For over a century, petroleum jelly has been used for a variety of things. At its inception in the 1800s, petroleum jelly was used by oil workers to help heal wounded or burnt skin. Studied and refined over the years, the substance we know today was patented by Robert Chesebrough in 1865 and remains the same transparent gel we all know.1
Now, petroleum jelly is a staple in many bathroom cabinets. You can use it to sooth burns, heal dry skin and grease up heads that get stuck between bars. But that’s not all petroleum jelly is good for. Check out this slick list of 14 more applications for petroleum jelly that’ll help you out in all kinds of sticky situations.
1. Kiss Lipstick Stains Goodbye
If you have any garments with lipstick stains, dab the affected area with petroleum jelly before tossing in the wash and laundering as usual. The petroleum jelly loosens the pigmentation and lets the soap work its magic to remove the lipstick.
2. Remove Gum from Wood
Whether it’s on your floor or under the kitchen table, gum can be removed by rubbing petroleum jelly on it. The gum will start to disintegrate, making it easier for you to remove. Depending on how sensitive the surface is you’re working with, you might also coax it off with the help of a putty knife.
3. Extend the Scent of Perfume
Perfume and cologne can be very pricey. Save more and smell better by using petroleum jelly to extend the life of your favourite scent. If you apply a bit of petroleum jelly to the area where you apply your perfume or cologne before applying, your perfume or cologne will smell nicer longer.
4. Spread on a Sponge to Lure Fish
No more worms or expensive bait — fishermen, try this reusable and cost-effective lure. Before casting a line, place a small piece of sponge spread with petroleum jelly on a hook to lure fish. To a hungry fish, the petroleum jelly sponge will look like a tasty sack of fish eggs.
5. Keep a Jack-O’-Lantern Healthier Longer
If you like to carve pumpkins, a great way to keep the top from rotting quickly is by applying petroleum jelly around the rim of the base and the underside of the top. It will keep the exposed inside from oxidising and moldy as quickly.
6. Smile Without Fear of Lipstick Stains
If you have problems with lipstick on your teeth when you smile, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your teeth prior to applying. When you’re done, wipe it away and save yourself from any residual lipstick that could be lingering and embarrass you later.
7. Insert Earrings Easily
If you’re having trouble getting your earrings into your ears, apply petroleum jelly to both sides to help the ring glide through your lobes with ease.
8. Make a Body Scrub
Do you suffer from itchy or especially dry skin? Forget those expensive scrubs from the store. Just mix sea salt with petroleum jelly for an inexpensive, healthy exfoliator that helps leave your skin feeling smooth. After your scrub, follow up with a little petroleum jelly on especially rough patches of skin like your elbows, knees and knuckles.
9. Polish Leather Apparel
To give your small leather goods — like shoes or bags — a sheen that won’t damage them, polish with petroleum jelly. Start by applying a small amount — you can always add more — and rubbing it in with a microfibre towel or polishing cloth.
10. Keep Your Face Safe From Hair Dye
Before dyeing your hair, apply petroleum jelly to your forehead, neck and ears to prevent those areas from getting stained by the dye. When you’re all done, wipe away the excess dye along with the petroleum jelly for easy clean up.
11. Wiggle off a Tight Ring
If you can’t seem to pry that ring off your finger, rub the area with petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly helps to minimise the friction that keeps you from getting the ring off.
12. Grease up Squeaky Hinges
When your doors start sounding like they came from a haunted house, apply petroleum jelly to the hinges so they can move more freely and quietly.
13. Say “So Long” to Watermarks on Wood
Did a recent houseguest put a glass on your wooden table without a coaster? Attack the resulting watermark with petroleum jelly and a cloth. Just rub it on the stain and leave it overnight. Wipe it away the next day.
14. Suffocate Lice
If you have the displeasure of having lice, slather your head with petroleum jelly. The lice will suffocate under the thick, gelatinous substance.
1Vaseline. (n.d.). What is petroleum jelly & what is it used for? Retrieved 17 January 2017, from http://www.vaseline.us/skin-health-care/what-is-petroleum-jelly.html