Saturday, December 11, 2010

The great glycerin hunt and its aftermath


I’ve got four age-hardened rubber stamps soaking in glycerin, so we’ll know soon enough how well the stuff restores rubber.

As you can see, I put a paper towel into the bottom of a plastic food container, soaked it with glycerin and plunked the stamps down on the towel.

The tricky part was finding glycerin. I used to buy it back in the ‘70s to formulate massage oil and it was easy to find at any drugstore.

So imagine my surprise when I found Walgreens doesn’t carry it. I spent several minutes looking in all of the likely and unlikely locations before I cornered a young employee and asked her where they keep the glycerin.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Deer-in-the-headlights blink. Blink.

“What is it?”

“It comes in a small bottle and, among other things, can be used as a lubricant.”

Girl calls the manager. Manager says they don’t have it, but they do have glycerin soap.

They have no clue what I’m talking about.

So I phoned my friend Charlie, who manages a Super D pharmacy in Paragould to ask if they stock glycerin.

“I do, but I don’t know if the stores in Jonesboro do,” he said. “I’ll check and call you back.”

Moments later, he calls back with an affirmative answer and, sure enough, they have four bottles on the shelf at the Super D at Nettleton and Stadium. So I bought two of them.

Charlie always comes through.

Besides restoring rubber stamps, glycerin is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations, personal care products and food products.

1 comment:

Rees said...

Believe it or not, I use this stuff in my photography, to make water droplets stable for taking good pictures of them--keeps them round, "plump" and stable. I had to order mine off of the internet, as no pharmacy near me had any idea what the heck I was asking for either. I got the exact same bottle you did. Go figure.