DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment and Carrier Oil

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 30, 2021
DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural  Ointment and Carrier Oil

This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Full Disclosure Here.

It has been a year since I first proposed that you ditch the petroleum jelly in favor of a more natural DIY salve.  At the time, I named the salve I came up with “Plain Ole’ Salve”.

During the ensuing year, I have turned to this easily made salve over and over again.  Not only is it a superb moisturizer, but because it is fragrance free, it has become the perfect base for all of my many essential oil concoctions.

DIY Simple Salve - Backdoor Survival

Making your own Simple Salve is a cinch and it only takes a few minutes using just three ingredients. Here, once again, is the recipe and directions.

How to Make BDS Simple Salve

Those of you familiar with  Miracle Healing Salve already know how to make Simple Salve.  Basically you take the same recipe and leave out the essential oils.  That’s it.

But there is more.  You can make a more budget-friendly, colorless and odorless version by using “pure” olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.  I actually prefer it.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, you can use a combination of oils, mix and match, such as Jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and more.  The options are limitless.

Backdoor Survival Simple Salve – The Recipe

1  Cup Coconut Oil
1  Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
5 to 5 1/2 Tbl. Organic Beeswax Pastilles

8 x 2 ounce jars (mason jars or ointment jars) ** OR **
4 x 4 ounce jars (mason jars or ointment jars)

1.  Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer.  While the water is heating, put the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax pastilles in a heatproof jar or measuring cup.

DIY Simple Salve - Backdoor Survival

2.  Set the jar filled with the coconut oil, olive oil, and wax into the water and leave it there until it melts, giving it a stir from time to time.  You want a slow, gentle melt so take your time.  It could take 15 or 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the water bath.

DIY Simple Salve - Backdoor Survival

3.  Pour the melted oils into each of the smaller jars and allow to cool.

4.  Set the jars aside for up to 24 hours.  Although the salve will start to firm up within minutes, it takes at least 12 hours to complete the firming process.  If you are in a hurry, you can refrigerate the salve and it will solidify in just a couple of hours.

DIY Simple Salve Cooling - Backdoor Survival

5.  Store in a cool location or even in the refrigerator.  The shelf life should be six months but in my home, it does not last that long.

Note:  For a budget friendly version, skip the coconut oil and use two cups of pure olive oil (I use the Kirkland brand).  If you do this, I suggest adding an extra teaspoon of beeswax pastilles.  The therapeutic qualities of coconut oil will be gone but this will still create an amazing salve.

How to use BDS Simple Salve

First and foremost, BDS Simple Salve makes it easy peasy simple to blend essential oils into a custom salve.  By scooping some salve into a small jar (I like these 1/2 ounce jars that run about 50 cents each), you can add a few drops of this and a few drops of that to come up with your own healing concoction.

In effect, you are using you homemade Simple Salve as a carrier oil.

There are a few ways to do this.  The first, and the easiest, is to scoop some Simple Salve into the palm of your hand, add a few drops of essential oil, the apply the oil topically.  The second method, as I have described above, is to scoop some into a jar, add your oils, and stir like crazy to mix them up.

DIY Simple Salve - Backdoor Survival

The third method, and the one I prefer, is to first melt the Simple Salve in your small container of choice.  After it has reached its melting point, add your essential oils, cap the jar and shake it up to blend.  After blending, take the cap off, and allow the enhanced salve to set up and cool before using.

Note: I use a microwave but you can also place your jar of salve in a hot water bath to melt. As long as you do not overheat the salve and take it just to melting point, you can add your oils right away without harming them.

That is really all there is to it.  After dropping a roller ball filled with precious oils and breaking it to bits, I have begun to use Simple Salve as a base carrier oil instead of fractionated coconut oil.  That is not to say that I don’t use FCO for some things, but Simple Salve has become my carrier oil of choice.

