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14 Clever Ways to Use Vaseline Few People Know About

Most people have a tub of Vaseline or a tube of Aquaphor in their bathroom cabinet. Both products are petroleum jelly, which we often use to moisturize skin or protect wounds while they heal. It’s gentle enough for babies but strong enough to block infections.

What most people don’t realize is that petroleum jelly has dozens of uses that make it one of the most helpful household products. From a metal lubricant to a DIY lipstick, this product belongs in the garage, bathroom, kitchen, and everywhere in between.

To show you how impressive Vaseline is, we rounded up some of the most surprising ways you can use it!

Fix Squeaky Hinges

close up wood door hinges.
Image Credit: photosthai and Shutterstock

If one of the doors in your house has an aggravating squeak, a dollop of Vaseline can be the solution. It’s a sensational lubricant, so you don’t need to hit the hardware store to fix that irritating noise.

However, Vaseline is good for more than just door hinges. Use it to fix gate hinges, stiff locks, piano hinges, or even old sunglasses! Anything that opens and closes and isn’t doing so smoothly might benefit from a little rub of Vaseline.

Homemade Skin Cosmetics

Happy young woman smiling in mirror.
Image Credit: Iona Studio and iStock

While Vaseline may not seem like the hottest cosmetic, it can be the base for an impressive range of beauty products. With a tub of Vaseline, you can make mascara, blush, body glitter, lipstick, lip gloss, highlighter, body scrubs, face masks, eyeshadow, and more.

Vaseline is gentle but reliable, so it won’t easily rub off or fade throughout the day. Plus, it moisturizes! Mixing some of your makeup with Vaseline or replacing cosmetics with Vaseline altogether is a brilliant beauty hack.

Remove Makeup

Skincare. Young Woman Removing Makeup Using Cotton Pad Standing In Bathroom. Panorama, Empty Space.
Image Credit: Prostock-studio and Shutterstock

Speaking of makeup, getting it off is a huge pain. If you don’t use Vaseline in your cosmetic products, it can still come in handy during your post-beauty routine.

Modern beauty products are often waterproof or smudge-proof, meaning they’re laborious to take off, leaving your skin raw and red. Stop furiously scrubbing with soap and use Vaseline to gently slide makeup off. A towel and a dab of Vaseline can remove even the most stubborn products.

Stop Shoe Blisters

Callus on the heel while running, plantar fasciitis, heel spur, foot pain, woman suffering from feet ache on a sports ground after workout, podiatry concept.
Image Credit: staras and Shutterstock

Why must all of the cutest shoes cause blisters? We don’t have a good answer, but we can help you stop the blisters. Rub a small amount of Vaseline onto your feet where your shoes cause pain and irritation, which could be in between your toes, on your toes, heels, side soles, top of your foot, or anywhere else.

Friction causes a blister, and the petroleum jelly will prevent any rough friction. Now, you can break in your new shoes without bandaging your bloody feet and suffering for a week.

Moisturize and Style Hair

Woman doing hair in mirror.
Image Credit: Sklo Studio and Shutterstock

Along with being an amazing product for skin cosmetics and makeup, Vaseline is also perfect for your hair. If you have dry ends, moisturize and heal them with Vaseline. If you deal with pesky dandruff and an itchy scalp, massage a generous dollop onto your head.

Use Vaseline in place of hair gel or pomade, or apply it to your eyebrows instead of brow gel to shape and define them. Vaseline works as a hydrating hair mask, a barrier on skin when dying hair, a protective layer when using heat tools, a softener for facial hair, a solution to flyaways, and more.

Stay Warm

minimalist christmas woman in snow
Image Credit: Ridofranz and iStock

Amazingly, petroleum jelly can keep you warm in cold conditions. This might be the least-known use for Vaseline! The thick jelly forms a protective layer on the skin that blocks wind chill and traps heat.

Applying Vaseline to your face or hands in winter makes walking around more comfortable. Some cold-water swimmers even lather themselves in Vaseline from head to toe to stay warm in frigid water, as it acts like a wetsuit.

Buff Leather

Woman hand cleaning leather sofa at home. Housekeeper or maid service concept.
Image Credit: Wor Jun and Shutterstock

Leather is a luxurious material, but also prone to blemishes and wear. You can refresh leather to look as good as new with just a small smear of Vaseline. Using a clean towel, gently buff any worn or scuffed parts of your leather item until it gleams again.

