Picture of 11 Unusual Uses for Baby Oil
Have you heard that joke about baby oil? The one that goes something like:

If corn oil is made with corn and peanut oil is made with peanuts, then what is baby oil made with?

The answer: Baby oil is made with mineral oil and fragrance by industrial professionals; babies don't have the fine motor skills or chemistry knowledge to create baby oil, duh.

Baby oil is useful for a lot of things beyond baby bottoms. It'll smooth, soften, lubricate, refinish, clean, and so much more. It also has some usual uses for which it really oughtn't be used. Read on for some tips and tricks that'll help you step your baby oil game up.
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Step 1: First, some don'ts

Picture of First, some don'ts
Don't use baby oil as a "personal" lubricant, particularly if you are using a latex condom. (Just look at the next step to see who wins in the latex vs. baby oil battle royale.)

Don't use baby oil to tan. Melanoma looks bad enough without being shiny.

Don't eat baby oil. It has laxative properties and likely doesn't taste delicious. (Mineral oil is safe for human consumption, but only up to around 100 mg. Many of those milligrams come from food-grade mineral oil that's used in baking and other industrial food processing places because it's odorless and tasteless. My guess is that baby oil mineral oil isn't food-grade. Stay safe: don't guzzle a bottle of it.)

Don't use it in your 2-stroke engine.

Don't aim baby oil at helicopter pilots. Wait... that's for lasers. But you should still be careful around helicopter pilots with baby oil. It can be a slip-fall hazard, and pilots prefer the scent of aviation fuel.

Step 2: Get latex paint off of skin

Picture of Get latex paint off of skin
I've worked as a painter for a couple of years, and one thing was certain: I ended up with paint on me. Somewhere.

Latex paints and primers are sneaky. Sometimes they just rub off like rubber cement, other times they'll stay in your knuckles for a couple of days. Whenever some Lava soap couldn't get all the Lemon Ice or Chesapeake Gray paint off of my hands, baby oil would come to the rescue.

Rub a little onto the part of your body covered in paint using a cotton ball, shop towel, napkin, or anything else you've got on hand that will absorb the baby oil. Rub in concentric circles from the outside in without applying too much pressure. This isn't a scrub, it's more a gentle, localized massage. You can scrub to your heart's content after you've washed it off with some soap and water, once you feel you've made some progress with the oil.

This worked when I dropped a five gallon bucket of paint on myself while on a ladder in a Sears, because five gallons manages to get past the normal problem areas (hands, arms, flecks on the face from rolling out a ceiling) and into some unusual locations that could be sensitive to paint thinner. Presumably the oil degrades the latex to the point that it will flake off. This is why condom + baby oil = one beautiful bundle of joy 9 months later.

Step 3: Massage oil

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Use it as a massage oil. Remember our latex lessons from the previous step. Rubber gloves will degrade, as will balloons and some parts of massager attachments.

Try this or this if you need some massage ideas.

Step 4: Remove earwax

Picture of Remove earwax
When in-ear headphones were just starting to become a thing, I went deaf in one ear. Panicked, I went to the doctor only to discover that I had a cebum compaction, earwax clogging my ear to the point I couldn't hear. Gross, right?

For the temporarily hearing impaired, there's an easy home remedy to handle that waxy buildup: baby oil!

While laying on your side or tilting your head so your affected ear is up, drop five drops of baby oil inside (warmed, if you really want to dissolve the mess) your ear. Let it stay for long enough to dissolve some of the wax, then let the oil drain out onto a clean towel or into the sink. A small amount of warm water can be used to dislodge any last bits with a small bulb or needle-less syringe.

Step 5: Take off eye makeup

Picture of Take off eye makeup
Put some baby oil on a cotton ball. Gently rub it over any eye makeup that you want to remove. Maybe use another cotton ball to wipe away any excess oil.

This one does double duty: removes makeup and makes your eyelids soft and supple.

Step 6: Bath oil

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Put a few drops into the next bath you draw. It'll leave your skin feeling touchably soft and silky. May not prevent pruniness in the extremities.