The Final Word

With this article, I am renaming Plain Ole’ Salve BDS Simple Salve” or just “Simple Salve”.  Simple Salve better describes the this very special blend of oils and also reflects the simplistic nature of this all-natural, all-purpose, salve.

Where do we go from here?  I am glad you asked.

Over the past eighteen months, I have created specialized essential oil salves that I use for blood pressure management, psoriasis, arthritis, charley horses, colds and flu, and common cuts, scrapes, burns and “owies”.  Each starts with a base of Simple Salve and while some of these recipes have already been shared, others will be showing up soon.

Why not be ready with a batch of Simple Salve set aside and ready to go?  It really is wonderful stuff!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Below you will find  everything you need to make your own Simple Salve.

Beeswax Organic Pastilles, Yellow, 100% Pure 16 Oz:  I ordered the white pastilles but have since learned that the natural yellow pastilles are better.  That said, the difference may not be discernable – just be sure that what you purchase is cosmetic grade.

Coconut Oil:  Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions is my preferred coconut oil.  I love it so much I purchased a 5 gallon tub.  Really, I did!  I find it very silky to work with and love the taste when used in cooking.  Note that no refrigeration is required and although it solid at room temperature, it melts at 76 degrees.  The Nutiva brand from  Costco works well too.

Kirkland Brand “Pure” Olive Oil:  This is the brand I use.  When I can, I purchase it at Costco but it is also available online.

White Plastic Jar with Dome Lid 2 Oz (12 Per Bag):  I chose to use these small ointment jars rather than Mason jars for my salve.  I also have similar jars in the 1 ounce size and 1/4 ounce size (my favorite for mixing up various salve and essential oil concoctions).

Ball Jar Crystal Jelly Jars: Used with the optional plastic lids, these are perfect for your DIY Simple Salve.

Mason Jar Storage Caps Set of 8: These are fantastic!  These plastic lids screw onto a mason jar and are perfect in the pantry or to cap you salves.  There is both a regular and a wide mouth version.  I can’t believe I have not mentioned these before!

Spark Naturals Health & Wellness Kit - Backdoor Survival

Spark Naturals Essential Oils:  One of my favorite SN products is the “Health and Wellness Kit” which includes all of my favorites plus everything you need to make my custom salves.   Be sure to use the discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to receive a 10% discount.

NOW Foods Essential Oils:  I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  For healing purposes, I feel they are superior.  On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price.  Here are a few to get you started:  NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil and Now Foods Lavender Oil.

Glass Droppers, Pack of 6: I bought a package of these and loved them.  When I went to re-order, I accidentally ordered plastic instead glass droppers.  Learn from my mistake.  The price is the same go get the glass ones.


Essential Oils Desk Reference 6th Edition:  I thought long and hard before purchasing this book myself, but once I did, I was so grateful I took the leap.  The information is cross referenced in many ways making it easy to find what you are looking for.  When searching for a particular remedy, you may see multiple oils listed and any will work but they are presented in order of typical efficacy.  The nice thing is that if you do not have #1 on hand, you can move down the list.  I have found the recommendations to be spot on.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


What are the best oils for your survival kit? Here are my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

Aff | Tactical Pen

[DEAL] Ultimate Concealed Weapon

Tactical Pen / Multi-Tool (Flashlight, knife, etc)

Stay Protected
Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

59 Responses to “DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment and Carrier Oil”

  1. Thanks for theinformation!!! I also used beeswax pastilles and they were a bit larger than what I had used before. I like your idea about putting it in the refrig to cool it and then check the consistency. Great Idea!!

    Also, if I put it into the fridge when it is hot and get it cool, won’t there be condensation in the jar? Will that water contaminate my salve? I know…I am so full of questions. And I appreciate your help!

    • I have not experienced any condensation at all.

