×

10 Brilliant Uses for Petroleum Jelly

Getty Images

Here's something we can all agree on: The many petroleum jelly uses out there are pretty incredible! We all have a jar of the stuff sitting around the house, whether it's in the medicine cabinet, in your makeup bag, or on your bedroom nightstand. (It's also something we like to pack for trips). While we mainly use the emollient to soothe chapped lips (or our baby's sore bottom after a diaper rash), there a lot of things your basic petroleum jelly can do to help you around the house.

Petroleum Jelly Uses That May Surprise You

These Vaseline uses aren't all that well known, but they really work. Next time you have a clogged sink, a scuffed shoe, a scratched table, or a dull razor? Your petroleum jelly can help save the day — saving you a trip to the hardware store or an adventure on good old Google. (Who has the time?) Do your family a favor and stock up on petroleum jelly next time you hit the grocery or dollar store. Besides helping you smooth out the chapped lips of winter, you'll be ready in a pinch in so many other stressful household situations.

It's true: You can use petroleum jelly to...

1. Solve Kitty’s hair ball problem.

Instead of buying expensive treatments to ward off hair balls, use your finger to dab a bit of petroleum jelly on your cat’s nose. When she licks it off, the petroleum (an active ingredient in many hair ball formulas) will provide lubrication so excess hair passes through her digestive system with ease. Really!

2. Hide scratches in wood furniture.

The night before guests are due to arrive, you spot some minor nicks in your coffee table. To mask them, try smearing petroleum jelly on the marks and letting sit overnight. Oils in the ointment will help plump up the surrounding wood to fill in the scratches. Just wipe it away in the morning with a cloth, then polish as usual.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

3. Increase a plunger’s suction.

Your kitchen sink is clogged and your plunger isn’t doing the trick. What can help: Coat the rim of the tool with petroleum jelly, then place it over the drain and pump as usual. The ointment will moisten the rubber seal on the plunger, helping it stick to the sink. Problem solved.

4. Guarantee a happy bath time.

You’re ready to give the cutie in your life a bath when you realize you don’t have any “no tears” shampoo. To the rescue: petroleum jelly. Use a finger to swipe a tiny amount of the ointment across his eyebrows, then wash his hair with regular shampoo. Since petroleum jelly is water-repellent, it creates a barrier that keeps soapy water away from the child’s eyes, ensuring a stress-free bath.

5. Get salon-perfect nails.

Painting your nails is one of your favorite ways to relax — if only you didn’t always end up with polish all over your skin. Next time, dab petroleum jelly around your nail beds before painting. Any polish that ends up on your fingers will wipe right off.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

6. Erase scuff marks on leather shoes.

A quick fix for an unsightly scratch on your pumps: Dip a cloth in petroleum jelly and rub it on the mark. The ointment contains mineral oil (the main ingredient in shoe polish) that will fill in the mark plus moisturize the leather.

7. Stop a candle from sticking to its holder.

Your dinner party was a success, but afterward your candlesticks were covered in melted wax, making it tough to remove the candle. To avoid the struggle next time, rub petroleum jelly inside and around the candlestick before inserting the candle. The ointment will create a barrier that will keep the dripping wax from sticking to the holder.

8. Prolong the life of a razor.

You splurged on a pricey razor and you want to make sure it stays sharp. The simple solution: Use a washcloth to carefully smooth a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the blades after each use. The coating will prevent rust-inducing moisture from dulling the metal blades.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

9. Life lipstick stains with ease.

Oops! While doing a load of laundry, you discover that your teenager got some lipstick on the collar of her favorite white blouse. To prevent the stain from setting, apply enough petroleum jelly to cover the marks and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then rub the ointment in vigorously with your fingers and wash as usual. The glycerin in petroleum jelly will break down the oils in the lipstick so the stain comes off in the laundry.

10. Mess-proof a painting job.

This weekend’s project: painting the mirror you picked up at a yard sale. To keep paint from ending up on the glass, dip a cotton swab in petroleum jelly and spread on the glass where it meets the frame. Paint won’t penetrate petroleum jelly, so when the paint is dry, you can wash the petroleum jelly off with soap and water.

More from FIRST

The Best Food to Eat on an Airplane, According to an Airline's Culinary Director

People Are Using Oolong Tea to Shed Pounds

How the Mental Game of CrossFit Helps Me Manage My Anxiety