Vaseline, a household staple for decades, is known for its moisturizing properties and has been a go-to product for dry skin. However, its uses extend far beyond a simple skin ointment. In this article, we'll explore a list of surprising uses for Vaseline that many people may not be aware of.

The History of Vaseline

The history of Vaseline dates back to the 19th century and is closely tied to the discovery and entrepreneurial spirit of Robert Augustus Chesebrough, an American chemist. Here is an overview of the history of Vaseline:

Discovery of Petroleum Jelly

Robert ChesebroughIn 1859, Chesebrough, a chemist from New York, learned about a substance called "rod wax" or "rod wax jelly." Oil workers were using this substance to heal cuts and burns on their skin.

Chesebrough visited oil fields in Titusville, Pennsylvania, where petroleum was being extracted. He discovered a thick substance that stuck to the drilling rods, and workers used it to soothe their skin ailments.

Chesebrough patented the process of refining the rod wax, resulting in a purified and odorless substance he called "petroleum jelly." In 1872, he received a patent for the process of making petroleum jelly.

The Introduction of Vaseline:

In 1870, Chesebrough began marketing his petroleum jelly product under the name "Vaseline." The name is derived from the German word "wasser," meaning water, and the Greek word "elaion," meaning oil.

Chesebrough promoted Vaseline for its medicinal properties, claiming that it could heal various skin conditions, cuts, and burns. Its popularity grew rapidly, and people started using it for various household purposes.

Outrageous Marketing Tactics that Propelled Vaseline to Success

  • Robert Chesebrough, believed in Vaseline so much, he ate a spoonful of the product until his passing at the age of 96.

  • He spent over a decade perfecting his extraction and purification process before introducing his “Wonder Jelly” to the world.

  • He marketed his product by driving around New York and burning his skin with acid or an open flame and then applying the jelly to his injury and showing past injuries that had healed.

  • By 1874, stores were selling over 1400 jars of Vaseline a day.

  • In 1913, chemist T. L. Williams mixed coal dust with Vaseline petroleum jelly, inventing mascara.

Expansion and Global Reach:

Vaseline gained widespread acceptance not only in the United States but also internationally. Chesebrough established the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company to produce and distribute Vaseline.

Over time, consumers discovered the versatility of Vaseline, using it not only for medical purposes but also as a cosmetic and household product. Its ability to moisturize and protect the skin made it a staple in many households.

In 1987, Unilever acquired Chesebrough-Pond's, the company that had evolved from the original Chesebrough Manufacturing Company. Vaseline became part of Unilever's extensive portfolio of consumer products.

Continued Innovation:

In the years since its inception, Vaseline has seen various formulations and innovations. Different variants, such as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly with Aloe Vera or Cocoa Butter, have been introduced to cater to specific skin care needs.

Today, Vaseline remains a household name and is widely recognized for its moisturizing properties. It has become a symbol of skincare and is used for a range of purposes, from soothing dry skin to serving as a base for various cosmetic and medicinal applications.

The history of Vaseline showcases how a chance discovery in the oil fields led to the creation of a product that has endured for over a century, becoming a staple in homes around the world.

Surprising Modern Day Uses of Vaseline Which You Never Knew

  1. Lipstick Stain Remover:
    Use Vaseline as Lipstick Stain Remover

    Vaseline can be an excellent solution for removing stubborn lipstick stains from clothing. Apply a small amount to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash as usual. The Vaseline helps break down the pigments in the lipstick, making it easier to lift from the fabric.

  2. Polish for Leather Goods:

    Bring life back to your leather shoes, bags, or furniture by applying a thin layer of Vaseline. It helps moisturize the material, reducing cracks and restoring a healthy shine.

  3. Glide for Perfume Application:

    Apply a small amount of Vaseline on your pulse points before spraying your favorite perfume. This will make the fragrance last longer by creating a barrier that slows down the evaporation of the scent.

  4. Preventing Hair Dye Stains:

    Before applying hair dye, apply a thin layer of Vaseline around your hairline, ears, and neck. This creates a protective barrier that prevents the dye from staining your skin.

  5. Fixing Squeaky Door Hinges:

    If you have a squeaky door hinge, apply a small amount of Vaseline to the hinge's moving parts to eliminate those irritating sounds.

  6. Enhancing Eyelashes:

    For a natural-looking alternative to mascara, apply a small amount of Vaseline to your eyelashes. This will give them a glossy appearance and can also help promote lash health.
  7. Removing Chewing Gum:

    Got gum stuck in your hair or on your clothes? Apply Vaseline to the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently wipe or comb the gum away. The Vaseline helps break down the gum's stickiness.

  8. Preserving Fragrance:

    Extend the life of your favorite scented candles by applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the wax before lighting them. This slows down the burning process, making the scent last longer.

  9. DIY Highlighter:

    Create your own natural-looking highlighter by dabbing a small amount of Vaseline onto the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. This gives a subtle, dewy glow without the need for additional makeup products.

  10. Use Vaseline to Curl Your Hair:

    Applying a small amount of Vaseline to the tips of your hair can help create natural-looking curls. Simply twist small sections of hair around your fingers coated with Vaseline, and let it set for a while. The Vaseline provides hold and definition to the curls.

