What Is Bag Balm Made Of?

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What Is Bag Balm Made Of?
Bag Balm isn't just for cow udders anymore. (euter kuh image by Marco Di Prato from Fotolia.com)

Bag Balm was originally invented for farmers to use to soothe cows' irritated udders, but people now use it to alleviate their own chapped skin and for a host of other purposes. The Dairy Association Co. makes Bag Balm from a blend of petrolatum, lanolin and 8-hydroxyquinoline sulphate.

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Petrolatum is a hydrocarbon made from distilled petroleum and used in lubrication and medicinal ointments. In its semisolid form it is familiar to many people as petroleum jelly, and in its refined liquid form many people know it as mineral oil. In Bag Balm, it smooths skin and holds in moisture.


Lanolin is a yellow, greasy substance composed primarily of cholesterol and fatty acid esters. It is derived from the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool and purified, lending to its other names of wool wax, wool grease and wool fat. Bag Balm and other topical creams and ointments use lanolin as a base because it moisturises the skin.

8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate

Bag Balm contains 0.3 per cent 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate, which has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It as an antiseptic and disinfectant in Bag Balm. It is also a common ingredient in antiperspirants, deodorants and pesticides.

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