to get it all the way in the cup.
If oil is already heated at the temperature you’re interested in, it is probably safe for you to heat the fluid. If, however, you have to do some testing first, a simple way to do something useful is to put the jar or tub outside. If the container’s temperature rises enough to affect it, you have seen that your testing method is ineffective.
The best temperature to use for determining whether a liquid is molten oil or not is between 165-170˚F.
What about water?
Yes, water does have a melting point. It does, however, have a viscosity of about one hundred times thinner than petroleum jelly. That means that it is about one hundred times thicker than petroleum jelly. The way I see it, water has the same melting point as petroleum jelly, and you can’t mix it with other liquids and not see that that’s the case. The boiling point, however, of water is also about one hundred times less than the boiling point of petroleum jelly, making a mixture of water and petroleum jelly a better choice than a mixture of water and petroleum jelly.
Where should it sit?
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