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27 Clever Uses for Petroleum Jelly You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

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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Dog pawsPhoto: Shutterstock

Soothe sore pet paws

Sometimes your cat’s or dog’s paw pads can get cracked and dry. Give a little tender loving care to your best friend. Squirt a little petroleum jelly on the pads to stop pain. They’ll love you for it.

Here are the easiest ways to get rid of pet odour.

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six candles on a black background.Aksenova Natalya/Shutterstock

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 petroleum jelly 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.

These are the everyday items you don’t wash nearly enough.

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close-up shot of red lipsticks of different shades on white tabletopLightField Studios/Shutterstock

Lift lipstick stains

You set the table at that lovely dinner party with your favourite 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 textureAnna Schlosser/Shutterstock

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 petroleum jelly 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 from professional house cleaners.

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Watermark on texture of the old wooden cutting board background.FootMade0525/Shutterstock

Clean watermarks from wood

Your most recent party left lots of watermark rings on your wood furniture. To make them disappear, apply petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wipe the watermark away with the jelly.

Here are more ways to remove water stains from wood.

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The texture of the leather in black. Patent leatherAnna ART/Shutterstock

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 petroleum jelly uses, did you?

Use these simple tips to keep your shoes stink-free.

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iStock/sorsillo

Make leather jackets look new again

You don’t need fancy leather moisturizer to take care of your favourite 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 fieldBACHTUB DMITRII/Shutterstock

Stop battery terminal erosion

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.

Try these cleaning tricks car washers won’t tell you.

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Dog FoodChodyra 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 benchMike Flippo/Shutterstock

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.

Check out these brilliant DIY cleaning products for every room in the house.

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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.

Here are more home improvement hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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nail polishersin 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 petroleum jelly uses.

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bicycle chain and crank set on road bikeTobin C/Shutterstock

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.

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Lamp hanging on the wallStefano 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.

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cozy room with white tone of rooms and vintage windowtheskaman306/Shutterstock

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.

Don’t miss these tips for cleaning your microwave, stovetop and oven.

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door hingesPhotoRelax/Shutterstock

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 household hacks, check out these amazing uses for WD-40.

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a hand pulling back a shower curtain revealing a shower head with water on horizontal shotAna Anderson/Shutterstock

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.

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

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 petroleum jelly 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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Eyeshadow-PrimerAndrii Kobryn/Shutterstock

Make emergency makeup

Oh no! You’ve run out of your favourite shade of eye shadow. What do you do now? It’s easy—make your own. Add a bit of food colouring 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. mlasaimages/Shutterstock

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.

Check out these extraordinary uses for nail polish remover.

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woman takes off an engagement ring, family conflict, close-upDenis Val/Shutterstock

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.Freeograph/Shutterstock

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 autumnImcsike/Shutterstock

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.

Don’t forget to try these brilliant new uses for cotton balls.

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Closeup of a young woman doing makeup eyebrow brushpopcorner/Shutterstock

Smooth wild eyebrow hairs

That’s not the end of beauty-related petroleum jelly 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 skinPhoto: Geinz Angelina/Shutterstock

Heal windburned skin

You’ve just had a glorious hike through the countryside in autumn. And as much as you enjoyed the changing colours 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.

Pamper yourself with these homemade face mask recipes.

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Young dad is changing his baby diaper, close-upGeorge Rudy/Shutterstock

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 tubTrendsetter Images/Shutterstock

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.

Next, find out the places you’re not vacuuming—but should be.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest