Vaseline isn’t just good for chapped lips! In fact, we’ve come across 20 ways to use vaseline that make this jelly something you definitely want to stock!
What is Vaseline?
Discovered by Robert Augustus Chesebrough in 1859, Vaseline is the brand name for petroleum jelly. It’s also called petrolatum and is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes which forms a semisolid jelly-like substance. It hasn’t changed much since 1859.
Petroleum jelly has a plethora of benefits that stem from its main ingredient, petroleum. Petroleum is a water-protective barrier. It helps skin heal and retains moisture. However, it can be used for more than just your skin.
20 Ways to Use Vaseline
If you haven’t started stocking vaseline, this is something you should have in your prepping gear! You probably have a tub of petroleum jelly in your cupboard, but like most households, it’s seriously underused. This “wonder jelly” can be put to a variety of good uses, not only on your body, but around the house for other uses as well.
Vaseline makers suggest using it by its “best if used by” date which is about 3-years. However, anecdotal evidence shows that it can be used for as long as 5 to 10 years after that date. Given its long shelf-life, you may want to stock up on it for its many homesteading and survival uses.
Keep reading to find out 20 ways to use vaseline:
1. Moisturizer/Skin Protector
Vaseline is probably best known for its use on your skin. It can be used as a lip balm, moisturizer, and skin protector. It softens and protects dry lips, smooths dry, rough skin, and protects skin from other harmful elements. Consider using it to help keep your cuticles soft.
2. Heals Minor Scrapes and Burns
If you are in a survival situation, you won’t be able to go to the doctor for every minor injury. But, vaseline is effective in helping to heal skin injuries. If you have a scrape or a burn, be sure to clean it thoroughly and then apply a layer of vaseline to add protection and promote healing.
3. Diaper Cream
If you have a little one in diapers, you may be stocking up on diaper cream, but you can actually use vaseline instead. In fact, I think it works better than the diaper cream at wicking away moisture and protecting those little bums.
4. Make a Candle
Did you know that you can even use vaseline as an emergency candle? If you are in a pinch, you can make one with petroleum jelly and a cotton ball. Simply place a dollop of jelly in a tin can or fire-safe container, put a little on the cotton ball, and then light it. Note that I haven’t tried this and the manufacturer states it is safe: “So if you’re worried about whether Vaseline Jelly is flammable, you don’t need to be. Vaseline Jelly is a cosmetic product and is actually beneficial to have in your home, helping you to care for dry skin, chapped lips, and minor cuts.”
5. Protect Your Fruit Trees
If you grow your own food, you may have fruit trees that can be destroyed by aphids and scale. Ants help to protect these pests. To prevent the ants from climbing the trees and protecting unwanted pests, slather an inch wide band of vaseline around the tree’s base.
6. Trap Bugs
Bugs of any kind can be a real pain, especially inside your house. You don’t need a fly trap; all you need is some vaseline. To trap flying insects, smear a bright yellow piece of cardboard or plastic with a thick coating of Vaseline. Hang it wherever you have the most pest activity. The insects will be attracted to the yellow color and get stuck.
7. Clean the Tub
Petroleum jelly also works amazingly well at removing soap scum from your faucets and hardware. Apply a little bit to the faucet and handles, allowing the jelly to soak into the soap scum. Then, just wipe it off.
8. Prevent Corrosion
Battery corrosion can cause serious issues in your vehicle. In fact, it may have trouble starting if you need it in an emergency. To prevent corrosion, you can apply a tablespoon of vaseline to your battery terminals. Remember, disconnect the terminals first before applying the vaseline.
9. Remove Sap
Vaseline even works as a skin cleanser especially if you end up covered in pine sap or another sticky substance. You can use vaseline on your skin to help remove the goop.
10. Prevent Rust with Vaseline
Buffing your hammers, knives, and other tools with a light coat of vaseline can help prevent your tools from getting rusty. This is because it prevents humidity and moisture from causing rust. It’s not just a barrier for your skin, but for your tools too.
