12 Money-Saving Uses for Petroleum Jelly

by Linda Shapero
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When it comes to saving money, you can’t beat petroleum jelly for many household uses. Here are 12 ways you can put a tiny tub of the stuff to good use around your house.

Can you think of a product that will seal a gasket and keep it from cracking, prevent rust from forming on car battery terminals, or prevent diaper rash on your baby’s bottom? If you said petroleum jelly, you were correct.

This amazing ointment is a huge bargain, and you can purchase it in a tiny tub for about $3! And it will last a long time because even with all its uses, a small amount goes a long way.

Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly, on its company website, states that its ingredients are a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin, and microcrystalline waxes. It has a melting point just above body temperature, and that’s why it acts so well to protect from weather and exposure and keep the water in our skin. Let’s look at some of the uses of this “miracle” product.

1. Feet cracked and sore?

Work some petroleum jelly into clean feet before bedtime, put on socks, and wake up with soft, smooth feet the following day. It’s a lot cheaper than the fancy foot cremes available in stores. You can also use it on pets’ pads to prevent damage from harsh weather conditions like snow and ice.

2. Keep lips kissing soft.

For you who use lip balm regularly, save your money. Petroleum jelly works just as well and stays on longer. Put lipstick on underneath it for a bit of color.

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3. Take care of squeaky door hinges.

If you have squeaky door hinges, don’t buy lubricating oil. Place a small amount of petroleum jelly on them, and the squeak will disappear. As a bonus, it won’t drip like oil.

4. Use as shoe polish and conditioner.

Need to shine your shoes but don’t have a suitable color polish? Apply petroleum jelly to leather (or faux leather) shoes, then wipe and shine with a soft cloth. At the same time, it conditions the leather. You will also save money because you won’t have to buy shoe polish in different colors.

5. Prevent candle wax buildup.

One of the worst household jobs is prying wax out of candleholders. It takes time to pry it all out and get the candleholders clean for further use.

Before you insert the candles into the candleholders, swipe a bit of petroleum jelly on the lower part of the candle and the inside of the candleholder. Used candles will easily lift out, and there’s no residue to clean.

6. Make fire starters.

Did you know you can easily and inexpensively make fire starter?

Put a little petroleum jelly on cotton balls or dryer lint and store them in a waterproof container to take with you when you go camping.

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7. Use as a face cream.

Ladies, compare the price of petroleum jelly with the expensive face creams on the market, some running into hundreds of dollars. And because it is so pure, you won’t have to worry about allergic reactions.

Don’t forget to put some on your hands and elbows, too.

8. Protect skin from hair dyes.

If you dye your hair at home, put a thin film of petroleum jelly around your hairline. It will help you avoid embarrassing stains from the dye on your skin.

9. Remove water stains.

If you have water rings on your wood furniture, rub some petroleum jelly into them and leave for a few hours or overnight. Wipe it off with a soft cloth, and not only will the stain be gone, but also your furniture will have a lustrous shine.

10. Combat lipstick stains.

When you do your laundry, apply petroleum jelly directly to the stain and rub it in. Toss the item into your wash, and the stain will be gone. If not, repeat. There is no need for expensive stain removal products.

11. Unscrew stubborn light bulbs with ease.

Coat the threads of light bulbs with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, and they will easily unscrew for changing. This is particularly helpful for outdoor and hard-to-reach bulbs. No more wasting time trying to get a broken bulb out of a socket or getting injured.

12. Foil pesky squirrels.

If you are bothered by squirrels that keep getting at the food in your birdfeeders, try rubbing the outside of the feeders with petroleum jelly and watch the squirrels fall to the ground.

If you are looking for ways to save money and time, you can’t beat petroleum jelly for many household uses. You may even be able to come up with a few new ones yourself!

Reviewed April 2023

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