The importance of Potassium Permanganate in an SHTF situation is quite obvious as it can be used for multiple purposes in many essential survival tasks. Potassium permanganate (KMnO4 ) is one of the most useful chemical compounds that you can have in an emergency situation. It is an oxidizing agent that does not produce toxic by-products. Let’s take a look on purposes preppers can use it.
Potassium permanganate is used to clean wounds and treat various skin infections. When diluted, the chemical compound can be used to treat ulcers, fungal infections, and dermatitis. It can also be used a disinfectant, you can also wash your hands with it to get rid of any germs. The color of water depends on the quantity of dissolved potassium permanganate. Below are the simple color codes:
- A light pink = suitable for disinfecting water from iron and hydrogen sulfide.
- Medium pink = light disinfectant suitable for treating small wounds.
- Dark pink = can be used for treating fungal infections.
It can be also used to treat poisoning. If by mistake you eat a poisonous plant or fruit, you can use potassium permanganate solution to wash your stomach. However, this kind of things should be done only when you are sure about how to perform the task, and how much you can use the chemical without any danger of causing bodily harm.
Potassium permanganate is capable of killing bacteria found in water in less than one hour. Due to its ability to destroy and inhibit bacterial growth in water, the compound is used in various applications and industries. Generally, potassium permanganate is used to treat pool water, waste water, and well water.
In a survival situation where you are forced to source your water in the wild, this compound can be invaluable. But caution needs to be taken because high concentrations of the compound can become harmful.
Depending on the quantity of water, it is recommended to use about 2.5 milligrams of PP per liter of water. Once you dilute the compound in water, the solution will turn pink in color. Do not drink the water immediately, wait for about two hours, before drinking. Please remember, potassium permanganate can kill bacteria, but not viruses. It will pretty much do a good job purifying water and treating wounds, but it will not treat viral infections or destroy viruses.
Ever realized just how difficult it is start a fire, especially in the wild? If you have watched the TV show Survivor, or any survival movie, many times you see the survivors struggling to start a fire. Even if they know the traditional techniques of lighting fire, it is not an easy process. It can be time and energy consuming for a person who has never done it before.
Potassium permanganate can make things a whole lot easier because it is a very effective fire starter. All you need is about 10grams of potassium permanganate and a quarter teaspoon of glycerin and you are good to go. Both compounds when combined cause a reaction. They produce smoke and form a purple flame. If you have some sugar, you can also use it in place of glycerin. However, keep in mind that whatever material you are using to light the fire, it has to be dry.
Watch video below how to start fire using potassium permanganate
Potassium permanganate can be used as a mouthwash because of its ability to kill bad bacteria. But, you need to dilute with water before using it because high concentrations of the compound can be very toxic.
Potassium permanganate has antiseptic properties and is therefore, a great product for preventing or treating periodontal disease.
When potassium permanganate dissolves in water, the solution will have a purple or pink hue, which you can use to draw or color a white surface. This trick works very well on snow, as you can spread some around if you need to keep track of your location or if you are lost.
Potassium permanganate has a number of other uses also, but these were the most useful for preppers.
Dangers of potassium permanganate
Like any other chemical compound, you need to be careful when using potassium permanganate. Here are few facts about potassium permanganate.
- PP is an oxidizing agent and should be stored in a cool, dark place and in an unbreakable-container. If the chemical accidentally spills and reacts with another compound it can cause a fire.
- PP is caustic and in concentrated solutions, it can cause severe burns on the skin. To avoid caustic burns on your skin, dilute the compound before using it. If you experience any burns or irritation, flush the affected area with water for about 15 minutes. Avoid applying PP solution repeatedly as this can cause burns, irritations, and ulcerations. You should also avoid using PP solutions over a long period of time because your skin will turn dry and chapped.
- PP should not be ingested or inhaled especially in high concentrations because it can cause burning. It can also cause a swollen throat, which can lead to suffocation. Other complications associated with taking highly concentrated PP solutions include kidney damage and cardiovascular complications.
- Keep in mind that even in low concentrations, PP solutions do cause some side effects including nausea, abdominal pain, and throat burning.
- Direct contact with undiluted PP can cause irritation. So if by mistake you touch your eyes with hands contaminated with PP, flush them with water for 15 minutes or more.
- If the chemical is on your clothing or shoes, remove and wash them thoroughly, before wearing them again to avoid skin irritation or burns.
- Do not expose potassium permanganate to a flame, organics or metal. The results can be catastrophic.
Where to buy?
You might think that this kind of chemical is hard to find. Luckily, that is not the case! You can buy it from many local hardware stores and specialty stores such as pool supply stores. You can even buy it online for example from Amazon. Below are some good choices.