57 Uses For Petroleum {Free} Jelly

petroleum jelly uses

Petroleum jelly (commonly referred to by the brand name Vaseline) has been around since the 1870s and is an FDA-approved over-the-counter skin protectant, widely used in cosmetic skin care. However, some doctors believe this petroleum-based product is potentially harmful because it can be difficult for your body to eliminate, sometimes causing toxic buildup in various organs.

Last April I posted a tutorial on How To Make Your Own Petroleum-FREE Jelly. I’ve also purchased a petroleum jelly alternative made of soybean oil, beeswax, rosemary oil, and vitamin E for this post I did on how to Make Your Own Tinted Lip Balm.

So you have some choices! Which is a good thing…because whether you make your own, buy an alternative, or have a big tub of Vaseline in your bathroom cabinet right now….there are A LOT of ways you can use this versatile substance every day!  Here is a list I have curated from several sites across the www:

petroleum jelly uses

    • Soften dry, chapped feet and hands by applying a liberal amount of jelly to them just before you go to bed and then putting on cotton socks and/or gloves. By morning, they’ll be soft and smooth. Put on your elbows too!

petroleum jelly uses

    • Put a coat on your eyelashes before you go to bed. Lots of people swear by this – and say it will make your lashes grow longer and thicker over time.
    • Use jelly as mascara! Apply it with your fingers on your eyelashes. It goes on clear and still gives your lashes volume.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Eye-shadow/blush boost. Apply some under your eye shadow for a glossy effect. Apply on the apples of your cheeks for a dewy glow. Mix with lipstick for a cream blusher!
    • Or, mix some jelly in with a bit of loose eye shadow powder. Make a pasty substance and apply it to your lips for the custom lipstick color of your choice.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Lengthen the life of perfume by applying some jelly to the points where you spray your perfume, then spray your perfume on top of it.
    • Control unruly eyebrows by rubbing just a tiny bit into your brows to make them behave.
    • Heal wind-burned skin. Apply jelly liberally to your face or wherever you’ve been chapped.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Have a matte lipstick that would look better shiny? Line your lips with a lip liner then mix some of your lipstick with a dab of jelly on the back of your hand. Apply it with a lip brush.
    • Make flavored lip gloss by combining jelly with powdered Kool-aid. Or make a CHOCOLATE lip gloss by combining a chocolate chip with a dab of jelly in the microwave and applying to lips. Lip smacking good!
    • Make a wonderful and inexpensive exfoliator! Just mix jelly with a bit of sugar or sea salt and scrub away!

petroleum jelly uses

    • Use it to exfoliate your lips too! Put jelly on your lips and leave it on for a few minutes. Then scrub lips with a toothbrush and wipe off.
    • Soothing shoe blisters. Smear on a little bit of jelly on the parts of the shoe that rub against your foot. Bye bye blisters!
    • For back pain, heat the jelly in the microwave until it gets slightly warm. Have someone massage it into your back for a nice warming effect.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Unstick a stuck ring! Apply jelly with a Q-tip around the ring area and gently move it back and forth, until it starts to slide off.
    • To soothe a fever, put the jelly in the freezer for 5 minutes, then smooth it on your forehead.
    • Relieve razor burn by applying some cold jelly (leave it in the freezer for 5 minutes) to your legs directly after shaving.  A soothing moisturizer that provides your legs with a nice, healthy glow.
    • If you have nail polish bottles that just won’t open, rub some jelly on the neck of the bottle next time and they won’t get stuck.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Brighten up a dull complexion by applying some jelly to the top of your cheek bones, under your brow bones, and above your upper lip. This will brighten up the whole face and give it a dewy glow.
    • To protect a new tattoo, rub jelly on it before taking a shower to prevent the ink from getting blotchy. Wipe it off after you get out of the shower so it doesn’t draw the ink out from the skin.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Hide split ends, or just give your hair some much deserved shine! Apply it SPARINGLY to your top layer of your hair or use just a little bit on the ends of your hair to glue together split ends.
    • If you have squirrels that eat your birdseed from the bird feeder, apply some Vaseline to the pole that holds it up or to the perches that the birds sit on, the squirrels will slide right off.

