26 Extraordinary Uses for Petroleum Jelly You Never Thought to Try

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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Clear wax from candlesticks

Clear wax from candlesticksiStock/photoiasson
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. 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.

Lift lipstick stains

Lift lipstick stainsiStock/UTurnPix
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 good-bye.

Remove chewing gum from wood

Remove chewing gum from woodiStock/flariv
Did you discover bubble gum stuck under the dining room table or behind the headboard of Junior's bed? 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.

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Clean watermarks from wood

Clean watermarks from woodiStock/totony
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.

Shine patent-leather goods

Shine patent-leather goodsiStock/serkanozalp
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.

Make leather jackets look new again

Make leather jackets look new againiStock/sorsillo
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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Stop battery terminal erosion

Stop battery terminal erosioniStock/Catherine Lane
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.

Keep ants away from pet food bowls

Keep ants away from pet food bowlsiStock/wundervisuals
Poor Fido'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.

Grease a baseball mitt

Grease a baseball mittiStock/1Photodiva
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.

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Mask doorknobs while painting

Mask doorknobs while paintingiStock/TravisLincoln
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.

Keep a bottle lid from sticking

Keep a bottle lid from stickingiStock/anandaBGD
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.

Protect stored chrome

Protect stored chromeiStock/blyjak
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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Keep an outdoor lightbulb from sticking

Keep an outdoor lightbulb from stickingiStock/Serenethos
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.

Lubricate cabinets and windows

Lubricate cabinets and windowsiStock/sUs_angel
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.

Stop squeaking door hinges

Stop squeaking door hingesiStock/PaulMaguire
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.

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Make shower curtains slide more easily

Make shower curtains slide more easilyiStock/nikitabuida
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.

Moisturize your lips and more

Moisturize your lips and moreiStock/ouh_desire
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. It can soothe lips, take off foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and more. It will even act as a moisturizer on your face.

Make emergency makeup

Make emergency makeupiStock/SanneBerg
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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Lengthen the life of perfume

Lengthen the life of perfumeiStock/GlobalStock
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.

Remove a stuck ring

Remove a stuck ringiStock/dan_chippendale
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.

Soften chapped hands

Soften chapped handsiStock/PeopleImages
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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No more messy manicures

No more messy manicuresiStock/Thomas_Eye Design
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.

Smooth wild eyebrow hairs

Smooth wild eyebrow hairsiStock/Lorado
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.

Heal windburned skin

Heal windburned skiniStock/Remains
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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Help prevent diaper rash

Help prevent diaper rashiStock/kate_sept2004
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.

No more shampoo tears

No more shampoo tearsiStock/markokg
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.

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