42 Uses for Vaseline
The bathroom cupboard is home to all manner of long forgotten lotions and potions, but sitting among the medicine that expired some time in the last decade (or so), the rusty nail scissors and scrap of peppermint foot scrub that you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away sits the humble pot of Vaseline. A tub of petroleum jelly is a staple part of most households, but it would seem that the majority of us are seriously under-using this “wonder jelly” that can be put to many good uses, not only about your person, but also around the house for practical jobs.
What is Vaseline?
- Discovered in Pennsylvanian town around 1859, a 22 year-old British chemist named Robert Augustus Chesebrough observed the remarkable skin healing properties of this naturally occurring by-product of the oil drilling process. He became intrigued by the oilmen using petroleum jelly to heal cuts and burns and set about purifying the product for general use. This soon to be household staple was launched by Cheesebrough in 1870 after many years of perfecting the extraction and purification process of his so-called “Wonder Jelly”. The brand name Vaseline eventually appeared in 1872 and is believed to be derived from the German word for water, “wasser” and Greek word for oil, “oleon”. By 1874, Vaseline petroleum jelly was being sold across the US at a rate of a jar per minute.
1. Vaseline For Dry Feet
- As a home remedy for dry feet and cracked heels Vaseline works a treat. For best results slather your feet in Vaseline and put on a pair of socks. The socks may not ever be the same again even after washing so don’t go for your best pair for this job.
2. Vaseline as a Facial Moisturizer
- No it won’t clog your pores. The consistency of petroleum jelly would naturally lead people to believe that shoveling it onto your face would leave you covered in spots, however this is not the case. Vaseline does not clog up pores, it is a non-comedogenic and can be used as an effective facial moisturizer. It doesn’t soak in very readily however and is best used as a night cream to avoid odd looks on the morning commute.
3. Eyebrow Control
- For eyebrows that are in need of a trim or are particularly unruly, dab a little on each brow to keep them in line. Carmex is also good (possibly better) for this job if you have some to hand.
4. Cheek Highlighter
- Use Vaseline as a cheap, cheek highlighter. Apply a minuscule amount for a glowing, dewy look.
5. Vaseline as Eyelash Glue Remover
- Avoid pulling out your real lashes when trying to yank off a particularly stubborn false lash. Use Vaseline to unstick the glue by dabbing some on your finger and thumb and carefully rubbing the offending lashes until the glue/false lash eases off.
6. Vaseline To Prevent Dye Staining
To avoid head staining when dying hair dab a line of Vaseline across your forehead (being careful not to get any on your hair as the dye won’t take as well) and you should avoid that infuriating freshly dyed giveaway of drips of color down your forehead.
7. A Cuticle Mender
- Blob Vaseline around your cuticles and gently rub in to stop them feeling sore and stop further damage and aid the healing process.
8. Make Your Own Vaseline Lip Therapy
Many, many, many years ago I used to dig out Vaseline from a family sized pot and put it into a little cat shaped tin to carry around in my handbag and use on my chapped lips. I learned this little trick from my Mum who had done the same for decades. So Vaseline were a bit slow in coming out with their own lip balm sized version of Vaseline lip therapy but it does save on unnecessary greasiness and the tin was awkward to open in any case. If you are feeling frugal, however, or want to experiment with your own petroleum jelly based lip therapy then use Vaseline as your base and mix it with food coloring, Kool-Aid, eye shadow, an old lipstick - get creative!
9. Make Your Own Vaseline Body Scrub
- Just add some sea salt to petroleum jelly and you have yourself a homemade body scrub. Armed with puff buff, give yourself an invigorating going over with your very own product and your skin will feel silky smooth and visibly glowing.
10. Neatly Paint Fingernails and Toenails
- Use a cotton bud/Q-tip to trace around your cuticles before commencing a manicure or pedicure. As well as moisturizing the skin surrounding the nails it will make varnish application a lot neater as any overzealous painting that ends up going over the edge of the nail will wipe off easily.