petroleum jelly uses

    • If you have pets that have cracked paw pads, rub a little jelly on their pads.
    • Dry nose? Apply some around the chapped area. Have allergies? Apply some jelly around your nostrils, and use a Q-tip to apply some on the inside. This will help prevent pollen and other allergens from entering your nose.
    • Add a very small amount of jelly to your purse or shoes to restore shine again.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Prevent hair dye from seeping onto your forehead. Softly dab jelly all over your hairline to keep hair dye from dying your forehead the color of your new hairdo and protect your skin from coming in contact with the chemicals in the dye.
    • Use it on bruises, scabs, cuts, and other minor injuries to help heal them faster. It’s not a disinfectant, so it won’t sting, but it will prevent dirt and other things that can cause an infection from entering the cut.
    • Use to remove candle wax. Apply it around the edges of the wax and let it sink in for a few seconds. Wipe away with a paper towel or cloth.

petroleum jelly uses

    • If you have a squeaky hinge, dab some jelly on it and it should stop.
    • Loosen a stiff bike chain by applying jelly to the chain and riding the bike around so that the whole chain gets coated.
    • Use it as fly paper! Heat some up then pour a little into the lids of some jars. Place the lids in places where you see flies or other small bugs, they will get stuck in it.
    • Massage into dry cuticles.

petroleum jelly uses

    • To prevent frightening spray-tan streaks, rub a small amount of jelly all over the backs of your knees, ankles and hands beforehand.
    • Massaged into the scalp, it reduces itching and scaling due to dandruff.
    • Lubricates ear lobes and helps make earring insertion easy and painless.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Applying jelly to your teeth before applying lipstick to prevent lipstick from sticking to them. Beauty pageant contestant trick!
    • Stretch your favorite lotion by adding some jelly to it.
    • Once you carve your Halloween pumpkin, rub jelly on the exposed edges. it keeps it from rotting or going dry.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Prevent car battery corrosion. 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.
    • Remove chewing gum from hair. Apply jelly and work into the hair until the gum slides off.
    • Stop a faucet from screeching. Remove the handle and stem, and coat both sets of metal threads with jelly.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Repair stains, rings, and minor scratches in wood furniture. Cover each scratch with a liberal coat of jelly, let sit for 24 hours, rub into wood, wipe away excess, and polish as usual.
    • Lubricate roller skate and skateboard wheels. Smear jelly around the cylinders on the wheels so they roll faster.
    • Revive dried leather. Jelly, rubbed into a baseball glove, softens the leather.
    • Key won fit into a rusty lock and you can’t find the WD-40? Spread it all over the key very thinly and it should slide right in.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Keep ants away from pet food bowls. Spread a thin layer around the outer sides of the container all the way to the ground! Ants won’t cross the jelly and your pet can eat or drink in peace.
    • Avoid splattered paint on windows, metal work, and floors. Before painting a room, dip a Q-tip in jelly and run it around the edges of the glass; coat door hinges, doorknobs, lock latches; and spread a thin coat of jelly along a linoleum or tile floor (obviously not carpet) where it meets the wall. Paint smears will wipe off with a cloth.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Keep shower curtains sliding easily. Apply a thin coat of jelly to the curtain rod.
    • Help prevent diaper rash. Apply a thin coat of jelly to a baby’s clean bottom before putting a fresh diaper on.
    • Prevent outdoor light bulbs from sticking in fixtures. To make removal easy, rub a thin coat of jelly on the threads before inserting the bulbs.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Stop refrigerator shelves from sticking. Coat the edges of the shelves with jelly so the racks glide easily.
    • Keep shampoo from getting in a baby’s eyes. Rub a line of jelly above the eyebrows so shampoo runs off to the side.
    • Removes foot odor if you don’t have soap and water available. Smear a thin layer over the feet and between the toes. Put feet in a stationary position and let the jelly soak in for about 15 minutes. Wipe off with a dry cloth.
    • Remove chewing gum from wood. Squeeze some jelly on the offending wad, rub it in until the gum starts to disintegrate, then remove.

petroleum jelly uses

    • Restore leather jackets. Apply, rub it in, wipe off the excess, and you’re ready to go.
    • Protect stored chrome. Take some 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.
    • Lubricate cabinets and windows. With a small paintbrush, apply jelly to the window sash channel and cabinet door runners.

 What do YOU use petroleum/non-petroleum jelly for?


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  1. says

    I love the tip for applying above baby’s eyebrow so the shampoo runs off to the side. DD has eczema, and I cannot use traditional baby shampoos that are tear free. I cringe when I rinse her hair. This trick will be used next bath!

