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Vaseline is a staple in so many households in Canada and the US, and no wonder when it can be used for so many things. I recently started working in a restaurant, and my hands have been so dry from all the dishes and hand washing that I needed something that’d help more than just my lotion. So, I started putting Vaseline on my hands after work, and it’s made a huge difference.
It got me wondering what else it could be used for. With over 41 million units being sold in 2021 alone, there must be hundreds of uses.
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline is a brand name for petroleum jelly. Wikipedia explains:
Petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, soft paraffin, or multi-hydrocarbon, CAS number 8009-03-8, is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers mainly higher than 25), originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties. Vaseline has been a well known American brand of petroleum jelly since 1870.
After petroleum jelly became a medicine-chest staple, consumers began to use it for cosmetic purposes and for many ailments including toenail fungus, genital rashes (non-STI), nosebleeds, diaper rash, and common colds. Its folkloric medicinal value as a “cure-all” has since been limited by better scientific understanding of appropriate and inappropriate uses. It is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an approved over-the-counter (OTC) skin protectant and remains widely used in cosmetic skin care, where it is often loosely referred to as mineral oil.
While many people use it without harm, there are some warnings about the use of Vaseline and similar products. Do your research before deciding whether or not this product is for you!
Ways to use Vaseline
So, here are 55 more uses:
- Lip balm: Apply Vaseline to your lips to keep them moisturized and prevent chapping.
- Moisturizer: Use Vaseline to hydrate dry skin on your face, hands, feet, and body.
- Makeup remover: Apply Vaseline to a cotton pad and use it to remove stubborn makeup, including waterproof mascara.
- Cuticle softener: Rub Vaseline into your cuticles to soften them and prevent dryness.
- Swimming protector: Apply a thin layer of Vaseline on your skin before swimming to protect it from chlorine or saltwater.
- Hair conditioner: Use Vaseline as a hair mask to condition and moisturize dry or damaged hair (though I recommend just using a little bit and on the tips.)
- Eyebrow tamer: Apply a small amount of Vaseline to your eyebrows to tame unruly hairs and so they look a little more kept.
- Shoe polish: Use Vaseline to shine and condition leather shoes or boots.
- Rust prevention: Apply a thin coat of Vaseline on metal tools, hardware, or outdoor furniture to prevent rusting.
- Bike chain lubricant: Apply Vaseline to your bike chain to reduce friction and keep it running smoothly.
- Zipper lubricant: Rub Vaseline on a stubborn zipper to help it glide smoothly.
- Squeaky hinge fixer: Apply Vaseline to a squeaky door hinge to silence the noise. (Who needs WD-40!)
- Leather conditioner: Use Vaseline to condition and soften leather belts, wallets, or bags.
- Friction reducer: Apply Vaseline to areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing, such as inner thighs or bra lines, to prevent chafing.
- Scuff mark remover: Rub Vaseline on scuff marks on shoes, handbags, or furniture to help remove them.
- Remove Candle Wax: Apply a thin layer of Vaseline inside a candle holder to make it easier to remove the candle later.
- Gardening aid: Apply Vaseline to gardening tools, such as pruning shears or shovels, to prevent sap or dirt from sticking to them.
- Face mask removal: Use Vaseline to remove dried face masks, clay masks, or peel-off masks without harshly pulling on the skin.
- Nail polish protector: Apply Vaseline around your nail bed before applying nail polish to make cleanup easier and prevent polish from staining your skin.
- Wound protectant: Apply Vaseline to small cuts or abrasions to protect them from dirt and bacteria.
- Crayon remover: Rub Vaseline on walls or furniture to help remove crayon marks left by kids.
- Pet care: Use Vaseline to moisturize dry paw pads or protect them from harsh weather conditions.
- DIY exfoliator: Mix Vaseline with sugar or salt to create a homemade exfoliating scrub for your face or body.
- Beard balm: Use Vaseline to soften and style your beard or mustache.
- Flyaway hair tamer: Apply a small amount of Vaseline to your fingertips and lightly smooth down flyaway hairs.
- Waterproofing: Apply Vaseline to the seams of your raincoat or boots to make them more waterproof.
- Jewelry cleaner: Use Vaseline to clean and shine tarnished jewelry, such as silver or brass.
- Hand protector: Apply Vaseline to your hands before working with harsh chemicals or doing messy tasks to create a barrier and make cleanup easier.
- Dry nose relief: Apply a small amount of Vaseline inside your nostrils to moisturize dry nasal passages, especially during cold or dry weather.
- Sports protection: Apply Vaseline to areas prone to blisters, such as heels or toes, to reduce friction and prevent blisters during physical activities.
- First aid ointment: Use Vaseline as a soothing ointment for minor burns, cuts, or insect bites.
- Sunburn relief: Apply Vaseline to sunburned skin to help soothe and moisturize the affected area.
