20 Ways to Use Vaseline
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
26 thoughts on “20 Ways to Use Vaseline”
I thought I knew the many uses of vaseline but this article really opened my eyes. I’ve always used it to heal my dry, cracked hands, and for several other purposes, but had never heard of using it to protect my fruit trees from ants. I’ll be doing that.
Hi Ray, yay! You are my gardener hero! I hope this helps with the fruit trees. I keep thinking about Jane making those eggnog snickerdoodles, I need to make some today!! Linda
Be sure you don’t add too much flour to the batter. Jane did and after they cooled they turned into snickercrackersand became bird food. She was so disappointed she made Chocolate Creme Bon Bons today. I’m a happy man.
Hi Ray, well, bon bons sound wonderful!! Crackers and bird food, I have the giggles now! Linda
I do not agree with using Vaseline petroleum jelly on your skin. This “jelly” is a byproduct of petroleum, scraped from the bottom of petroleum barrels. It contain carcinogens – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The EWG & the CDC have long warned of the danger of cancer as well as hormonal disruptions & a threat to the reproductive system.
Hi Linda, I stressed throughout the post not to use a lot on our skin. Thank you for reminding us about the dangers. Linda
Linda, I don’t know about “a lot” but I put it on skin cracks and cover it with a band aid and it has worked wonders my whole life.
HI Ray, it’s made wonders with my skin and lips as well. Linda
Hi, Linda! Great article. I don’t use Petroleum Jelly, but I do make my own UnPetroleum Jelly. I don’t measure, but I use coconut oil and bees wax to the consistency of Petroleum Jelly. It works great. I used it instead of the Vaseline that the dermatologist said to use on a healing skin cancer removal. Worked good. I’m like Linda Smith, I don’t put petroleum products on my skin. I didn’t know about all she said about it. I just didn’t want to use it.
Hi Deborah, oh, great idea on the coconut oil and beeswax. That’s interesting the dermatologist-recommended Vaseline for healing your skin cancer removal. I’ve been using it for 50+ years (I’m 71) and it’s been a staple in my home. I will be more cautious going forward. But I will still continue to stock it. It’s frustrating because so many things cause cancer and other diseases that we are even aware of. Great comment, Linda
Along with other “tool” uses–a dab of petroleum jelly on the threads of a screw before screwing it in (or a bolt before putting on the nut) is a good idea. The screw will probably go in a bit easier, and is less likely to rust, so is more easily removable. Put another dab on the head of the screw when you’re done, too–that way the grooves will stay “sharper” and easier to fit the screwdriver into, if ever you need to remove the screw.
It’s also useful as a fire starter–cotton balls and/or wads of dryer lint with petroleum jelly rubbed in work well.
I also have to say I agree with Linda Smith–I’ve run across the same information about the danger of petroleum jelly as skin care/treatment. Probably not going to be an issue for a *very* occasional emergency use, but I’d certainly have other items stored, especially for #’s 1, 2, and 3. Bag Balm and a zinc/cod liver oil ointment (Desitin or generic) would be my go-to’s.
Hi Rhonda, thank you for your comment, I love Desitin and Bag Balm too! I remember reading about the fire starters, great reminder. Thank you! I love the “grease” the screw idea! Linda
Another wonderful use for Vaseline is when your refrigerator or freezer starts losing cold air due to a bad seal. My refrigerator only cost $100 used, and a new seal would almost that much. My cousin found on the internet that you could put a thick layer of Vaseline on the seal and it would hold the air in. I’ve been using it on my refrigerator for almost a year now. I reapply it every 4-6 months to keep it sealing well.
Vaseline is also a great insulator. I used to always have cold feet and a customer of mine told me to apply a thin layer (like lotion) before putting my socks on. My feet stay toasty now!
She also gave me another good idea to stay warm. You know when you turn over in bed and you freeze until you warm the new spot up? If you put a blanket under your bottom sheet, you’ll just warm to the blanket and then heat is returned instead of having to heat through the whole mattress.
Hi Peggy, oh my gosh, I love these ideas!! I would never have thought about the refrigerator or freezer seals!! I like the tip about keeping our feet warm too!! I LOVE this! Linda
Peggy, we once putt a small rope, I’m thinking it was about the size of a clothes line, under our refrigerator seal. It helped a lot also. Using both the line and the Vaseline you could go for quite a while before having to replace it entirely.
Thank you, Cathy, those seals are pricey to replace, Great tip! Linda
Thank you! Maybe both ideas will work together when this one stops working on it’s own!
Look at what type rubber is used in the gas mask and how often you use a petroleum based product.
Every drug store, Walmart etc has options in the personal care section. Hypoallergenic Silicone and water based are going to be much better. The point is to enjoy not to fight infection afterwards.
Dryer lint and Vaseline are the best and cheapest for fire starting especially in damp conditions
Hi Matt, great comment as always, my friend! I will check out the Hypoallergenic Silicone and water-based products! Love it! Linda
Matt, you started this: my gynecologist recommends coconut oil. Effective, natural, inexpensive!
Hi Roxanne, great idea for the coconut oil! Linda
Well we are adults or I’m a large old guy anyway lol. I’m not sure I’m always an adult.
Coconut oil is ok as a water based replacement but I really like platinum from Walgreens for silicone.
Robert Chesebrough the discoverer of Vaseline reportedly consumed a spoonful every day and lived for 96 years.
I was advised by three different doctors ( 2 of them nose and throat specialists) to apply a small amount of Vaseline into
each nostril daily to compensate for the extreme lack of humidity where I was living, which was causing me serious nose-bleeds.This was a common ‘prescription’ for everyone experiencing discomfort due to the low humidity level in the air.
Almost 40 years later I am still sticking Vaseline up my nose twice a day EVERY day. Works great!
Hi Jerry, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! He lived to be 96!! What a great story! Lack of humidity is so hard! It’s working for you now 40 years later! Love it! Linda
Not to sound like a total slob but…I have a granite sink and marble counter in my bathroom. We have a poorly designed faucets and water splashes behind the sink when we wash our hands. I had a huge calcium buildup but couldn’t find anything to dissolve the calcium that wouldn’t mar the marble. I slathered the back of the sink with jelly that thought I would let is work for a day or two. I couldn’t see it, I forgot about it. I wiped down my counter and that was it. The other day I was taking everything off the vanity to clean and saw the Vaseline. I took and old toothbrush and scrubbed and so much calcium came off! I wiped off the brush and scrubbed the back of the sink counter again. I was happy so much calcium came off. I felt like a swine for not deep cleaning the vanity top sooner! I’ll try it behind my husband’s sink but put a reminder in my Franklin.
Hi Linda, you are not a slob, calcium buildup is not fun. I love hearing that Vaseline helped remove it! Yay! I’m looking at a bathtub soap holder that needs a little caulk. It’s the little things we have to keep on top of, I totally get it! Life is so good! Linda