  2. Katherine says

    I don’t recommend using it on your eyelids with eyeshadow as it causes creasing. It may looks nice and shiny for about 3 minutes before it starts creasing or moving the eyeshadow around. They use it this way in runway shows, but there’s tons of people touching up models before they walk down the runway. Unless you have an entourage, I don’t recommend it for daily use. But if you have even eyelids without a lot of veins present, you can wear it by itself.

  3. Anna says

    love all the tips! But please lol don’t use vaseline to get your ring off, use Windex. I work injury store. Windex works better, won’t harm your ring and vaseline would have to be scrubbed off with some Dawn dish soap to get the grease off your diamonds. You would not believe how many rings I inspect at work for cleaning that have channels full of vaseline and lotion. it totally robs the sparkle. Windex! Lol :)

    • Danielle says

      I agree! I used to sell jewelry and we always used window cleaner to get rings off when people insisted their finger was smaller than it was and got a ring stuck. I read somewhere that one of the ingredients (I want to say it was the ammonia but I can’t be sure) in window cleaner actually causes any swelling in the finger to go down making it more effective in helping to remove a stuck ring than just lubricating it will.

  4. Linda says

    I was watching This Old House and they said to use Vaseline periodically on the seals of your refrigerator and freezer to keep them soft and pliable so they won’t crack and and then loose their seal. Never thought of that. But, should wash the seals with vinegar and water and dry off and then lightly apply the coat of Vaseline.

  5. CTY says

    Mary–the blog is about a safe Vaseline alternative.
    We should get supermarkets to apply it to shopping carts–I hate those squeaky wheels! I bet it would work on the squeaky gate (even though we depend on the gate as a pre-doorbell).
    Also thinking about using it on tree sap. I get sap on me whenever I trim the pine trees– I usually use vegetable oil to get it off– this sounds like it would be easier to contain to the right spot.

  6. Deborah Jennings says

    I use the non-petroleum jelly for all these things and more. If you have a sick child or grandchild, you can cut the Vick’s Vapor-Rub with this and make it not as strong for children. I learned this from my Mother years ago. I am trying to get away from petroleum based products. It’s not that they bother me, I just don’t want to put petroleum based products on my skin. If I won’t eat it, then I don’t want it on me either. Just my opinion. I have nothing against the petroleum industry.

  7. Carrol says

    The best thing I’ve ever used to remove a ring that’s too tight is window cleaner. Rings slide rignt off with no pinching or pain & they don’t need to have anything cleaned off afterward. This was recommended by my jeweler & my mother was able to remove her wedding rings which she hadn’t been able to remove for over a decade, & she had tried vaseline & wd40 & all kinds of creams.

  8. summer says

    I used it on my daughter when she was a baby. She never got diper rash and it was really cheap. My mother was the one who told me about it and she used it on us. I know most people would rather use the expensive creams but this works so much better it also helped with her female adhesion that the creams were giving her.

  9. Karen says

    To start a fire easily, whether it be charcoal, indoor fire place or outdoor burning, I take a few cotton balls and smear vaseline all over them, then put this in a sandwich baggie. Light the plastic baggie and you get a small fire that burns like a candle and will burn for a while. This stays hot long enough for charcoal or other kindling to get hot. Works every time.

  10. says

    My mom has been using petroleum jelly to remove her eye make-up for as long as I can remember (I’m 38 so at least 25yrs) and she has the best looking skin. At 61, she looks about 15yrs younger. Her skin is soft and the wrinkles are minimal. She attributes it to petroleum jelly and I would agree!

    • Melissa says

      PLEASE don’t use Vaseline around your eyes or mouth or ANYWHERE on your body!!!!! My mom just died at age 61 of eye and liver melanoma and we have found countless studies where petroleum is stored in the body and is very harmful. Proof of this is my mom was avid about using Vaseline to remove her eye makeup (eye cancer) and was a freak about using it on her lips…Globbed it on all day, every day (ingested by mouth, not assimilated by the liver, hence the liver cancer).
      Lets really think about what we put on our bodies and how it is absorbed!!!!

  11. Janet Manger says

    There is really nothing in Petroleum jelly that is moisturizing. Moisture is water not anything oily/waxy. When using the jelly wet the skin first and then apply a very small amount of the jelly over the water on the skin. The water will be forced into the skin instead of evaporating into the air, which it would do most ofter. The two together is what works, not just the jelly alone. . .love your web site!