Step 7: Post-shave oil

Use as an after-shave oil after shaving any non-face part of the body. Works best as a layer over the top of some traditional moisturizer to lock in the freshness.

Step 8: Keep warm

Picture of Keep warm
My little sister went to school in Montana. The temperature routinely dropped below -10 degrees Celsius. She would use baby oil or Vaseline as an extra layer of insulation on any exposed skin as she hiked her way to class. It apparently prevented any facial frostbite, as she still has her nose attached.

There are limits to how helpful or practical this is. You can't just grease up and head out in your skivvies when birds are dropping from trees encased in ice. But YMMV.

Step 9: Soften cracked or dry heels

Picture of Soften cracked or dry heels
If your heels are cracked, dry, and unsightly... baby oil and a sock will help. (I recognize that these two items are often used in conjunction for other purposes: filming extra-slippery versions of the Risky Business slide, freshening up a pair of stinky socks, and even - though I hesitate to mention it - cleaning off the sides of a dribbly bottle of baby oil.)

Apply some baby oil over your heel before bed, put on some socks, then wake up transformed like a Jergens-Kafka mashup.

Step 10: Reduce stretch marks during pregnancy

Apply some baby oil to soften skin and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. I hear good things about cocoa butter as well. Shea butter. Anything greasy and easily-absorbent.

But baby oil is perfect, since you're applying the oil directly to the baby's temporary home.

Step 11: Shine wooden furniture

Picture of Shine wooden furniture
If your dinner party is starting in ten minutes and you've just noticed that there are hideous water stains on your tabletops, have no fear. Baby oil can help by providing a quick polish.

The mineral oil will put a nice shine on the furniture, helping to create a water-proof barrier and an understated shine that should impress any and all guests. Plus, it'll smell fresh and baby-like.

Step 12: Untangle a necklace chain

Picture of Untangle a necklace chain
Sometimes there will be a snarl in your necklace that seems impossible to undo. Before you throw away your diamonds and gold in frustration, try a quick baby oil bath. It'll lubricate the metal links, allowing them to separate more easily. Use a pin to work out the tangled knot after the dunk in oil.

Presto! You just saved a couple grand by not throwing away your jewelry. You're welcome.

Step 13: Remove bubblegum, wax, or bandaids

Picture of Remove bubblegum, wax, or bandaids
If you've got some bubblegum or wax on your body or in your hair, baby oil will get it out. Apply a small amount to the affected area, let it sit, then work at the mess with your fingertips. It'll make the gum easier to get out, it'll soften the wax, and it will help the bandage come off without tearing out any hair.

This is a particularly good method of removing excess wax after an eyebrow or bikini job.

For those of you who remove more band-aids than body hair, applying some baby oil around the bandage is a great middle-of-the-road option for people who can't subscribe to the RIP IT OFF! camp or the IT'LL FALL OFF ON ITS OWN, DON'T TOUCH IT! contingent. Firm but gentle, that's the way to do it. Tough love.
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slam80004 days ago

I would think twice before using baby oil in the bath as it will render the tub extremely slippy and create a fall risk. If you MUST use it, be extremely careful when getting in and out of your bath, and be sure to clean the oil a thoroughly with a good detergent when you've finished.

kookoome1 month ago

Ive used creamy baby oil to clean like leather and wood

cplace13 months ago

Great instructable! Quite funny!

KellyCraig3 months ago

Coconut oil has become easy to find. Use it, instead of baby or straight mineral oil for dry skin.

Too, coconut oil makes a fantastic deodorant. I find it works better than any of the commercial products I've bought over [several] decades. My mix is just backing soda and coconut oil.

leflic3 months ago

This article is both funny and humorous! I enjoyed reading it and found it very helpful as well.

leflic leflic3 months ago

Oops... that came out wrong! Oh get the drift

Good solvent for removing gummed labels, price stickers, etc. from non-porous surfaces. WD40 is even better.
WD-40 is Fish Oil, also good for arthritis stiffness
Horsefeathers, Bosun Rick. I do not doubt the arthritis benefits. WD40 is good for many things you won't find on the label.  There is no fish oil in WD40, that's another urban legend (a fish tale?).

