What is Glycerine Used For?

by Anza Goodbar
(last updated May 2, 2016)

Glycerine is a very versatile compound that can be used in a wide variety of products. It should only be handled by qualified personnel and safety precautions should be adhered to in all cases. Glycerine is a byproduct of biofuels and is 95-99% pure when separated. Some possible uses include:

  • Compost Activator. Glycerine mixed with water can be added to a compost heap to increase heat and speed up the decomposition of the pile. Other additives like potassium phosphate and ammonia can also be added to raise the pH and increase the heat of the pile. The Glycerine cocktail should not be fed to manure worms as it will kill them.
  • Detergents / Hand Cleaners / Soaps. Glycerine can be a powerful degreaser and is a common additive in detergents and soaps. It only takes a small amount to cut through grease. It can work wonders on cleaning machine parts to remove oil and grit. Glycerine is also beneficial in dish soaps for cutting grease.
  • Lotions and Creams. Glycerine is an additive in lotions and creams to increase their ability to hold moisture close to the skin.
  • Sweetener. Glycerine is a sweet alcohol based product. It used as a food preservative and sweetener. It is an acceptable sweetener for Candida suffers.
  • Health Supplements. Glycerine can be added to health supplements to increase exercise performance in the heat. It is said to hydrate the body by increasing blood volume levels. If used over a long period of time, delayed dehydration can occur coupled with exhaustion.
  • Preservation. A 50/50 solution of glycerine and water can be used to preserve green leaves. This process does not work for preserving flowers.
  • Paint Brush Cleaner. Small amounts of glycerine can be used instead of turpentine to clean oil based paints out of paint brushes. Brushes should be rinsed with water to remove all milkiness from the Glycerine. The process can be repeated until there are no signs of paint in the brush.
  • Explosives. When added to sulfuric and nitric acids, Glycerine can be extremely powerful. It can expand up to 10,000 times and be extremely volatile. It is susceptible to explode when dropped, jarred or heated; it has even been known to explode at rest in a cool temperature.
  • Erectile Dysfunction. Nitroglycerine has also been used as a topical cream to treat erectile dysfunction. The cream has an immediate result that can last up to 45 minutes. It should not be used in conjunction with other oral medications like Viagra as the combination could cause death.
  • Heart Medications. Nitroglycerine was one of the first man-made drugs. Even today it is the most common method for treating angina, chest pain and heart disease. It works by relaxing blood vessels which reduces pressure on the heart. It is used in extremely low doses but can produced headaches, dizziness and low blood-pressure. It may have adverse reactions to other medications.

These are just a few uses for Glycerine. It is used in products we use every day. It has many characteristics that make cleaning easier, products taste better and skin feel softer.

Author Bio

Anza Goodbar

Anza is a single mother of four who makes her home in Colorado. She enjoys writing, hiking and is an avid football and hockey fan. She is the owner of a virtual business services company; writing is just one of the many services her company offers. ...


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