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Vaseline Victories: 16 Unexpected Household Hacks You Need to Know (Guide)

Vaseline, a petroleum-based gel, has been a trusted companion in many of our skincare routines.

But did you know this triple-purified, allergen-free wonder isn’t just for your skin – it has many uses that might surprise you?

Uses we’ll cover...

  • 🏠 Home Maintenance
  • 💁 Personal Care
  • 🧽 Cleaning
  • 👞 Clothing and Accessories
  • 🌿 Gardening
  • 🐾 Pet Care
  • 🎨 DIY Projects
  • 🔧 Utility

Let’s dive in!

1. Loosen Lightbulbs

A hanging lightbulb

Have you ever grappled with a stubborn lightbulb, yanking it every which way before finally giving up on it? I’ve been there, and it’s not a fun place to be. But here’s the silver lining with a dollop of Vaseline.

Sometimes bulbs don’t want to leave their seats in the lamps or fixtures they’re screwed into. It’s like they’re holding on for dear life but taking years off ours in the process. We often end up hurting ourselves or breaking the bulb in our hands. It’s a real pain, figuratively and literally!

Before you screw in a new bulb, smear a little petroleum jelly on its threads. It needs to be a tiny bit, not much. Once you do this, you’ll never wrestle with a bulb again. Be it indoors or outdoors. The next time it reaches the end of its life, it’ll quietly and effortlessly give way.

2. Clean Watermarks From Wood

Ever look at your wooden furniture and notice those pesky watermarks? Here’s a neat trick: Vaseline isn’t just useful for skincare; it’s also a genius hack for removing irritating water stains from wood.

Just apply some petroleum jelly on the marked area and let it sit overnight. The next day, wipe off the Vaseline, and you’ll find those water rings are now a thing of the past.

I’ve used this trick multiple times, and it’s a lifesaver for your beautiful wood surfaces. Let’s face it: parties are fun, but they can often leave behind those ugly rings on your tables. It’s not just a simple fix; it’s also cost-effective because Vaseline is inexpensive and easily available.

3. Remove Chewing Gum From Wood

No need to fret if chewing gum gets stuck under your table. You’ll find the solution right in your bathroom cabinet.

Vaseline isn’t just for skincare and squeaky hinges anymore, folks. It can work miracles in sticky situations, too! Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Grab your trusty jar of Vaseline.
  2. Gather some rubber gloves (unless you’re up for a bit of a mess).
  3. Get up close and personal with that pesky gum.

Just rub Vaseline into the chewing or bubble gum made at home under your table. Keep going until you notice the gum starting to dissolve. It may take some perseverance, but I promise it’ll be worth it.

While Vaseline is brilliant at removing gum, you’re not limited to just tables. It’s equally effective on wooden floors, chairs, or any other wooden surface that’s been the victim of an errant piece of gum.

4. Stop Battery Terminal Corrosion

An old and rusty car battery

Corroded battery terminals aren’t just an inconvenience; nuts frustrate us by burning a hole in our pockets. But worry not. Our versatile and favorite skincare friend, Vaseline, can also come to the rescue.

Low temperatures increase electrical resistance and thicken engine oil, making our car batteries work harder. Add corrosion on the battery terminals, and you’re stuck with a stalling car on a winter day. Don’t you hate that? Here’s where Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, can help.

Before the cold hits, take some time to disconnect the terminals and give them a good clean with a wire brush. Let’s get rid of that corrosion. After they look fresh and clean, reconnect and prepare for the magic.

Smear them with a good layer of Vaseline. This petroleum jelly will act as a barrier against further corrosion. Your battery will thank you by cranking along even in the chilliest weather.

5. Keep Ants Away From Pet Food Bowls

A group of ants on a food bowl

Ever experienced an ant invasion in your pet’s food bowl? Fear not! Vaseline can come to your rescue here, too.

Create an ant-proof barrier by ringing the food bowl with this petroleum-based gel. The kibble will no longer tempt the ants, and Fifi can enjoy her meal peacefully.

But wait, Vaseline can do more than just deterring ants. Apply a thin layer to your windowsills and door thresholds to trap any crawling bugs, keeping your home and pets bug-free.

Take it a notch higher by using it as natural flypaper. Just place a small dollop in a jar lid; once the bugs are stuck, you know what to do – toss the whole lid away!

