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I put together a small fire kit with petroleum jelly,  cotton balls  and a fero rod. The fero rod is in contact with the jelly. (It's a small kit)  Anybody have any problems with fero rods and petroleum jelly in contact with each other for long periods.  If not, I'll wait until next summer till I give them a try.
You know, that is one I haven't heard about. I'll be interested next summer to see if the PJ contaminated the rod in any way.
I believe Ferocium will break down if exposed to petoleum products
Wrap your fero rod in a small piece of cellophane to separate them
Griz, I am certainly not an authority on this subject, but I recently read a thread elsewhere, where corrosion, pitting and having rods transform into dust was discussed fairly thoroughly.  Many different thoughts were presented, but several individuals stated doing the same as Caver56 with no ill effects to their rods.  Others reported coating their rods with W-D40 with no harmful effects developing to their rods.  The owner of FireSteel.com was quoted, with his permission, it was stated, and the owner advised he wipes his own firesteel down with olive oil any time it has been subjected to moisture, and he has never had any problems develop.

To be sure I am not making a recommendation, simply posting what I have read elsewhere. 

I also have a rod, and to date I have not experienced any problems with mine, but I make every attempt to keep mine dry and do nothing else to it.  I may have to rethink my own carry & storage methods, based on what I have read and/or learn here.
I've never had any  problem with my rods. But I always take care of them. Makes me nervous to break my norm. I wouldn't think twice to put a little oil on them. When they ship from China they are shipped in oil (Salt water and safety. )  Little nervous with them sitting in a petroleum product  for a long time.  Summers a while away but should be worth the wait  Learning something new is always good.
The ones I buy are all lacquered. Once you scrape that lacquer, they will rust into a grey powder pretty quickly, given any sort of moisture in the air. A coating of oil or wax helps prevent that corrosion, the same way that a coating of oil or wax will protect the blade of a knife.

This, incidentally, is why I don't ever use "ferro rod loops" on a sheath. More than once, I've had sheaths cause corrosion or pitting to a spark rod.
I tend to hit them with a coat of clear nail polish when I'm going to store them for a while - seems to stop corrosion in its tracks. Incidentally, I can tell you one thing they do not like and that is resublimated iodine! I had a bottle break in a bag in storage once - goodbye ferro rod, stains everywhere, and rust rust rust!