11. To Stop Lipstick Getting on Your Teeth
- Avoid the embarrassment of rouge on your gnashers by dotting a weeny blob of the wonder jelly on your front teeth.
12. Stop Tanning Streaks
- To help avoid a patchy tan and prevent those give away concentrated orange patches of fake tan that tell the world you've just been tangoed, rub Vaseline into trouble spots such as ankles, behind the knees and on the hands.
13. Keep Lashes Moisturized
- As part of your daily beauty ritual try adding in a little lash TLC. Vaseline for eyelashes isn't something that might immediately spring to mind but applying a small dab to both lashes, nightly will help keep lashes soft and strong.
14. Extend Perfume Staying Power
- If you're a bit of a sweaty Betty, the pleasant odor of overpriced perfume might not last the journey out let alone the night. Draw out the longevity of your perfume by applying a blob of Vaseline to your wrists before spritzing.
15. As a Make-Up Remover
- Dip cotton buds/Q-tips into Vaseline and gently remove make-up from your eyes, the residue that is left around your eyes will aid the remnants of make-up in coming off when you wash your face the following morning.
16. Turn Eye Shadows into Cream Shadows
- Add a dollop of petroleum jelly to an old eye shadow and give it a new lease of life by transforming it into a sultry, cream shadow.
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17. Keep Halloween Pumpkin Looking Fresh
- Rub Vaseline into the cut or carved edges of your Halloween pumpkins to slow down the rotting and keep your pumpkin looking pristine for Halloween!
18. Keep Shampoo Out of Eyes
- Avoid tears at bath time by applying a thin line of Vaseline just above the eyebrows, encouraging the water and soap suds to run down the side of the face rather than in the eyes.
19. Help Prevent Battery Corrosion
- Disconnect car battery terminals, give them a clean with a wire brush and then reconnect and smear with Vaseline to create a barrier from the elements and stave of corrosion.Do this is as the weather starts to take a turn for the worse around the onset of Winter.
20. To Remove Things That Are Stuck
- Vaseline is a very useful substance in situations where something is stuck fast. For example, if a ring is stuck on a finger or bracelet not budging from a wrist, add some Vaseline to create a more slick and slippery surface and ease of the offending item. Note that for shiny things like jewelry you may want to try a window cleaner like Windex as it won't effect the shine.
21. For Paint Splatters on Windows
- As an alternative to masking up window frames, for those of us that can't paint with great precision, rub Vaseline around the pane. Any paint flecks that land on the Vaseline can be easily removed.
22. Keep Elbows Soft
- Vaseline on the elbows is a tried and tested method to keep a troublesome dry spot baby soft. Blob on when convenient at times when you're not wearing a favorite top that will easily grease up and stain.
23. Hide Split Ends
- Dab a little Vaseline to any rogue split ends and keep them under wraps until your next trim. Remember, in this instance, less is more.
24. Avoid Struggling to Open Nail Polish
- After you finish using nail polish, rub some Vaseline around the edge of the thread. This will make it far easier to open up the next time you need to use it. This applies to all jars and things with screw lids!
25. Remove Makeup Stains on Clothes With Vaseline
- Remove any wayward lipstick marks from clothes by blotting petroleum jelly onto the stain and washing in the machine as usual.
26. Help With Inserting Earrings
- If you happen to have left it a while since putting in a pair of earrings into pierced lobes and the hole isn't readily receiving your earrings, add a little Vaseline to your lobes and this should help them going through and avoid too much discomfort.
27. Vaseline Can Help With Toilet Related Problems
- For sufferers of piles/hemorrhoids or anal fissures, Vaseline is a handy item, in fact an absolutely essential item that should be ready and waiting next to the toilet. Although it isn't going to help much with the pain, rubbing some around your bot will provide a slightly more slick runway to help get the fecal matter out more efficiently and might result in just a little less screw-face and fist clenching.