6. Easy Open Jar Lids

An easy open jar stacked up at a wooden cabinet

Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of a stubborn jar lid? Whether it’s honey, jam, or that annoying nail polish bottle, getting these lids off can sometimes feel like a lot more effort than it should be.

But it turns out you might have a handy solution sitting around in your bathroom cabinet – Vaseline.

Here’s how to get those tricky lids to play nice. Just smear a thin layer of Vaseline around the threaded side of the jar lid before you screw it back on.

This clever trick works great, especially for sticky foods with high sugar content. It’ll slippery the lid, preventing any stuck food from seizing the lid to the jar.

7. Distressing Paint

A distressing old wood

One of the more creative uses for Vaseline is in home decorating. It can give your old furniture an authentic distressed look – without sanding! What a time-saver. Here’s your how-to guide:

  • Rub a thin layer of Vaseline on the edges of your furniture or wherever you want to see some antiquing action.
  • Paint away without a worry, as you usually would.
  • After the paint dries slightly, grab a damp rag and wipe the areas where you applied Vaseline. Like that, the paint easily wipes off, revealing the layer beneath.

This process results in a genuine aged appearance minus the elbow grease. And this is not the only trick Vaseline has up its sleeve!

8. Scratched Screen

A woman cleaning her phone with a tissue

Have you ever thought Vaseline could be a handy hack to fix minor scratches on your phone or tablet screen? Surprised! Don’t be. It’s a simple yet efficient trick worth a try.

You must gently fill and rub over the scratch with Vaseline, then wiping off any excess with a damp cloth. Make sure not to push the Vaseline into the phone itself. Trust me, it works like a charm!

Glasses scratches, too, bow down to the power of Vaseline. A little dish soap, rinse with warm water, dry, and voila! All you have to do next is rub a minimal amount of Vaseline on the scratch using a soft cloth. Just be careful not to scratch the glass further when cleaning it.

Vaseline is not limited to screens and glasses. It’s equally efficient on car dashboards and plastic trims. Smaller scratches tend to disappear, reducing their appearance once you’ve filled them in with Vaseline. Next time you find a scratch, remember your shiny jar of Vaseline.

9. Stain Remover

A lipstick stained a white sheet

This might raise eyebrows, but let’s dive into how Vaseline can be a stain remover. Turns out it’s terrific for getting out all those pesky stains.

Picture this: you’ve got an annoying makeup stain on your favorite shirt. What’s the rescue plan?

  • Grab a damp cloth and a little bit of Vaseline.
  • Apply Vaseline to the stain, wait briefly, and gently blot the area.
  • Make sure to do a spot test first, though.
  • Now you need to throw your shirt in the wash, and voila! The stain should have disappeared.

10. Silence Squeaks

A man opening a door

Did you ever try to sneak into the kitchen for a midnight snack only to be betrayed by a noisy door? Don’t let it ruin the fun. Silent those unwanted noises with a little help from Vaseline.

Trust me, it’s as simple as grabbing some and rubbing it on both sides of the door hinge, and voila! No more squeaky sounds. Soundless snacking has never been easier!

A person opening a sink faucet

Let’s take this a step further. Got a squeaky faucet in your bathroom? That’s not a problem at all! Just unscrew the faucet handles and coat both handle and stem threads with a bit of Vaseline. When reassembled, your faucet handles will sing the sweet song of silence when you turn them.

An open window in a white room

And your struggle doesn’t end here. Those stubborn windows that resist your push, or that medicine cabinet door making a creaking sound along its runners?

Well, Vaseline comes to the rescue again. Applying petroleum jelly to the window sash channel and cabinet door runners with a small paintbrush, then sit back and admire your handiwork. The sliding will be so easy, you won’t believe it. And the best part? Your house stays quiet.

Vaseline, it seems, has your household maintenance covered. So, next time a squeak or a stubborn window tries to ruin your day, remember the magic of petroleum jelly.

11. Garden Hoses

A garden hose

Before stowing away those garden hoses for the winter, you’d want to keep them rust-free. Vaseline works wonders here. Smear it on the couplings and the faucet connection to prevent corrosion.

