Slick Tricks: 11 Unusual Uses for Baby Oil

The primary function of baby oil is to make a newborn’s skin silky and smooth. Or is it? Here are a dozen more applications for baby oil that make this cheap, common household product much more useful.

1. Remove Gum from Hair or Skin

There was a girl in my elementary school that managed to get gum in her hair all the time; she liked to chew on her hair while chewing her gum. I’m not sure how her parents removed the gum (although, I do remember them cutting it out of her hair at least once), but they could have used baby oil. If you ever find gum in your hair, just apply baby oil to the area and work the gum out with your fingers. This will work on other areas of your body, too.


2. Make Homemade Wipes

Wipes aren’t just for babies. We use them in our house to stay fresh and clean at all times. I even keep them in my bag in the summer time for when I get hot and sweaty and need to refresh. To save money on wipes, make your own using these ingredients:

1/2 roll of quality paper towels or reusable soft fabric (like flannel)
453.6 g boiled water
29.57 ml baby oil
29.57 ml baby wash

Fold “wipes” and place neatly stacked in a plastic wipes container or storage baggie. Combine liquid ingredients and pour into container.


3. Remove Stubborn Adhesive

I hate when I buy something new at the store and the price sticker doesn’t peel off all the way. You’d think with all the technology we have in this world, we could invent an adhesive that doesn’t cling to the product for dear life. Thankfully there’s a solution. Dip a cotton swab in baby oil and dab it onto the area and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe it off with a clean towel when it’s ready.


4. Shine Shoes, Chrome or Treated Wood

Baby oil is oil, after all, so it makes sense that it will make any surface shiny. Baby oil is ideal on shoes, chrome, and wood (like floors and tables) because it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that could ruin the finishes.


5. Loosen Problem Zippers

You tug and tug and tug and the zipper still won’t budge. If you find yourself in this predicament, dip a cotton swab or cotton ball into baby oil and apply it to the area where the zipper is stuck. The oil will act as a lubricant to help the zipper move along. Be careful not to pour the oil directly onto the garment, however; you don’t want to stain your clothes.


6. Remove Latex Paint from Skin

If you have a painting project, you can bet that you’ll get paint on yourself (even if your wearing painters’ clothes) — and sometimes that can be very difficult to get off. To avoid scraping and scratching your skin, apply baby oil to the area(s) to make the paint easier to remove.


7. Give a Massage

This is one of baby oil’s best uses. It feels so nice when applied during a massage, and it makes your skin soft and supple. Of course, first you have to find someone to massage you.


8. Remove Makeup

Gentlemen, we have no idea how hard it is to put on makeup, let alone remove it. But the ladies do. To make the removal a bit easier, use baby oil instead of soap and water. This works especially well on notoriously stubborn makeup like the stuff that goes around the eyes.


9. Use as an After-Shave

If you’ve run out of after-shave, fellas (and some of your hirsute ladies), grab the baby oil and slather it on your freshly shaven skin for a gentle and soothing finisher.


10. Reduce Stretch Marks

If you notice stretch marks due to pregnancy (or that food baby growing in your belly), rub baby oil on the area. This old wives’ tale is meant to work because the oil is greasy and easily absorbed into the skin, which should help reduce the appearance of the stretch marks.


11. Untangle a Chain Necklace

Before you mangle your silver and gold necklaces because there’s a snag, drop it in a bowl of baby oil. Once the links are lubricated, they should be easier to untangle. If the problem still persists, use a needle or a pin to help work out the kinks.


Have even more unusual uses for baby oil? Let me know in the comments below.


Mikey Rox is an award-winning blogger and journalist whose work has been published by more than 100 regional, national and international publications. Consistently, Rox writes for the personal finance blogs Wise Bread and Money Crashers and lifestyle sites such as FlyLyf and Swagr. Rox lives in New York City with his husband and their two dogs. Follow his OMG! moments on Twitter @mikeyrox.


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