  12. says

    I’ve used vaseline for years on and under my eyelids at night. I just apply it after washing my face then go to bed….I’m commonly mistaken for my 20′s when in fact I’m in my late 30′s. I’m thinking it’s the Vaseline!

  13. susan says

    I just wanted to share that Vaseline is not good for skin. It is absorbed thru the skin and can harm your liver. It is a petroleum product. Wd40 isn’t either. I lost a wonderful cat because someone sprayed him with Dd40 and it was absorbed and shut down his system..Horrible death. Look into this further please.

    • Gwyn says

      Susan, you weren’t the only one who missed her point about NON Petroleum based jelly but she did make it. She even referred to an earlier post with a recipe for making some I believe. I hadn’t known prior to this that a product was also available commercially but apparently it is. I appreciate your desire to warn us about something that’s dangers you have first hand knowledge of though. I know I often speed read things that I think I have already heard or know. What a horrible experience to live through watching a loved pet suffer that way, I can absolutely see how you might have done that here. We are so short on time these days yet so many interesting things to read, especially from Jillee!

  14. Darlene says

    Love you Blog and DYI ideas.I am always trying to find ways to save and to get rid of chemicals in our food and stuff we use.

    FYI: I have used Vasoline on my hands and even my face for over 50 years. I started when I had 2 babies in cloth diapers,when you had to rinse the diapers in the toilet and wash them in an old hand wringer washing machine. My hands would be cracked and bleeding. Vasoline saved the day.
    I have never had any problems. I am healthy, take no medications and still use Vasoline at 71 years old.
    I have used the Beeswax and olive oil in salves with good results.

    Some people are very sensitive to Coconut oil. Specially people with O Blood Type. I know that I am. Thanks for a great Blog.

  15. Linda says

    Ok everyone– we can use our leftover petroleum based jelly for household uses until it is gone. We can make or purchase a non-petroleum jelly for personal care. This way, we won’t waste what we have spent our hard earned money on and we won’t pollute our bodies. Hugs to all.

  16. Lou Bradford says

    I just got a new paraffin bath for hands and feet. After reading the article about paraffin as opposed to beeswax, do you suppose it would be healthier to use beeswax in it as opposed to paraffin? Seems like it would work equally well. Any ideas? Thoughts?

  17. says

    First of all I love your blog! It is amazing the wealth of information I have found on it. Love the list here and will be checking out your petroleum {free} jelly soon.

    One use on here that I disagree with: Using it to lengthen the life of fragrance/parfume.

    I’m going natural to get away from synthetic fragrances and sents. I am one of many people who are chemically sensitive (MCS) to the nasty stuff that is put into the them. It cause anything from migranes to muscle pain. Please don’t make it so they linger!

    I realize that this is a personal decision, but just thought folks should know that even if people think that they smell nice., they could be making a co-worker or their loved ones physically ill.


  18. Alison says

    When my babies were little I used to heat a tub of vaseline then infuse clean orange marigold petals in it. You leave the stuff til cold, then heat it up again and strain through a sieve back into the container. You get a creamy orangy vaseline that is great for sore baby bottoms and was the only thing that settled my daughter’s rash. Marigold (calendular) contains natural antiseptic, antiviral and anti inflammatory properties and soothes sore skin. It also grows like a weed and vaseline is cheap, so the cheapest baby bottom cream you could find!

  19. jack says

    I spread a thin coat on the screw part of my light bulbs when changing them. It keeps them from getting stuck in the socket over time and having the glass break off when trying to remove it later on.

  20. Sarah E says

    I use it on dashboards on my cars that have been faded over the years by the sun and oxidized. Cleans the grime off and leaves it shining like new. Just put it on and buff off the excess.

  21. Comet says

    There is a HUGE difference between “refined” petro products and Petroleum “Jelly” as I understand it. My Plastic Surgeon recommended AQUAPHOR which is a petroleum jelly compound and a few other ingredients for after SKIN GRAFTS were taken and placed.

    I was kinda sceptical but I have to say–this stuff WORKS. I have had two largish grafts and the donor sites are THE most painful—think road rash ramped up a few hundred times—and of course the sites the grafts were actually covering. A thin layer of the AQUAPHOR was all I needed to HEAL UP these spots very very nicely. I have extremely pale white skin–almost no pigment–and the grafts were taken from the tops of my thigh–actually the SAME thigh and overlap like two playing cards!–and you CANNOT tell unless I am extremely hot or extremely cold when you can just see an outline. No scar.