If you’ve got bikes, strollers, or machinery with chrome parts in your garage, this trick will help them, too. Applying a generous layer of Vaseline before storage ensures a rust-free revival. That way, your gear will be ready to go instantly when spring comes around.

12. Get Rid of Soap Scum

A stained and dirty sink

Vaseline can be your go-to solution for soap scum. Yes, you’ve read it right! Just dab a small amount on bathroom surfaces and give it a few minutes to do its magic.

Swipe it off with a soft cloth, and presto – your bathroom shines like new. Not to mention, it’s a superb lubricant for faucet handles as well.

13. Loosen a Stuck Zipper

A stuck zipper

As a homeowner, there’s nothing worse than when you’re in a rush, and suddenly your zipper gets stuck. It can be a hassle, whether it’s your favorite jacket, a handbag, or even your child’s backpack.

But did you know you can use Vaseline to fix this problem? Just a small amount of Vaseline can work wonders on a stubborn zipper.

Here’s how to do it. Start by dabbing a bit of Vaseline on both sides of the stuck zipper and along the part that got stuck. Just a little is all you need.

You’ll notice how the lubricated teeth start to move more freely. That’s the power of Vaseline for you! In cases where the zipper is caught in fabric, never fear. The lubricating effects of the Vaseline are still at work.

So, remember this simple Vaseline-based solution next time your zipper gives you trouble. It’s not just for chapped lips and baby bottoms. This household staple is versatile, coming to your rescue even in unexpected situations.

14. Prevent Buildup on Shovel Blades

A blue and red shovel on the beach sand

Here’s a great tip! Do you have a rusty old shovel or saw lying in your garden shed? Turn back time (well, just about) with a simple trick to spark your interest. Before you store those tools away, rub a good amount of Vaseline on the dry blades and edges.

What’s magical about Vaseline is that it forms a protective gel coating. It safely, yet very effectively, wards off both rust and decay. You’ll be amazed at how your rusty tools will return to life. Just think of it as giving them a second chance in tool paradise.

But let me remind you – this isn’t just about tools. Our best friend Vaseline also comes to the rescue of your bikes and baby strollers. With winter knocking at the door, many items may vacation in the storage room.

Before sending them off, apply Vaseline to their chrome parts and see the magic unfold when you bring them out next season. Rust-free! Yep, you heard it right.

There you go – more reasons to add Vaseline to your toolset. And here’s the best thing: these hacks are easy and affordable.

15. Unscuff Your Shoes

A pair of leather shoe on a table

Even the most treasured leather goods in your household – your shoes, boots, handbags, even those precious baseball gloves – can fall victim to pesky scuffs and dullness. But there’s a simple trick to restore their lost luster: a handy dollop of Vaseline.

Vaseline doesn’t just work as a leather polish alternative. The real power lies in how it’s applied. Buff it gently onto your leather goods with a cloth or cotton pad. That’ll shine them up like new in no time.

Let’s not forget about the more delicate leather items like your age-old baseball mitt. Here’s my trick: Rub the Vaseline into every stitch and seam. Let it sit there, soaking in for a while. Wipe off the excess, and if stubborn areas persist, just let the glove rest for a day before applying another layer. Now, that’s a rejuvenated baseball mitt ready for action!

16. Leather Jackets

A worn-out leather jacket on the wood table

Leather goods like jackets and furniture can get a quick, easy refresh using just a smidge of Vaseline. So how do you do it?

Scoop up a dollop of Vaseline, then rub it into the skin of your favorite leather goods. Don’t leave the house without wiping off any excess, though! You’ll end up with a piece that looks like it just came off the shop floor.

Looking into some quick facts, it’s worth noting that leather shines beautifully with some buffing. Luckily, with Vaseline, you’re not just giving it a prettier look; you’re also giving it some much-needed moisture.

Look around, and you’ll find plenty of promising uses for this humble household item. So, pull out your tub of Vaseline and give your leather goods a new life.

Vaseline vs. Household Alternatives: A Cost-Benefit Snapshot

Vaseline has stood out as a versatile contender in the quest for the most efficient and budget-friendly household solutions. Each product’s efficacy and cost-effectiveness are assessed to help you make informed choices for your everyday needs.