28. Vaseline for Athlete's Foot
Vaseline cures athlete’s foot by suffocating the fungus. It is an occlusive moisturizer meaning that it reduces water loss from the skin and forms a hydrophobic barrier so there is not so much sweat for fungus to thrive on. .
29. To Protect A Sore Nose
- Protect your nose from getting red and sore when suffering from a cold by dabbing Vaseline on the end of your nose every few hours.
30. As A Budget Shoe Shiner
- A little goes a long way! Dab Vaseline onto leather shoes or even handbags and gently rub in to buff them up on the cheap!
31. To Protect Cuts and Grazes
- When petroleum jelly was first discovered it was used by miners on their cuts, bruises and grazes to protect them from infection and aid faster healing. There isn't any antiseptic in Vaseline but it will act as a barrier against dirt and germs reaching very minor injuries.
32. As An Alternative to WD-40
- Stiff lock or creaky door hinge driving you crazy and can't find the WD-40? Then use some Vaseline instead!
33. Homemade Slug Repellent
- Combine Vaseline with salt and rub around the edges of your flower pots to keep away slimy snails and slugs.
34. Help Prevent Diaper/Nappy Rash
- Sudocrem is the go-to product for preventing diaper rash these days but if you have run out or don't have any to hand then Vaseline is also effective.
35. Remove Chewing Gum From Hair
- If you, or perhaps more likely your kids, have managed to get a lump of chewing gum stuck in hair, rub Vaseline on the gum and around the hair to work it out.
36. To Protect Skin Whilst Playing Sports
- Due to its emollient and lubricating properties, Vaseline makes for an ideal lubricant for athletes, helping to prevent skin irritation that may result from rubbing during sport or physical activity.
- Massage into any areas likely to be exposed to rubbing or friction such as groin, inner thigh, neck, nipples, armpits, inner thigh, ankles, base of spine, etc.) before commencing exercise or physical activity.
37. Vaseline As A Lubricant
- Vaseline can be used to lube up pretty much anything really, from a creaky hinge on a cupboard door to a persons nether regions (although these days there are far better products designed for that sort of thing but sometimes they're not immediately to hand!).
38. To Soothe An Itchy Scalp or Chapped Hands
- Massage into dry patches on your scalp to reduce itching and irritation.
- Apply Vaseline to the back of chapped hands to protect against the cold and wind.
39. To Remove Candle Wax
Add Vaseline to the edges of the dripped candle wax, allow it to sink in for a moment or two and then wipe away with a cloth.
40. Repair Minor Scratches and Water Marks
To remove marks or small scratches on wooden surfaces, coat liberally with petroleum jelly and leave for about 24 hours, then work it into the wood and rub away any excess.
41. To Help Prevent Doors From Sticking.
Car or van doors that aren’t used very often or are subject to freezing conditions will be more prone to getting stuck. Rub Vaseline around the rubber seal to help prevent sticking. You can also do this with fridge or freezer seals.
42. Restore Old Leather
There’s no need to invest in expensive leather restoring products, Vaseline gets the job done equally as well. Apply a coating of petroleum jelly to the leather, massage in, removing any excess and you’re good to go!
A Note Regarding Chemicals
There have been some worrying articles and general hubbub about using petroleum jelly for the skin as it supposedly can contain harmful chemicals that can suffocate pores and have damaging effects. Vaseline is highly refined and claims not to contain any harmful chemicals because of this but beware of other alternatives as the petroleum jelly may not have been subjected to quite as vigorous refinement and could do more harm than good if used on the skin.
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Vaseline is a practical and helpful substance that can be put to many great uses. It may not be the ideal solution to some of the suggestions listed above but in situations where choices are limited and a tub of Vaseline is to hand then Vaseline will surely be a worthy substitute!
Here is one use for Vaseline that I would most definitely NOT recommend!!