26 Household Uses for Petroleum Jelly You Never Thought to Try

Updated: Mar. 21, 2024

Keep a jar of petroleum jelly in every room of the house to help remove stains, protect valuables, stop squeaks, and much more.

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six candles on a black background.
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Clear Wax From Candlesticks

The long red tapers you used at last night’s candlelit dinner were a beautiful sight until you saw the candle wax drippings left in the candleholders. Luckily, fixing this issue is one of many Vaseline uses. Next time, apply petroleum jelly to the insides of the holders before you put the candles in. The wax will pop out for easy cleaning.

Discover this fix to get candle wax out of carpet.

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close-up shot of red lipsticks of different shades on white tabletop
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Lift Lipstick Stains

You set the table at that lovely dinner party with your favorite cloth napkins, but your girlfriends left their mark all over them. Now dotted with lipstick stains, those napkins may be headed for the trash. But try this first. Before you wash them, blot petroleum jelly on the stain. Launder as usual and hopefully you will kiss the stains goodbye.

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White chewing gum close up texture
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Remove Chewing Gum From Wood

Did you discover bubble gum stuck under the dining room table or behind the headboard of Junior’s bed? Thanks to these genius Vaseline uses, you can trouble yourself about it no further. Squeeze some petroleum jelly on the offending wad, rub it in until the gum starts to disintegrate, then remove. Don’t miss these genius cleaning hacks that professional house cleaners use.

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Watermark on texture of the old wooden cutting board background.

Clean Watermarks From Wood

Your most recent party left lots of watermark rings on your wood furniture. To remove water stains from wood, apply petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wipe the watermark away with the jelly. Plus, if you find water stains on wood tables, there’s an easy genius hack to remove it.

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The texture of the leather in black. Patent leather
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Shine Patent-Leather Goods

You’ve got a great pair of patent-leather shoes and a dynamite bag to match. The luster stays longer if you polish the items with petroleum jelly. Never knew there were so many cleaning-related Vaseline uses, did you?

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Make Leather Jackets Look New Again

You don’t need fancy leather moisturizer to take care of your favorite leather jacket. Petroleum jelly does the job just as well. Apply, rub it in, wipe off the excess, and you’re ready to go.

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car battery and wires connected to it at shallow depth of field

Stop Battery Terminal Corrosion

It’s no coincidence that your car battery always dies on the coldest winter day. Low temperatures increase electrical resistance and thicken engine oil, making the battery work harder. Corrosion on the battery terminals also increases resistance and might just be the last straw that makes the battery give up. Before winter starts, disconnect the terminals and clean them with a wire brush. Reconnect, then smear with petroleum jelly. The jelly will prevent corrosion and help keep the battery cranking all winter long.

Here’s how to replace battery terminals and fight battery corrosion.

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Dog Food
Chodyra Mike/Shutterstock

Keep Ants Away From Pet Food Bowls

Poor Fifi’s food bowl has been invaded by ants. Since she prefers her food without them, help her out with this idea. Ring her food bowl with petroleum jelly. The ants will no longer be tempted by the kibble if they have to cross that mountain of petroleum jelly.

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Brown leather baseball glove on a wooden bench
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Grease a Baseball Mitt

Got a new baseball mitt, but it’s as stiff as a dugout bench? Soften it up with petroleum jelly. Apply liberal amounts. Work it into the glove, then tie it up with a baseball inside. Do this in the winter, and by the spring you’ll be ready to take the field.

Keep all your sports gear organized with these genius hacks.

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white door with metal doorknob is regular lock style in a house, copy space.
Nattanan Zia/Shutterstock

Mask Doorknobs While Painting

You’re about to undertake painting the family room. But do you really want to fiddle with removing all the metal fixtures, including doorknobs? Petroleum jelly rubbed on the metal will prevent paint from sticking. When you’re done painting, just wipe off the jelly and the unwanted paint is gone.

See why it’s always a good idea to lather on some lotion before starting a painting project.

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nail polish
ersin ergin/Shutterstock

Keep a Bottle Lid From Sticking

If you’re having a hard time unscrewing that bottle of glue or nail polish, remember this tip for when you finally do get it open. Rub a little petroleum jelly along the rim of the bottle. Next time, the top won’t stick—it’s one of the best Vaseline uses.

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bicycle chain and crank set on road bike
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Protect Stored Chrome

If you’re getting ready to store the kids’ bikes for the winter, or stow that stroller until your next baby comes along, stop a moment before you stash. Take some petroleum jelly and apply it to the chrome parts of the equipment. When it’s time to take the items out of storage, they’ll be rust-free. The same method works for machinery stored in your garage.