    Since then we have also used this for diaper rash and many other skin problems. Great for really cracked hands–a friend tried it for severe nurses hands and after YEARS finally got her hand cracks healed.

    The other thing I used for an amputation scar in addition to the AQUAPHOR was BioOil—I didn’t know about it til after the grafts—and I credit the two of these items for leaving me with a barely visible scar on the type of incision where a major scar is a given.

    I don’t work for either Aquaphor or BioOil. I DO recommend that if you decide to try this use the NAME BRAND Aquaphor–the knock off stuff is NOT the same.

  22. Deebi27 says

    Aquaphor is fabulous, however CVS has their brand is as fabulous as the Aquaphor and costs a bit less. Since Ponds Cold Cream made a mess of my contacts, I imagine PJ is not such a great idea for the eyes of contact wearers. Really hard to get off contacts without tears to the contact.

    However there were so many amazing ideas for PJ…my favorite PJ on the pole for birds…Lol!

  23. WLR says

    Having suffer from chronic ear infections my whole life my ear doctor told me to keep all water and moisture out of my ear. I rub petroleum jelly on a cotton ball and place in my ear before I shower or bathe. Then I put another thin coating on top of the cotton ball once in my ear to block water from getting inside my ear.

  24. Meg says

    I just wanted to say that I followed the link above for the non-petroleum jelly and made it this past weekend. I love it! I was using plain old EVCO for everything and it was just too oily for things like lip balm and diaper rash cream. I made the U-P jelly with half EVCO and half EVOO and mixed with the beeswax it’s the perfect consistency! I also added a touch of sweet orange EO for a light scent and a bit of Vit E oil for a preservative booster. I slather it on my hands and lips every night, and have been using it on my daughter’s bum. LOVE! Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Brenda says

    I just made this. I have bad cracks in my feet. Its worse than ever right now. I have been using coconut oil and olive oil but seems like its getting worse. Just read some people are sensitive to coconut oil. Am wondering if I am. So I made this to try instead. Just waiting for it to cool down

  26. Linda says

    Just a suggestion:
    I have very dry feet and hands… thanks to the dry climate in Idaho. I use Vaseline but I don’t use cotton if I can get away from it. Cotton soaks up the Vaseline. I was given some vinyl or plastic gloves to use at night. I’m not really sure what they are made of, but I know that the gloves are the same kind that food servers wear. They work pretty good.

  27. Melissa says

    PLEASE don’t use Vaseline around your eyes or mouth or ANYWHERE on your body!!!!! My mom just died at age 61 of eye and liver melanoma and we have found countless studies where petroleum is stored in the body and is very harmful. Proof of this is my mom was avid about using Vaseline to remove her eye makeup (eye cancer) and was a freak about using it on her lips…Globbed it on all day, every day (ingested by mouth, not assimilated by the liver, hence the liver cancer).
    Lets really think about what we put on our bodies and how it is absorbed!!!!

  28. Sara says

    I’m a mechanic and I would really recommend not using petroleum jelly on your car batter terminals. While it may sound like a cheap easy way to do this, it will cause your battery to discharge more rapidly and you will be buying a new battery way before you should need to [and I know no one wants to buy a new battery every year or two :) ]. Instead use dielectric grease, it’s cheap and it will make your battery go a long way!

  29. LindaW says

    I use petroleum jelly in crafting. If you want to make cement stepping stones with glass inserts, nothing’s better for holding the contact paper with your glass down to the bottom of your mold and then releasing later.

    I have a friend who swears by the stuff for preventing hairballs in cats. Apparently it coats the hair clumps and helps them get passed through the digestive tract rather than coughed up. She will periodically put a small bit on her finger, and the cats just lick it up.

  30. tina boggan says

    Ms melissa..I’m sorry about the loss of your mom …I’ve lost mine this past yr too…it must have been very hard on you! I’m glad you are share’n the dangers of p.j…I ‘m glad jillee is too

  31. Sonia Castaneda says

    Ms Melissa. Is that what the death of your mother was diagnosed as. ??? Or is that your opinion. Just really puzzled. My grandmother uses this for everything and she is 80 and never been on any medicine or complications ..

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