Introduction: Unusual Uses for Vaseline

Picture of Unusual Uses for Vaseline

This over the counter topical treatment has been around for ages and there's really no end to its usefulness. By having a tub of this in your home you've got the makings of a medicinal cure-all mixed with a handyman fix-all.

Follow along and we'll explore some of the most unusual used for Vaseline, some are weird but they are all practical.

Ready to get a little lubricated? Let's get slippery!

Step 1: Lipstick on Teeth

Picture of Lipstick on Teeth

Never get lipstick on your teeth again! Smear a little Vaseline on your teeth before applying lipstick and keep your chompers pearly white. This is a technique is used by beauty contestants, or those first learning to apply lipstick.

Step 2: Hair Dye Barrier

Picture of Hair Dye Barrier

To protect your skin from being dyed along with your hair, try creating a barrier on your forehead and around your ears with a thin layer of Vaseline. The petroleum jelly will protect your skin from absorbing the hair dye, allowing you to be a little messy when applying liberal amounts of dye to your hair.

After dye application simply wipe the Vaseline off with a cloth.

Step 3: Shine Your Boots

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Use some Vaseline to touch up your scuffed boots or heels, making them look good as new!

Dab a clean soft cloth with a little Vaseline and gently rub into leather shoes or boots. Petroleum jelly is great for moisturizing leathers, making them shine, and giving them a little water resistance.

Step 4: Prevent Battery Corrosion

Picture of Prevent Battery Corrosion

Vaseline can also help outside the home, like in your car. By adding Vaseline to the terminals of car battery you can help prevent corrosion. The Vaseline forms a water resistant barrier around the metal tops of the battery terminals, a place where acidic corrosion is likely to occur.

Pop the hood of your car, and carefully smear a liberal amount of Vaseline on each terminal of the battery, being careful not to touch both terminals together with anything conductive.

Step 5: Revive Dried Leather

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Vaseline is great rejuvenating skin, so why not on leather goods?

This old baseball mitt was brought back to life by rubbing Vaseline into every stitch and seam and allowing it to sit for a while to really soak in, excess Vaseline was wiped off. If needed, apply another session of Vaseline to any stubborn areas after allowing the glove to rest for a day between applications.

For the baseball enthusiasts who reject Vaseline on your glove, Harold Reynolds recommends Vaseline to help break in baseball gloves.

Step 6: Remove a Stuck Ring

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Vaseline is super slippery and can be used to loosen any stuck jewellery from your chubby digits.

Smear a liberal amount on both sides of your stuck ring, then twist and work the ring back and forth on your finger to spread the Vaseline underneath the ring and between the metal and your skin. Then, gently pull the ring from your finger.

Step 7: Remove Chewing Gum From Hair

Picture of Remove Chewing Gum From Hair

Getting gum in your hair is the absolute worst. Luckily, humble Vaseline can help remove even the stickiest chewing gum.

Isolate the section of hair that has the gum stuck in it, then work a large gob of Vaseline into the gum to break up the gum elasticity. Take breaks by wiping the gum and Vaseline mix from your hair with a paper towel, then reapply Vaseline to the gum in hair again and continue working until all the gum has been broken down and removed.

To remove the amount of gum shown in the picture took about 7 minutes.

Step 8: Put It on Small Cuts

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If you ever watch boxing, there's a reason why trainers apply Vaseline to the cuts on the fighters faces. Aside from being all slippery, the Vaseline also forms a barrier that can stop small cuts.

After cleaning your cut you can apply a gob of Vaseline to the area directly over the cut, this will seal the wound which should prevent further bleeding and also provide a barrier to prevent infection.

Step 9: Hairball Remedy

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Since petroleum jelly is a lubricant it can be used to help pets with hairballs. Some animals don't mind eating Vaseline straight, but for more finicky pets you can apply the petroleum jelly directly to the paws and they'll lick it off.

Petroleum jelly is non-toxic, and in small quantities should be fine for pets. Be mindful that although moderate amount of jelly are fine, too much can prevent the intestines from absorbing vitamins and may give your pet diarrhea.

Step 10: Easy Open Jar Lids

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Keeping jar lids easy to open is simple with a little petroleum jelly. Smear a thin layer of Vaseline around the threaded side of a jar lid before screwing on the lid, the slippery jelly will prevent any stuck food from seizing the lid to the jar and should allow you to easily open those suborn jars.

This works great for sticky foods with high sugar content, like honey, jam, or barbecue sauce.

Step 11: Soft Focus on Camera Lens

Picture of Soft Focus on Camera Lens

Take vintage photos by using the classic technique of greasing your camera lens. Apply a small dab directly to the camera lens with your fingertip and gently rub to cover the entire lens. Check through the viewfinder to see if your image looks nice and dreamy, you may need to remove or add more to achieve your effect. In my experience a little goes a long way.