Here's another WD40 use I have tried successfully: restoring noisy carbon potentiometers. I feel safer using Caig Deoxit, but WD40 sure seems to work as well. 
fish oil in wd-40 is true. 100% google-proof.

a couple of previous posters mentioned mineral oil or baby oil on metalic/stainless finish appliances (like the stainless fridges) I think one said it worked and another poster claimed it didn't. Well I can tell ya from personal experience that WD40 works great on stainless appliances. Many naysayers will warn that it is a fire hazard on the stove; but I didn't think so; I just wiped off the excess. It really worked great; and fast too. I wasn't scrubbing and polishing all day.

grapenut4 months ago

Well I read all 176 posts./comments; looks like alot of bases were covered in the comments. One thing I really didn't see was that baby oil or mineral oil can be used as a trimmer lubricant if the tiny bottle that came with your trimmer runs dry or gets lost. I spent quite a bit of time on google trying to figure out exactly what kind of oil is used on trimmers (simply because I couldn't find a retailer that sold it, not even the local Walmart). A few bloggers nailed it down to a high grade mineral oil after looking it up on MSDS sheets. I would prefer to use (unscented) mineral oil, however the baby oil is basically the same and comes in the convenient travel size bottle with the fliptop and small opening that can easily be used to dispense a drop or 2...

jtolodxi grapenut4 months ago
I tip my hat to you for reading all the comments and dropping a little gem like that. in retrospect, I glazed a few comments before reading yours in its entirety and I think that's a lovely piece of advice. I myself ran out of the oil that came with my Clippers and have been wanting to find out what kind it was and go buy some oil... but I'll just use the baby oil we have around the house. hell yeah man good advice

This is SO good to know! I have a dog that is part shih tzu. Having a single coat, he requires regular trimming with clippers. I've been searching for oil to no avail. Thank you!

tholopotami4 months ago

One I use: spread as a lubricant on an oil stone to sharpen chisels, better than other oils.

surquhart24 months ago

Mineral oil may be good for metal lubricants and the like, but it is not good for the skin or hair, and certain should not be ingested. Check this article:

Btw, if you have eczema, the best way to treat that is to fix the immune system issue, because eczema is caused by a malfunction of the immune system. For more info on a natural product that will restore the immune system, raising immune levels 437%, contact me on my site.

A better choice would be Vitamin E oil, or Castor oil. As a massage therapist, I can tell you that mineral oil is not good for massage. You're better off with grape-seed oil for that purpose. I plan on writing an article on the benefits of oil very soon and it will be on one of my sites. You can follow me on my main site to get updates.

docree4 months ago

I've been a professional clown, a scareactor for haunted houses, and have done face painting for others. I find that baby oil is the best substance for removing theatrical makeup otherwise known as "grease paint". When you apply baby oil to the paint, it over saturates the mineral oil content which helps break down the bonds adhering the paint to the skin. Follow up with a gentle soap that helps remove oil to clean the baby oil off. (I prefer to follow with dish or hand soap.)

Chopper Rob4 months ago
Ok, we covered about every oil except Neat's Foot Oil! Where the heck does that come from?
onemoroni14 months ago

Good information. I use it every day after I shower to lightly lubricate the male apparatus to prevent sweat sticking and snagging and obvious parts shifting and discomfort. I also do a exfoliation with a natural sponge of my neck and face in the shower and then a light baby oil rub of the same areas. Very light and not greasy, trying to prevent wrinkles.

slimshady764 months ago

Let me add another one: as a biker, I run disk brakes in my MTB. Baby oil can be used to bleed Shimano hydraulic disk brakes in the event of a failure, when not having the chance to get the original Shimano mineral oil.

marcdraco4 months ago

Sorry but this one is utter bunk; stretch marks are a result of the skin not being sufficiently stretchy - it's to do with collagen not the oil. You'll either get them or you won't - it's all in your genes.

