Instructables
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

Picture of Bath oil
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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Tanamoril3 years ago
On behalf of the nation of Canada, I am obliged to inform you that -10 C is not cold.
You get down to -20 and then we'll talk.

That being said, this is a really good way to prevent windburn, much like a good lipbalm, only all ovah ya face.
I acknowledge that -20 C is cold, but I'm from Montana. -20C is nothing, it's not strange to have -40F with a wind chill of -70 or 80. That would be about -57C...

-70F is not -57C.. it's -21C ... your point is invalid... yes I know, 3 years late, but someone had to tell you...

actually -70F is infact -57C so their point is valid, sorry (-70-32)/1.8 = 56.7(1dp)

I was going to comment on this, but you basicly nailed it!

-30 a couple of nights a year in these parts, colder happens... I was happy when my car started at -34 C .. :-)
</pissing contest>
Try Northern alberta. Minus 50 withoutany windchill. and winnipeg where its regularly in the minus 40's
HA!!
I've got you ALL beat.
Try sitting on a warm sunny beach with a light breeze, your favorite drink, and favorite person/people.
Well...I'm not saying that's where I am, but it'd SURE be nice :)
Seriously - I know most people like this... but to me that environment (except the people!) is one of the worst situations I can find myself in.

I much prefer if it never gets above 30F. I'm just different.


And I thought the song said:

Almost Heaven... West Virgnia.

And here you have been hiding it up there all this time!

BTW - beautiful country up there!
Florida, here. 2004 saw hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Ivan. Mineral oil was great for getting camp gear unstuck during the blackout, keeping the native "no-see-ums" at bay, keeping the watermarks on the hardwood floors from gaining any permanence, and keeping various tools from becoming rusted and inoperable.

Vacation seasons often see vacationers trying to substitute baby oil for suntan oil or afterburn oil...which, by the way, is an excellent way to develop blisters in a sunburn - but not so great for "tan acceleration", contrary to vacationers' expectations. It's also great for getting the fans unstuck after a season of storage.

Baby oil is also excellent at removing Kool Seal from hirsute homeowners' forearms, as, yes, it breaks down the latex.

Yes, it also makes for a great bath oil - but only in moderation, and - as with all oils - always be certain to clean the oil out afterwards, as the tub can get quite slick for the shower-taker afterwards.
unlock laferte3 years ago
On behalf of the people of Hoth ...
My pet wampa agrees
LOL.
Well try 45 C. For half a week on end.
On behalf of those who are native to the Great Lake snow belts, -20 Celsius also is not that cold. When you get down to around -30 F (-34 Celsius), and the humidity is high enough that your nose-flesh literally freezes when you try to breathe - this is when its starts to get cold. Standing on the shores of the Lake with it blowing in your face - while the temp is in this range also will make it hard for anyone to say they are "cold" ever again.

And as to wind chill - forget it... -30 windchill "feels like" is picnic weather when comparing it to actual mercury levels on the thermometer.

Now we need someone from Siberia to post and say, -30 is nothing b/c...

:^)
I agree. -10C is nothing. -20C is cold, maybe awful. I am glad that I have never experienced -30C! I tried to run in -21C, and I got more tired than usually. Applying vaseline or baby oil on the skin is useful if you're outside for a longer time, but won't these freeze or makes it worser on the longer term?

-10C can even feel comfortable or really awful, it depends on
the wind and humity. I recommend slowly acclimating yourself to the cold weather by going out (shortly) with little clothes, letting oneself freeze and becomes cold to make it easier for the body to accept colder climates. I usually do that at autumn. :)
From experience over many years, here is an even easier way to acclimate in just a few hours...

Go out in the cold all bundled up. Do some back breaking labor - like splitting firewood. As you get warmer start stripping off outer layers of clothing until, Keep doing this until you are in a T-shirt. When you get done with the work, go in the house and take a shower but do not try to cook yourself b/c the water feels good. Also do not have the heat in the house up so it is baking you. And, above all, do NOT use an electric blanket - these cook you all night and your body gets to expecting this kind of heat and then you cannot acclimate.

I used to go to school in SC and would come home during Christmas vacation to the Lake Erie snow belt. The first day I was home I did this very thing and, from then on, just had on a light jacket & hat while still home.

And if I was willing to write a book, one of the most intelligent sayings I have ever heard is an old indian saying: "white men get cold b/c they treat cold like an enemy instead of a friend." I have found this more and more true as I get older. Explore the meaning of this saying and it will be hard for you to be uncomfortable in cooler climates. I also find my immune system is stronger.
> "white men get cold b/c they treat cold like an enemy instead of a friend." .....

True, beautiful said. Thanks. The Western have lost a lot compared to the ancient tribes living in harmony with the nature. Look at the animals and birds, do you actually see somebody resisting the cold weather?
They seems to shrug it away, it seems that they're listening more to the body, it's older and more developed than the brain. Where does the resistance most people have comes from?

The modern world seems to have that attitude that everything unknown/uncomfortable is a enemy to one's welfare. I wonder why.
Discomfort and pain are your body's way of telling you "something's wrong, fix it or I'll keep annoying you."
On behalf of Australians: .... 20C is pretty cold... i think my legs would drop off at -20C. :D but I suppose you get used to the weather wherever you are, eventually.
On behalf of Missouri, at least you all have predictable weather. One day we'll have rain, sun for half the next day, followed by snow, all ended nicely with tornado warnings, usually mixed with a little flooding.
...or have 80 weather and five inches of snow two days later :)
Hear Hear Tanamoril!!!!
slam800024 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.

kookoome2 months ago

Ive used creamy baby oil to clean like leather and wood

cplace13 months ago

Great instructable! Quite funny!

KellyCraig4 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.

leflic4 months ago

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

leflic leflic4 months ago

Oops... that came out wrong! Oh well...you 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.

grapenut5 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!

tholopotami5 months ago

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

surquhart25 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:

http://allnurses-breakroom.com/beauty-aging-health...

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. http://sandramurquhart.com

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