You'll look so dreamy in soft focus, Clark Gable will be jealous.

To remove find a lint-free lens cloth and gently rub the lens to clean.

Step 12: Moisturize Dog Paws

Picture of Moisturize Dog Paws

It's always nice to be pampered, and your pup is no exception. When relaxing with your best friend and giving out belly rubs try massaging a little Vaseline into your dogs dry paws. Use a little at first, as some dogs are adverse to the sensation of their paws being rubbed, and the added texture of the petroleum jelly can make them apprehensive - however if you have a good relationship with your dog this really shouldn't be an issue.

Do you have your own unusual use for Vaseline?I want to know!

Share your thoughts in the comments below, comments with a picture will get a free Pro Membership to Instructables!


PO3 (author)2017-12-15

Vaseline is a good frostbite preventative on combs of hens and roosters too. Rub a thin layer on the comb and even the wattles. Really every two or three days in really cold weather.



; D

PrettyDistraction81 (author)2017-06-06

Use a thin layer on saw blades for less friction to aid in smoother sawing and dip tips of screws in for smoother and faster drilling.

obillo (author)2017-06-01

The dollar-store cheap stuff is just as good as Vaseline brand. I've used it to protect wood surfaces and it's as good as beeswax or linseed oil.

MarleneS (author)2017-05-31

Vaseline in the port o pottie or RV toilet - use it on the plastic parts of the flusher ... no idea what they are called. Got a real toilet at the cabin now :)

WannaDuino (author)2016-11-14

Mr Mikeasaurus,

And this is also from my grandma!!!

when you got a burn from a soldering iron, put vaseline on it, and it wil direct eas the pain. Super!!!

From a medical standpoint, any vaseline etc. will only serve to hold the heat in the body.

But it helps on the go, when needed. it relieves really, AND i will keep doing it..Why?

Becaus i still burn myself with that IRON

MarleneS (author)WannaDuino2017-05-31

Honey for burns - seriously amazing healing properties.

Lyndawarn (author)WannaDuino2017-05-19

Best putting it under cold water till it stops hurting

NickR37 (author)Cindytreasures2017-05-16

So would rubbing PJ on your hands and feet in the cold winters before bundling up help keep those extremities warm? Not being silly but that would be great if it worked like that

StephenB189 (author)WannaDuino2017-05-11

As a healthcare professional I can say not to do this. Yes it does remove some of the initial pain, but locks the burn in, making the actual burn worse.

thundrepance (author)StephenB1892017-05-17

?all of my nurse friends & relatives agree with you & cindytreasures, steve!

NickR37 (author)StephenB1892017-05-16

What about sun burn? Would that basically do the same thing as you mentioned? lock the burn in?

mrstan (author)WannaDuino2017-02-16

that is awesome! Tell your grandmother thanks from me...

WannaDuino (author)mrstan2017-03-25

can you answer to test my email notivication, BECAUSE IT STIL IS NOT WORKING, and you all let me be, after i maild you

mrstan (author)WannaDuino2017-03-31

I see this message.. I am not understanding what you are saying though.. you mailed me something?

WannaDuino (author)mrstan2017-05-11

my notifications is not working, almost 8 months now, normally we get an e mail when somebody answers, but after a bad email from instructables with some bugs in it, i got huge problems now. thats why i askt you to just reply, but man, it stil not works.

WannaDuino (author)mrstan2017-05-11

Thank you

mikeasaurus (author)WannaDuino2016-11-14

Another great use for Vaseline. Your grandma is a smart lady! :)

WannaDuino (author)mikeasaurus2017-05-11

thank you, 6 Months later

sorry AGAIN for the late reply, my message mail notification is STILL not working.

WannaDuino. ( she passed away a few months ago Mike,)

EdB75 (author)WannaDuino2017-05-11

go to your local drug store and buy some silvadene cream for ANY burns. it soothes and heals and reduces scarring on really bad burns. ive used it many times and its amazing.

WannaDuino (author)EdB752017-05-11

thank you i wil try

natpodu77 (author)WannaDuino2017-05-11

You should never use oil based products for burns because it will actually retain the heat of the burn and cause more irritation. You can apply Vaseline to help moisturize it after it has already cooled down, but you don't want to put Vaseline on a fresh burn ever.

gm280 (author)2017-05-11

I have actually built a lot of automatic transmissions over the years. And Vaseline is/was used on all the parts like "O" rings and seals and even some valve body parts when assembling them back. It helps hold ball bearings in place as well. The lip seals slip together with easy.

It also works great on the typical door hinges in your house. Remove the hinge pins and put a little on them and slide them back more squeaks.

