Clever Ways to Use Vaseline

Written by christina schnell
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Clever Ways to Use Vaseline
Keep your legs moist and supple in the winter with vaseline petroleum jelly. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Vaseline petroleum jelly is one of the least expensive, most versatile products available. The melted combination of mineral oil, microcrystalline wax and paraffin creates a thick, easily spread, jellylike substance that resists water and protects surfaces from chrome to human skin. Vaseline petroleum jelly lasts for years, so stock up on several tubes today and dive into any number of household and beauty projects with your vaseline jar in hand.

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Skin Moisturizer

The mineral oil and wax in vaseline petroleum jelly protect skin from cold, drying environments by sealing moisture into your skin. To use, rub a quarter-sized amount of vaseline into your legs, arms, feet or hands immediately after showering while your skin is still moist. Throw on a pair of ratty pajama trousers or long-sleeved shirt for a few hours to prevent the vaseline jelly from staining your furniture or bed. Additionally, you can use a pea-sized amount of petroleum jelly to soothe chapped lips and nostrils.

Insect Barrier

Spread vaseline petroleum jelly around the bottom of an item you want to keep insect-free. The slippery, gooey consistency of the petroleum jelly stops bugs in their tracks and makes climbing impossible. For example, you can apply the vaseline to the first 4 inches of each bed leg to prevent bedbugs from climbing while you sleep or keep your outdoor tables free from ants by smearing a generous layer of vaseline on the bottom 6 inches of each table leg.

Heal Hinges

Moisture and air pollutants deteriorate door hinges, leaving them stiff and squeaky. Fortunately, you can lubricate the hinges by applying a few dabs of vaseline petroleum jelly to both sides of the hinge with a cotton swab. Move the hinges back and forth to distribute the vaseline petroleum jelly throughout the mechanism. The oils in the petroleum jelly protect and lubricate the hinges, enabling easier, quieter movement.

Restore Sheen and Softness to Leather

Keep your leather soft and beautiful by massaging a thin layer of vaseline petroleum jelly into your leather purse or dull patent leather shoes. The mineral oils moisturise the leather while the wax prevents further dehydration and cracking. You can also massage a quarter-sized amount of vaseline petroleum jelly into a new baseball glove to soften the stiff leather and make it more flexible. Remove any excess vaseline after a few hours with a clean, dry paper towel.

Remove Makeup

The mineral oils in vaseline petroleum jelly quickly bind to make-up, making removal quick and painless. Remove tough products like eyeliner and mascara by gently massaging your skin with a nickel-sized amount of vaseline petroleum jelly gathered on a cotton pad or cotton swab. Remove any remaining vaseline with a clean, dry paper towel or tissue.

Polish Furniture

The wax and mineral oils in vaseline petroleum jelly remove scuff marks, small scratches and moisture rings on wood and restore your furniture to its original sheen. Apply a thick, generous layer of vaseline petroleum jelly onto the surface of your wooden furniture with a clean, dry paper towel. For best results, allow the jelly to sit for at least 24 hours and wipe the surface clean with another clean, dry paper towel or soft cloth.

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