11. Use it as a Lubricant
Vaseline can be used as a lubricant to stop squeaky, sticky doors or windows. Just apply a little bit to the track of your sliding door, the hinge of your car door, or anything that squeaks or sticks. Additionally, you can use it to lubricate your firearms. I suggest you follow the “little bit” listed since you don’t want to attract dust and dirt in the air.
12. Shaving Cream
You are probably already stocking up on shaving cream, but if you run out, you can always use vaseline in its place. Spread a little on each area you are shaving for protection and a clean shave.
13. Use Vaseline on Pet Paws
During the hot summer and cold winter months, your pet’s paws can become dry and cracked. You can slather vaseline on the pads of their feet to soothe and soften them. I’d suggest putting it on the paws outside and then wiping them clean before they come inside to reduce the amount tracked in on your floors.
14. Special Lubrication
I suggest you try Vaseline to help keep those zippers and slide rules working properly. Also apply to weatherstipping around your doors and windows to they stay more soft and less brittle. It can also keep certain leathers looking new, put a shine on your patent leather products like shoes (be sure to buff off), and other things you want to shine.
15. Seal a Gas Mask
If you, unfortunately, have to use a gas mask, you can help seal the edges better with vaseline. Use a layer of vaseline around the edges. If you have facial hair, use a heavy layer to keep air from getting between your skin and the mask.
16. Prevent Blisters
Whether you are working on the homestead or taking a hike in the woods, vaseline can help prevent blisters on your feet and hands. Apply a layer of vaseline to your feet before putting on your socks and shoes to help prevent foot blisters. To prevent blisters on your hands, apply a thin layer of vaseline to your hands then cover them with garden gloves.
17. Save Your Split Ends
When you are working on the homestead, sun and wind exposure can dry up your hair causing split ends. You can reduce split ends and add a nice shine to your hair by rubbing a small amount of jelly between your palms and applying it to your hair ends.
18. Treat Athlete’s Foot with Vaseline
Did you know that vaseline can suffocate the fungus that causes athlete’s foot? This is because it is an occlusive moisturizer that reduces water loss from the skin and forms a barrier so that there is no sweat for the fungus to thrive on.
Dandruff can be super itchy and annoying, especially if you don’t have access to dandruff shampoo. Rub vaseline in your scalp to reduce itching and irritation. This application may make your hair look a little oily, so if you’re going out shopping or on a date, you’ll probably want to shampoo your hair and then re-apply when you get home. Buying that dandruff shampoo you need will be a longer-term solution.
20. Protect Wood
Protect your wood furniture from moisture damage with a light coating of vaseline. Buff it with a soft cloth and you have a perfect protective barrier for your wood furniture and tools.
Cautions with use of Vaseline:
Although vaseline has a variety of uses, it should ONLY be for external use. You should never eat or insert petroleum jelly. Additionally, using it as a vaginal lubricant should be avoided. According to a study, 40% of women who used vaseline as a lubricant, also tested positive for bacterial vaginosis. There are other potentially dangerous side effects you should be aware of. These include:
- Allergies: Some people are more sensitive to petroleum based products. Keep an eye out for irritations and rashes after use. If you see changes in your skin condition stop using the Vaseline.
- Infections: If you don’t fully clean a wound before applying petroleum jelly, it can cause fungal or bacterial infections. After you’ve cleaned the wound, you may want to let it dryout so you don’t retain the moisture when applying the Vaseline.
- Aspiration pneumonia: Be careful using it around the nose area as inhaling the minerals can cause aspiration pneumonia.
- Clogged pores: Since it is a skin protectant, if you don’t fully clean your skin, petroleum jelly can clog your pores causing breakouts. As noted, most of the suggestions above indicate using small amounts.
More Prepping Guides
Looking for more prepping information? Check out some of my other posts to get more ideas on what to store and for what!
- 25 Prepping Items to Hoard
- 14 Items Preppers Shouldn’t Throw Away
- Uncommon First Aid Items We Should All Have
- WD-40: What You May Not Know
If you haven’t started stocking vaseline, it’s time to start adding that to your list. With so many different ways to use vaseline, it definitely should be a part of your prepping supplies. Have you found other ways to use it? If so, share them in the comments below! May God bless this world. Linda