This trick works for leather boots, belts, shoes, handbags, furniture, clothes, sports gear, wallets, horseriding equipment, and more. A cheap tub of Vaseline can save your expensive leather goods, so you can keep enjoying them for a long time to come.

Prevent Rust

Woman's fingers fasten the zipper on a black skirt.
Image Credit: Peter Titmuss and Shutterstock

When it comes to metal, Vaseline is a gift from heaven. As mentioned, it can help lubricate metal hinges for smoother operation. It can also help preserve and maintain metal objects, stopping rust and corrosion.

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to any metal objects that tend to rust, such as razor blades, zippers, lightbulb caps, keys, jewelry, safety pins, silverware, working tools, metal vents, and much more. You can buy rust-prevention products, but why do that when you already have a tub of Vaseline at home?

Remove Stubborn Substances

A housewife in a shirt is cleaning the house, wipes dust from the table with a wash cloth.
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As you probably know, Vaseline is supremely slippery. This trait makes it excellent for removing sticky or stubborn substances. Use Vaseline to remove gum from hair, candle wax from wood, nail polish or paint from skin, or glue from plastic.

These are just a few of the icky substances you can get out with a dab of Vaseline, but when something is stuck and you’re in doubt, try working it free with Vaseline. Simply rub the jelly over the substance and slowly push it underneath or mix it in until you can remove the material with ease.

Start a Fire

the coals of a campfire in the forest closeup.
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If you’ve ever seen Survivor, you probably know that starting a fire isn’t as easy as it sometimes seems. A bit of petroleum jelly can act as a reliable and safe fire starter and save you in a dangerous situation.

Douse a cotton ball in Vaseline, open the cotton ball to expose a dry part, and ignite it for a small and contained fire that will burn for several minutes, or as a fire starter that you can place near kindling. Vaseline itself is not flammable; the cotton ball is, but the jelly acts as a slow-burning fuel as it melts and slows down the burning for a steady and contained flame.

Refresh Damaged Wood Surfaces

Person working, rubbing oiling with linseed oil natural wooden kitchen countertop before using. Solid wood butcherblock countertop maintenance concept.
Image Credit: FotoHelin and Shutterstock

Like with leather, Vaseline can also repair wood blemishes. If you have wood furniture or goods with scratches, scuffs, or watermarks, you can use a coat of Vaseline to make them less noticeable. Vaseline does not magically fix the scratch or remove the stain, but it can reduce the appearance.

The oily substance causes wood to swell slightly, which can subtly fill in scratches and dents. It can also pull stains and watermarks deeper into the wood as it seeps down, making them less visible. Apply a thin layer and jelly and let it sit for 24 hours.

Prevent Dried-Out Products

choosing nail Polish.
Image Credit: shapovalphoto and Shutterstock

Vaseline prevents rust because it is waterproof. It preserves moisture without actually being wet. For this reason, it can prevent certain products from drying out, such as nail polish, glue, paint, and adhesives.

Any non-food products that tend to get crusty around the lid can probably benefit from a layer of Vaseline. Just rub the jelly around the lid or wherever the product gets crusty, and it will stay moist for longer.

Waterproof Earplugs

Maximize Shower Water.
Image Credit: Anna_Om and Depositphotos

Use Vaseline to create waterproof earplugs. This simple trick is helpful when swimming, bathing, or any other water-related activity. It’s perfect if you’re battling an ear infection. Or, it comes in handy when you find yourself without earplugs in a loud place.

Cover a cotton ball in Vaseline, tear it in half, and put one half in each ear. The Vaseline will prevent any water from creeping in and dampen loud sounds around you.

Slip Stuck Rings Off

woman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict, close-up.
Image Credit: Denis Val and Shuttertstock

If you wear rings often, you’ve probably experienced the unpleasant struggle to remove them when your fingers are slightly swollen. This is normal but can also be painful and alarming. Don’t panic, just grab some Vaseline!

Coating your fingers and the rings in Vaseline is much more effective than trying to slide them off with soap and water. A little dab and the stubborn rings will slip off with ease.

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