RobertK202 (author)gm2802017-05-11

And all the rubber o-rings dissolved shortly thereafter. Petroleum Jelly eats rubber. Using proper lubricants is critical to a well maintained machine.

gm280 (author)RobertK2022017-05-11

Obvious you have never built any transmissions before. The training videos actually tell you to use Vaseline when assembling them. Odd they don't know about the "O" rings dissolving. And my transmission(s) have been working flawlessly for decades now. I guess any day they will stop because the "O" rings dissolved. IDK

RobertK202 (author)gm2802017-05-25

You're right. Incidentally I have rebuilt a transmission. Turns out almost all automotive O-rings are silicone based. So you're right PJ is perfectly safe there.

PaulD279 (author)gm2802017-05-11

Door latch bolts sometimes hit the striker plate in the frame and refuse to retract, so the door will not close unless you physically turn the handle to retract the bolt. A light smear of vaseline on the sloping surface of the latch bolt fixes this, almost miraculously. A easy fix that few are aware of.

diymermaid (author)2017-05-19

Wow! I never thought of some of these. I love the last one!

drewaps (author)2017-05-17

I have used Vaseline instead of grease on bearings a few times it worked very well and is great if the machine is used with food.

Mohammedk38 (author)2016-02-26

Rubbing Vaseline on scratched CDs to make them readable again is a new one to me, but SAY

Mohammedk38 made it! (author)Mohammedk382016-02-26

Rubbing Vaseline on scratched CDs to make them readable again is a new one to me, but SAY

NickR37 (author)Mohammedk382017-05-16

what's a CD?

MiniatureM (author)NickR372017-05-17

a CD is a disc that you put into a CD player ( the big slot on the car radio) to play music

DougN10 (author)Mohammedk382017-05-11

Mohammedk38: I have not tried your idea, but I do know that when cleaning a smudged CD or DVD, you should never rub around the disc or in circles, only straight in or out from the edge.

mikeasaurus (author)Mohammedk382016-02-26

That's a clever idea, I didn't know you could do that.

Thanks for the tip and for sharing a picture, enjoy the Pro Membership!

sgmchef (author)2017-05-11

Well, just because no one mentioned it...

You can use always Vaseline for better love making!

Apply a generous amount to the hallway door knob to keep your kids out of the room!

NickR37 (author)sgmchef2017-05-16

better at the time maybe but it's not a good idea to have it inside the female anatomy. this is why lubricants are water based and not oil based. For male solo pleasure though...Heck yea it makes it better. ha ha ha

sgmchef (author)NickR372017-05-16

Nick! You should have read the last line!!!!!!!!

Denzo1971 (author)sgmchef2017-05-11

so so funny. Love it.

renar2d2 (author)2017-05-16

Any caulking or glue tubing. A blob in the cap keeps them from drying out. For the tubing that does not have caps, I use the electrical wiring caps with vaseline in each one. In the garden: one pie pan, one stale beer, and vaseline will get rid of snails. Place pan in shallow depression (easier for snails to crawl into) coat the edges lightly with vaseline on the inside of the pan, add beer (about 1cup or less). Next day drowned drunken snails.

wesleysuhler (author)renar2d22017-05-16

Nice! I have a nitrile glove wrapped around the tip of my caulk tube tip off of which I cut too much! The snail thing made me think of that scene from Willow where the little tiny dudes fell into the bucket of beer...

bmiller91 (author)2017-05-11

Ok - admit it. Who's inner 14 year old maturity came out when you read the title? :-0

NickR37 (author)bmiller912017-05-16

14? I'm 42 and thought it lol

Altoidian (author)2017-05-11

When I was a kid we lived in a small town and the electricity would fail quite often. Sometimes my mother would make vaseline candles with small strips of cotton cloth and a jar lid. I can't remember exactly how she did it, but they put out good light.

NickR37 (author)Altoidian2017-05-16

That's interesting. When you say "strips of cotton cloth" do you mean anything around the house that happens to be cotton (like an old shirt cut into strips for example) seems like a very cool idea, even just to add lighting to a back yard or something...

harderm (author)Altoidian2017-05-11

Interesting. I'll have to experiment with that.

yvesR1 (author)2017-05-13

Cotton balls rubbed with Vaseline as Waterproof fire starters

NickR37 (author)yvesR12017-05-16

Was wondering what took so long for someone to bring this idea up. Guess it was all the debating about Rubber & O-Rings...Anyway, glad I continued reading cause I would have mentioned this one...It's perfect for wet & light rainy camping. Heard this on camping sites. We pre-made these fire starters at home. Just put some PJ on some cotton balls like you said and seal them in a few zip lock bags. Always bring a bag of them on a hike because you never know what could happen a sandwich type zip lock bag of the pre made PJ cotton balls, a second bag of dryer lint & a separate bag of matches placed in a gallon size freezer zip lock bag - even some small twigs thrown in there so you have a good base to start a fire...Once it's crackling can slowly add in some damp branches. Anyway, this poster is spot on...Good post

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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