      I think you also asked about storage in your previous comment. I keep my spare jars of salve at room temperature and have never had a problem with mold or nasties. They say adding some Vitamin E will serve as a preservative, but I don’t bother. I believe having clean jars and tools are as important or more so. I try to use mason jars mostly, because they can be sanitized in the dishwasher. Still, when mixing up small concoctions, I use 1/2 ounce or 1 ounce plastic jars.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Hi there! I just made this salve and have a question about storage. Do I have to store it in the refrigerator or can it just stay in the cupboard? Also, the top of it when cooled was firm but underneath was soft and smooshy. I ended up stirring the mixture in the jars and then it was all soft and smooshy….never did really get firm. What did I do wrong? I am a salve-making newbie and appreciate all advice! 🙂

    • My last batch was also smooshy as you describe. It still works fine but I do prefer it a bit firmer. My guess is that the beeswax pastilles I used were not packed as tightly as normal or they were larger so volume wise they were the same but not weight wise. If you prefer a firmer salve (and not everyone does), you can remelt it and add another teaspoon or two of the beeswax.

      I am going to weigh the beeswax in my next batch so I can fine tune the process a bit.

      BTW, something you can do is take a small amount from the batch while it is still hot and put it in the refer for 15 mins. Take it out and check the consistency. If too soft, add more beeswax. If too firm, add a bit more coconut or olive oil.

      Good luck and have fun with it!

    • Yep. Many have had good luck with this. I use the salve morning and night as does my husband. His doctor was even able to take him off of one of his BP meds and in my case, I did not have to start taking them!


  3. Gaye, I used your miracle healing salve on my daughter who got very sunburned, almost to blisters, and I put it on her that night, it did not sting, by the next morning it was red, the following evening it was pink/red and the next morning it was almost normal skin color, it did not peel and I know it would of. Thank you for sharing your recipes, I have had tons of fun trying them. You can add #11 now to your list.

  4. Thank you Gaye!! I will try this. Also my mother suffers from terrible leg cramps at night, and she’s tried a lot of things, but nothing helps. I’ll send her some of this. 🙂

    • Lemongrass essential oil works great on nocturnal leg cramps. Mix with some Simple Salve for immediate relief. That is what I do.

      On the other hand, the occurrence of those nasty night cramps is less frequent when I rub the Miracle Salve on my calves and feet before bedtime. Lately, though, I have been lazy about it which is a shame because the benefits appear to be cumulative. I don’t quite understand why, but they are 🙂

  5. Thank you for this simple salve recipe!

    Do you know of any essential oils that will help with tendonitis, specifically De Quervain’s syndrome?

    • Terri – Funny you should ask. The formula I use in my Miracle Healing Salve started out as a tendonitis formula. After initially using it, I discovered the formula worked well for almost everything! It is made up of Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender essential oils.

      Here is a link for you. //

      Good luck!

    • I have tried to pull up the miracle healing salve and the website wont load. Can anyone remember how much lavendar, peppermint, and rosemary is in it?

    • A few readers are also having this problem but mostly on tablets. I would suggest that you clear your local cache if you can. In the meantime, here are the proportions for you:

      To each 2 ounce jar add: (double if you are using 4 ounce Mason jars)
      5 drops Lavender essential oil
      5 drops Rosemary essential oil
      5 drops Peppermint essential oil

  6. // here is a recipe but maybe Gaye can think of a better one.

  7. Hi Gaye,

    Do you have a recipe for homemade Neosporin-type salve? I’d like to find one that uses essential oils (for simplicity) instead of herbs like the following recipe uses:



  8. Hi Gaye,

    Wanted to pass on a salve-making tip I found (sorry, can’t remember the source). If a small amount of arrowroot powder or cornstarch is SLOWLY stirred into the hot salve oil before pouring it into containers, it will reduce the greasiness feel of the salve. I’ve tried it in a couple of salve recipes and it does help. I use a ratio of 1 tsp arrowroot powder to 1 cup hot salve oil. (I’m allergic to cornstarch). It makes the salve a little more opaque but doesn’t seem to affect the absorption into the skin.

Leave a Reply