Petroleum jelly is a wonderful, multi-use product that costs less than a quarter an ounce. From application on babies to adults and even pets, this simple jar of product has tons of practical uses. At the Krazy Coupon Lady, this is one product we always keep in our homes (and in our stockpiles: see past offers here and here). Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:
1. Keep fresh paint in its place
When painting wooden surfaces around windows, glass panels or even doorknobs and hinges, prep the area with a layer of petroleum jelly. Apply with a cotton ball or Q-tip. Any stray paint will "stick" to the jelly and can be wiped clean later.
2. Make an emergency candle
Lights off due to a power outage? No candles in the stockpile? (A KCL would never let that happen, right?) But if she did, she could always grab a jar of petroleum jelly, add a single birthday candle, and light it. It should burn uninterrupted for hours.
3. Prevent nosebleeds
Nosebleeds can be more frequent in dry climates. To keep nasal passages moist and prevent bleeding, dab a bit of petroleum jelly into each nostril once or twice a day. This is especially effective—and safe—for younger children prone to nosebleeds.
4. Repair wood
An imperfection (knick, heat mark or water spot) in wooden furniture can be restored with petroleum jelly. Coat the spot with petroleum jelly, let stand overnight, and wipe clean in the morning.
5. Cover a small wound
Petroleum jelly can be used to cover a small wound or scrape, aiding in preventing infection for human or pet in an area where a bandage cannot easily be applied (the top of the knuckle, the baby toe, cat's fur, etc.). Dab lightly, only applying a thin film.
6. Soften hands and feet
Petroleum jelly serves as a great substitute for the first product in the 3-step Mary Kay product Satin Hands. This trio of products—which retails for over $30—includes a softener, an exfoliator and a moisturizer. Make your own version at home for a couple of bucks: petroleum jelly, white granulated sugar, and a moisturizing lotion from your stockpile work similarly. Massage the petroleum jelly into the palms and backs of your hands, then work a small amount of granulated sugar over the hands to exfoliate while running them under water. Pat hands dry and apply a moisturizing lotion to finish.
To combat cracked heels and tough skin on feet, apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to them before bedtime, covering them with soft socks. In the morning, feet will be baby soft! Repeat this every two weeks for sustained softness.
7. Keep drill bits from breaking
Add a dab of petroleum jelly to drill bits and wipe off the excess before using them. This will keep the bits slick (and sharp, too!) while minimizing the possibility of breakage.
8. Make painting nails easier
If painting your own nails results in color-blotched cuticles and tips, "outline" the skin area around each nail with petroleum jelly applied via a Q-tip before painting them. After the polish is dry, wash and dry hands as usual to remove the jelly and any polish not on the nails.
Also, If you have trouble opening your nail polish bottles, get in the habit of applying a bit of petroleum jelly to the inside rim and cap before screwing it back on. The lubrication will prevent the lid from sticking in the future.
9. Protect tools from rusting
Hardware hand tools exposed to water (especially salt water) or used outdoors or in harsh conditions are prone to rusting. To minimize this, coat the exposed metal parts with a light layer of petroleum jelly before storing.
10. Untangle knotted jewelry
If your metal bracelet or necklace seems hopelessly tangled in knots, petroleum jelly may help. Place a dab of it on your index finger, and roll the knot around between the index and thumb until it loosens. Then, use a sewing needle to "pick" the knot apart. Wipe off the excess petroleum jelly before wearing.
11. Loosen a stuck window, drawer, or cabinet
Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the tracks of a household window, kitchen drawer, or cabinet hinge. Use a small paint or craft brush to apply in an even layer; after a few slides back and forth, the sticking problem should be solved!