ProductEfficacyCost-EffectivenessEstimated Cost
VaselineExcellent for skin moisture, stopping squeaks, shining shoes, and preventing rust.Inexpensive, versatile, long-lasting.$0.05/g
Natural OilsGreat for skin, some household tasks are not as effective for creating barriers or long-term moisture.It can be more expensive and have a shorter shelf life, and organic varieties cost more.$0.10 – $0.30/ml
WD-40It is superior for lubrication and preventing rust, not for skin care.It is more expensive per ounce, not versatile for skin care, and requires additional products for skin care.$0.25/oz
BeeswaxIt is good for skin care, less greasy, naturally scented, and can lubricate certain surfaces.It is more expensive, less available, and good for natural product enthusiasts but not as economical.$0.50/g
Aloe VeraExcellent for skin irritations and burns, natural healing properties.Cost-effective if homegrown; commercial varieties can be pricey and have additives.$0.30/g (commercial)

Please note that the estimated costs are approximate and can vary based on brand, quality, and place of purchase.

Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips for using Vaseline, especially when dealing with electrical items:

  • Non-Conductive Precautions: Vaseline is non-conductive, but it should never be applied inside electronic devices or close to electrical contacts to avoid any risk of fire or malfunction.
  • Lightbulbs: When applying Vaseline to lightbulb threads, do it sparingly. Too much can cause the bulb to become loose, leading to a poor connection and potential hazards.
  • Battery Terminals: A thin layer of Vaseline can prevent corrosion on car battery terminals. Ensure the car is off and the terminals are clean before application.
  • Heat Exposure: Vaseline can melt when exposed to high temperatures, which could cause it to spread onto unwanted areas. Use it cautiously around objects that may heat up.
  • Adequate Ventilation: Always use Vaseline in a well-ventilated area, especially if you’re applying it to something that will later be heated, to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Child Safety: Keep Vaseline out of reach of children. While it’s not toxic if ingested in large amounts, it can cause stomach discomfort and, if inhaled, might lead to aspiration pneumonia.
  • Storage: Store Vaseline in a cool, dry place to maintain consistency and prevent it from becoming runny, which could lead to accidental spills or overapplication.

These tips ensure that while you’re getting the most out of your Vaseline for various uses, you stay safe and smart about its application.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Often Should I Reapply Vaseline When Using It As A Lubricant?
    • This depends on the job. A little dab should be done for a while for things like squeaky hinges. Just monitor the squeak and reapply when it makes a comeback.
  • How Do I Clean Up Spilled Vaseline?
    • No sweat. Warm, soapy water is your best friend here. For fabrics, some stain remover might be needed, but a good wash cycle usually will get the job done.
  • What Shouldn’t I Use Vaseline For?
    • Electronics and Vaseline don’t mix. Please keep it away from any place where a slippery surface could cause trouble, like floors or handles.
  • What’s The Best Way To Store Vaseline?
    • Keep it cool and dry. Vaseline doesn’t like extreme heat and can melt, so find a spot in your cupboard away from the stove or the sun.
  • Are There Any Environmental Concerns With Using Vaseline?
    • Vaseline is petroleum-based, so it’s not biodegradable. Use it responsibly, and consider natural alternatives if environmental impact concerns you.
  • Does Vaseline Have A Shelf Life?
    • While Vaseline has no strict expiration date, it’s best used within three years of opening. If it changes in texture or smell, it’s time to replace it.
  • How Effective Is Vaseline For Hair Care?
    • It can tame frizz and add shine to your hair as a pomade. But be cautious; a little goes a long way, and too much can make your hair greasy.




  • “Annie Sloan’s Room Recipes for Style and Color”
  • “The Big Book of Hacks” by Doug Cantor
  • “Natural Pest Control” by Andrew Lopez

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About Robert Gibson

Robert GibsonRobert Gibson is a skilled handyman and a trusted consultant in the home improvement realm, currently spearheading content creation for ToolsWeek. With a rich background in practical hands-on projects, spanning over two decades, Robert has mastered the art of troubleshooting and solving household challenges.

Known for his knack for breaking down intricate home improvement tasks into easy-to-follow steps, Robert is a vital asset to the ToolsWeek community. His well-researched guides and insightful articles have become a go-to resource for both seasoned professionals and eager DIYers looking to enhance their skills and tackle their projects with confidence.

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