Keep the chrome in your bathroom clean with these tips.

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Lamp hanging on the wall
Stefano Carnevali/Shutterstock

Keep an Outdoor Lightbulb From Sticking

Have you ever unscrewed a lightbulb and found yourself holding the glass while the metal base remains in the socket? It won’t happen again if you remember to apply petroleum jelly to the base of the bulb before screwing it into the fixture. This is an especially good idea for lightbulbs used outdoors.

These are outdoor lighting trends you should know about.

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cozy room with white tone of rooms and vintage window

Lubricate Cabinets and Windows

Can’t stand to hear your medicine cabinet door creak along its runners? Or how about that window that you have to force open every time you want a breeze in the house? With a small paintbrush, apply petroleum jelly to the window sash channel and cabinet door runners. Let the sliding begin. Follow these tips to free up stuck windows.

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door hinges

Stop Squeaking Door Hinges

It’s so annoying when a squeaky door makes an ill-timed noise when you’re trying to keep quiet. Put petroleum jelly on the hinge pins of the door. No more squeaks. For more cool uses for household products, here are amazing uses for WD-40.

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a hand pulling back a shower curtain revealing a shower head with water on horizontal shot
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Make Shower Curtains Slide More Easily

Stop the water from squirting out onto the bathroom floor. Get that shower curtain into place quickly. Lubricate the curtain rod with petroleum jelly and you’ll whip that curtain across the shower in no time. Here’s how to wash your shower curtains.

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beautiful young asian woman apply lip balm care .make up cosmetic.beauty fashion.

Moisturize Your Lips and More

If you don’t want to pay a lot for expensive lip balm, makeup remover, or even facial moisturizer, then your answer is a tube of petroleum jelly. Some of the best Vaseline uses include soothing lips, plus taking off foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and more. It will even act as a moisturizer on your face.

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Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock

Make Emergency Makeup

Oh no! You’ve run out of your favorite shade of eye shadow. What do you do now? It’s easy—make your own. Add a bit of food coloring to petroleum jelly and apply as usual. This is a quick way to make stopgap blush, lipstick, or eye shadow.

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young woman wearing black and white polka dot dress posing with a bottle of expensive perfume. beautiful and stylish european fashion blogger posing with perfume outdoors. perfect summer outfit.

Lengthen the Life of Perfume

You’ve picked out a great scent to wear on your night out, but it’s got to last. Worry not. Dab a bit of petroleum jelly on your pulse points. Then spray on the perfume. Now you can dance the night away and not worry about your perfume turning in early.

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woman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict, close-up
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Remove a Stuck Ring

Wedding ring won’t budge? Trying to get it off can take a lot of tug and pull. Apply some petroleum jelly and it will glide right off.

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African American man smears hands by moisturizing cream. Hand care. Male beauty concept. Isolated on white background.

Soften Chapped Hands

If you’re constantly applying hand lotion to your tired, chapped hands, but then taking it off again so you can get more work done, try this tip: Apply a liberal amount of petroleum jelly to your hands just before you go to bed. By morning, they’ll be soft and smooth.

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Beautiful painted nails for autumn

No More Messy Manicures

During home manicures, it’s hard to keep the nail polish from running over on your cuticles. Petroleum jelly can help your manicures look more professional. Dab some along the base of your nails and the sides. If polish seeps off the nail during the manicure, all you do is wipe off the petroleum jelly and the sloppy nail polish is gone.

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Closeup of a young woman doing makeup eyebrow brush

Smooth Wild Eyebrow Hairs

That’s not the end of beauty-related Vaseline uses! If you have runaway eyebrows—the ones where the hairs won’t lie flat but curl up instead, control the wildness with some petroleum jelly. Rub a dab into your brows. They’ll calm down and behave.

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pores on the skin of the face. Cleansing the face skin
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Heal Windburned Skin

You’ve just had a glorious hike through the countryside in autumn. And as much as you enjoyed the changing colors of the season, the hike has left you with an unpleasant souvenir: windburn. Grab a jar of petroleum jelly and apply it liberally to your face or wherever you’ve been chapped. The jelly helps relieve the pain.

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Young dad is changing his baby diaper, close-up
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Help Prevent Diaper Rash

It’s so heartbreaking to hear a baby experiencing the pain of diaper rash. Help is just a few moments away. Petroleum jelly sets up a protective coat on the skin so the rash can heal. No more pain.

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Modern father bathing his little baby with a tummy tub
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No More Shampoo Tears

Thinking of buying special no-tears shampoo for your child? Forget about it. If you have some petroleum jelly, you have the solution. Rub a fair amount into your baby’s eyebrows. It acts as a protective shield against shampoo running down into his eyes.