- Hair dye barrier: Apply Vaseline along your hairline, ears, and neck before coloring your hair to prevent hair dye from staining your skin.
- Skin barrier for hairline: Use Vaseline to create a barrier on your forehead and hairline when applying hairline-depilatory creams to prevent irritation.
- DIY highlighter: Mix Vaseline with a powdered highlighter or eyeshadow to create a custom shimmering highlighter for your face or body.
- Halloween makeup: Use Vaseline to create special effects for Halloween or costume makeup, such as fake blood, wounds, or scars.
- Oil paint base: Mix Vaseline with pigments or dyes to create your own custom oil-based paints for art projects.
- Fly trap: Apply Vaseline to a sticky surface, such as a piece of cardboard or a plastic bottle, to create a homemade fly trap.
- Firestarter: Use Vaseline-soaked cotton balls or cotton pads as a fire starter for camping or outdoor activities. (Please be careful!)
- Surfing aid: Apply Vaseline to your surfboard’s wax coat to help it last longer and provide better traction.
- Skiing or snowboarding aid: Use Vaseline as a base layer on your face to protect your skin from cold wind and harsh weather conditions while skiing or snowboarding.
- Fishing aid: Apply Vaseline to your fishing line to help it glide through guides and prevent knots.
- Musical instrument care: Use Vaseline to lubricate instrument slides, keys, or valves on brass or woodwind instruments.
- Mold release agent: Use Vaseline as a mold release agent when working with homemade molds for crafts or DIY projects.
- Musical performer aid: Apply Vaseline to your teeth to prevent lip stickiness while playing wind instruments or singing.
- DIY beauty product ingredient: Use Vaseline as a base ingredient to create your own DIY beauty products, such as homemade lip balm, body scrub, or hand cream.
- Makeup brush cleaner: Mix Vaseline with a little bit of mild soap or shampoo to clean and condition your makeup brushes.
- Foot care: Use Vaseline to moisturize dry and cracked feet, especially on the heels, before bed.
- Wood conditioner: Apply Vaseline to dry or dull wood surfaces to help restore their shine and luster.
- Plant care: Apply Vaseline to the base of plant stems to help repel insects and pests.
- DIY slime ingredient: Use Vaseline as a slime-making ingredient to create glossy and stretchy homemade slime.
- Car care: Use Vaseline to polish and protect plastic or rubber trims on your car’s interior or exterior.
- Prevent dye transfer: Apply Vaseline to the inside of shirt collars or cuffs to prevent hair dye or makeup transfer.
- Makeup remover: Apply Vaseline to a cotton pad or swab to gently remove stubborn makeup, especially around the eyes.
- Chapped nose relief: Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to soothe and protect a chapped nose during cold or allergy season.
Do you use Vaseline?
So, what’s your favorite Vaseline hack? Do you find it to be a frugal and multipurpose item? Let’s talk about how to use it. Share in the comments section!
About Chloe Morgan
Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea. Check out her other work on Medium, where she writes about lifestyle, mental health, and writing.
5 thoughts on “Valuable Vaseline: More Than 55 Frugal Ways to Use It”
I recently had a mole removed by my dermatologist. I was given several small envelopes of vasiline with instructions to put the vasiline on the wound twice a day to promote healing and prevent infection. It worked for that purpose and the site of the wound is gradually blending into the surrounding skin. I’ve used vasiline on my hands and feet to prevent drying, and I now have another use.
While I strongly agree with using Vaseline as part of a fire starting kit, there is a how-not-to consideration worth mentioning. While Vaseline works well after being rubbed onto either a cotton ball or a round flat cotton cosmetic removal pad, both of those cotton items have several other uses — some of which smearing Vaseline onto them immediately removes some of those other options from your list of choices. One example could be using either cotton items after being moistened with a little water (before rubbing in a wee bit of Barkeeper’s Friend powder) to make an excellent surface rust remover from tools, mis-named stainless steel kitchen utensils (that were unwisely stored against something rusty), or other such rusting items.
Since either cotton balls or the more storable pads (backpackers take note) have multiple uses … it makes better sense to wait to apply Vaseline only once you’ve decided to use either cotton product for a fire starter. In contrast, smearing on some Vaseline days, weeks, or months ahead of any possible fire-starting need removes many of those other possible uses. So store or carry that Vaseline in its bottle separately from either cotton product until you have decided which use you’ve chosen for them and whether or not Vaseline is part of that decision.
I like having vaseline around for various purposes and see no problem with using it. One warning though – the stuff leaks terribly so if you have it in a go-bag or pack, put it in a plastic bag or other impermeable container. That is especially true in heat!
Only in the winter, when it’s really cold, I coat my face lightly w/Vaseline once a week before bed. I get up and wash it off. Saves my skin.
I’ve had a couple of cats who loved to consume Vaseline as a hairball treatment.
As to sunburn treatment – just remember to *not* be out in the sun again too soon!