allwinkie4 months ago

you forgot "store your disposable razor" - I recycled a mushroom can - bent the lid in half and put in the bottom then filled the can 3/4 of the way up - when you are finished shaving - rinse the razor and drop it in the can head down - keeps the blade lubricated and sharp -

only warning is some of the more expensive razors with the rubber like the shic* quatr0 -- the rubber will start to swell and chunk off

i went back to my bic twin blade disposable - two years ago - still sharp ! i use it daily

dkkim4 months ago

An addition to the DON'T list, since the first picture is, paradoxically, a dude drinking it:

Never inhale it. This is why giving mineral oil to kids is not recommended anymore. If you breath it in, it is very irritative to the lungs and effectively non-removable (resulting in "lipoid pneumonia").

nevroth4 months ago

Great ideas! One bittersweet use for baby oil is to polish up a gravestone. I always bring some when visiting my mum and it makes the stone nice and shiny after clearing off any debris. I know it won't stay that way for long, but it's nice and gives me something to do, particularly on 'rough' days.

Change to silicone spray...if your in Australia - I recommend the Repco Motortech - it has almost all silicone oil in it..

wilgubeast (author)  nevroth4 months ago
I hadn't considered that use. It's a good idea, doesn't require the same level of maintenance as flowers, and appreciably improves the look of the plot. Thanks for finding another way to use baby oil, however somber.
Bosun Rick3 years ago
Yeah, but who wants to go through life with rough, crackley eyelids? I hate it when that happens!!
Hey, there ARE people out there that go through life with "rough, crackley eyelids" lol- I'm one of them, and the red, irritated, rough patches around the eyes are caused by eczema, come on now :(
I can take a joke, but baby oil and Vaseline work wonders for us who have messed up, sensitive skin :)
grapenut ameece4 months ago

Try try Aquaphor (made by Eucerin) It is a close cousin of Vaseline (41%) but somehow it just works much better, and one application lasts longer.

wilgubeast (author)  grapenut4 months ago

That's what my dermatologist recommended for my eczema back in the day. It'll certainly stick to your face better than baby oil.

I got it from my dermatologist as well. Are you still using it or is something else working better?

grapenut4 months ago

About 10 years ago a doctor prescribed mineral oil to me as a laxative (along with other various protocols). After the visit I promptly went to the hospital pharmacy and picked up 2 good sized bottles of mineral oil (16oz/500ml??), took them home, put them under the bathroom sink and left them there...I told the next doctor I saw about the regimen; he looked at me with a concerned look in his eye and said "You didn't take/drink the mineral oil did you?" Apparently it is an FDA approved laxative; but the doc that prescribed it to me must have been in a mood that day...because it is rarely still used for that purpose...
Anyhoo, I'm thinking 'if it would have been theoretically OK for me to ingest that mineral oil then, I'm thinking mineral oil or baby oil should be fine for a cutting board or makeup removal,etc...

wgriffith265 months ago

coconut oil in the ear works exceptionally well. i use it all the time, as i have a issue w earwax build up. its great for your skin, hair, nails, shining and moisturizing leather, and so much more just like the baby oil. except its healthy for ur skin to absorb it, and u can drink it by mouth for health, just not too much unless u want diarreah.

fargojean5 months ago

use an iron on low heat, on top of a rag, and white marks disappear. Did it many times and it works!

Battlespeed6 months ago

Makes a good mold release.

reddhedd1 year ago
Baby oil is also great for cleaning and softening leather.I have used it on shoes ,purses,jackets & just about anything leather you can think of.
DIREED1 year ago
Another use for Baby Oil:
After working on a greasy car engine; saturate your hands with baby oil and wipe off with paper towels before washing hands with any kind of soap. Won't need to scrub so hard with harsh brushes/soaps.
Lillfot1 year ago
Heh, it ain't winter here in Sweden if it's above -10°C. Tough it out! :)
Baby oil is also useful for stopping creaking floor boards. Just trickle a small amount on the joint and hey presto.
Talc is far better !
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