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The Best and Most Surprising Uses for Vaseline

A person holds a container of petroleum jelly and scoops a little with a finger.
Towfiqu ahamed barbhuiya/Shutterstock.com

Petroleum jelly—or Vaseline—is a versatile and iconic product that goes beyond its traditional use as a skin product. From beauty hacks to household solutions, the uses for Vaseline are as diverse as they are effective. But what exactly are they?

If you’re curious about the different uses for petroleum jelly, we’ve put together a list of 10 surprising ways you can put this product to work. We’ll showcase its remarkable versatility to help you improve your life and skincare regime.

Lip Balm and Exfoliant

A close-up of a person's lips with petroleum jelly on them for hydration.
PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.com

If you struggle to keep track of your lip balm and never seem to have one nearby when you need it, then you want to try this classic Vaseline hack. It’s one of the best uses for Vaseline (and one of the most popular).

Dry, chapped lips can be uncomfortable, and ignoring them can worsen the issue. Thankfully, Vaseline is ready to rescue you. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your lips to lock in moisture and protect them from harsh weather conditions.

For a DIY lip exfoliant, mix Vaseline with a bit of sugar or salt to create a gentle lip scrub, leaving your lips soft and smooth. Add more sugar or salt for a more granular exfoliant. Add more Vaseline for a smoother exfoliant.

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Eye Makeup Remover

A woman wipes her face with a cotton pad.

There are so many Vaseline uses, including helping your makeup routine. If you’re looking for an excellent eye makeup remover, especially when dealing with stubborn products like waterproof mascara and eyeliner, consider your container of petroleum jelly.

Apply a small amount onto a cotton pad and gently wipe away makeup. The petroleum jelly works as a lubricant to help the makeup slide off your face without scratching or harming your skin.

Not only does it effectively remove makeup, but it also moisturizes the delicate skin around your eyes. This can be incredibly helpful for any dry skin girlies since many traditional makeup removers dry out your skin even more. Just be sure to cleanse your face afterward thoroughly.

Cuticle Care

A woman files her nails while sitting in a bathrobe.
Evgeniya Grande/Shutterstock.com

Healthy fingers don’t have to wait for a luxurious, expensive nail salon visit. You can maintain your nails at home.

Nourish and moisturize your cuticles by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Massage it gently onto your cuticles to soften and hydrate. This simple habit can help prevent painful hangnails and keep your fingers looking polished.

Remember that a little bit goes a long way, so start with a tiny dab of petroleum jelly and massage in more as necessary.

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Door Hinge Lubricant

A silver hinge on a white door.

Creaky door hinges can be annoying. While you might naturally reach for some WD40 to take care of this issue, Vaseline can provide a quick fix.

Apply a small amount to the hinges and move the door back and forth to distribute the jelly evenly. The lubricating properties of petroleum jelly will silence those squeaky hinges.

Highlighter Enhancer

A woman's face with highlighter on her cheekbones.
Oleg Gekman/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for ways to add more of a glow to your face without always using your contour kit, look no further than your container of petroleum jelly.

For a natural, dewy shine, dab a tiny amount of Vaseline onto the high points of your face. This includes the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and Cupid’s bow. This simple trick adds a subtle luminosity that catches the light beautifully, giving your skin a radiant finish.

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Shoe Shiner

A man polishes his shoes with a brush while wearing a suit.

Few things are as unsightly as dull, scratched leather shoes. If you don’t have a shoe shine kit nearby,  you can easily restore the shine of your leather shoes with a little bit of petroleum jelly.

Start with scooping a small amount of Vaseline on your finger or a gentle cleaning cloth. Gently buff it into the leather using circular motions. Watch as your shoes regain their polished look. Just make sure to buff all the jelly in so you don’t end up with slimy shoes.

Perfume Amplifier

A person applies perfume to their wrist.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

If you’re tired of constantly reapplying your perfume to maintain your signature scent, then grab your tube of Vaseline. Applying a layer of petroleum jelly to the skin before spraying your perfume can help the scent last much longer.

The reason this hack works is that the petroleum jelly provides a barrier on your skin. It prevents the perfume from evaporating as quickly as normal. That means the fragrance molecules can adhere to the skin for more time.

When you use Vaseline and your perfume together, you can extend the longevity of your scent, allowing you to save money on expensive scents.

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Prevent Hair Dye Stains

A woman dying her own hair at home.
ID stock photography/Shutterstock.com

If you love some variety in your life and plan on dying your hair at home, don’t attempt it without this Vaseline hack. Before dyeing your hair at home, apply a bit of Vaseline along your hairline, ears, and neck.

The Vaseline acts as a protective barrier, preventing hair dye from staining your skin. Once you’re done dyeing your hair, any stains that end up on top of the Vaseline can be easily wiped away.

Remove Lipstick Stains

A large lipstick stain on striped fabric.
Fecundap stock/Shutterstock.com

Lipstick looks great on your lips, but sometimes it tends to get everywhere else. If you accidentally got lipstick on your shirt collar, don’t panic. Apply a dab of Vaseline to the lipstick stain and gently rub it in.

Let the petroleum jelly sit for a few minutes before adding a little white vinegar and then laundering. Vaseline works to lift the stain from the fabric, making it easier to remove.

It also works wonders at removing lipstick from your lips.

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Diaper Rash Prevention

A mother leans over her baby on a bed.

If you’re a parent learning about Vaseline uses, you’ll be happy to hear this one. Vaseline can be a lifesaver when it comes to preventing diaper rash. Petroleum jelly has a soothing formula that helps restore softness to the skin.

Apply a thin layer to your baby’s clean and dry bottom before putting on a new diaper. The barrier created by the petroleum jelly helps protect delicate skin from irritation and moisture.

Uses for petroleum jelly extend far beyond its role as a skin moisturizer. From beauty to household uses, this humble product can simplify your routine and serve as a life hack for everyday problems. Always keep a tube of it nearby for chapped lips and squeaky hinges.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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