  11. Use Vaseline for Dreadlocks:

    Vaseline can be applied to the scalp and hair to help maintain and style dreadlocks. It provides a moisturizing effect and helps to shape and secure the hair, making it a versatile product for those with dreadlocks.

  12. As Makeup Remover:

    Vaseline is an effective and gentle makeup remover. Apply a small amount to your face, including the eye area, and gently massage. The makeup will dissolve, and you can wipe it away with a cotton pad or tissue.

  13. To Protect Your Tools From Rusting

    Use Vaseline to protect your tools from rust. Apply a small amount to your tools before tucking them away if you are not going to be using them

  14. To Protect You Keys From Rusting

    Use Vaseline to protect your keys from rust. Apply a small amount to your tools before tucking them away if you are not going to be using them.
  15. To Protect Razor Blades from Rusting:

    Coat razor blades with a thin layer of Vaseline to create a protective barrier against moisture. This helps prevent rusting and prolongs the life of the razor blades, ensuring a smoother shave.

  16. To Protect Your Skin When Using Harsh Hair Relaxers:

    Before applying harsh hair relaxers, apply Vaseline to the hairline, ears, and any other sensitive areas. This creates a barrier that helps protect the skin from irritation caused by the chemicals in the relaxer.

  17. To Protect Surfaces Before a Paint Job:

    When painting, apply Vaseline to areas you want to protect from paint splatter, such as doorknobs, hinges, or window frames. The Vaseline creates a barrier, and any stray paint can be easily wiped away later.

  18. Silence Squeaky Doors, Use Vaseline as a Lubricant:

    Apply Vaseline to the hinges and moving parts of squeaky doors to reduce friction and eliminate the noise. It serves as an effective and quick lubricant for household hinges.

  19. Use It to Loosen a Stuck Zipper:

    If you have a stubborn zipper, apply a small amount of Vaseline along the zipper's teeth. Gently work the zipper back and forth to distribute the Vaseline, helping to loosen it and make it easier to slide.

  20. Prevent Your Face from Hair Dye Stains:

    Before applying hair dye, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the hairline, ears, and neck to create a protective barrier. This helps prevent the dye from staining the skin.

  21. Stop Blister Pain from New Shoes:

    Before wearing new shoes that may cause blisters, apply a bit of Vaseline to areas prone to friction, like the back of your heels or sides of your toes. The Vaseline acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and minimizing the risk of blisters.

  22. Paint Your Nails Without a Mess:

    Apply a thin layer of Vaseline around your nails before painting them. If you accidentally get nail polish on the surrounding skin, the Vaseline makes it easier to wipe away the excess without staining.

  23. Use It to Help Earrings Slide In Easier:

    If you have difficulty inserting earrings due to dry or tight ear holes, apply a small amount of Vaseline to the earrings before inserting them. This helps the earrings glide in more smoothly.

  24. Mix with Your Favorite Exfoliant (Coffee or Sugar) to Scrub off Dead Skin:

    Create a DIY exfoliating scrub by mixing Vaseline with coffee grounds or sugar. This combination helps slough off dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth and revitalized.

  25. Use It on Your Pet to Treat Dry or Cracked Paws:

    Apply a small amount of Vaseline to your pet's dry or cracked paw pads to provide moisturization and help soothe discomfort. It forms a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions.

  26. Use It to Treat Dry or Cracked Heels:

    For dry and cracked heels, apply Vaseline liberally before bedtime. Wear socks overnight to lock in the moisture, and wake up to softer, smoother feet.

  27. Add Shine to Your Hair:

    A tiny amount of Vaseline can be applied to the ends of your hair to add shine and tame frizz. Be cautious not to use too much to avoid a greasy look.

  28. Stop Battery Terminal Corrosion:

    Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the battery terminals in your car to prevent corrosion. The Vaseline acts as a barrier, protecting the terminals from moisture and oxidation.

  29. Use It to Prevent Bed Sores on Patients:

    In healthcare settings, Vaseline can be used to help prevent bed sores by applying it to areas where friction occurs between the patient's body and the bed or chair.

  30. Keeping Your Scalp from Getting Dry:

    Apply a small amount of Vaseline to your scalp, particularly in dry or winter conditions, to combat dryness and flakiness. This helps lock in moisture and soothe the scalp.

  31. Use It on Brass Fittings on Fire Hoses for Quick Attachment:

    Firefighters often use Vaseline on brass fittings of fire hoses to facilitate quick and smooth attachment. It acts as a lubricant, ensuring efficient and timely responses in emergency situations.

  32. Use It as a Lubricant for Screws, No Rust, and Easier if You Need to Take Them Out:

    Apply Vaseline to screws or bolts to act as a lubricant. This not only prevents rust but also makes it easier to remove them later, especially in situations where fasteners may become stuck.

  33. Auto Rust Proofing:

    Coat the undercarriage and metal parts of your vehicle with a layer of Vaseline to help prevent rusting, especially in areas prone to corrosion due to road salt or harsh weather conditions.

  34. Use Vaseline as a Fire Starter, Rub on Cotton Balls, and Easily Start a Fire:

    Soak cotton balls in Vaseline and use them as fire starters. The Vaseline acts as fuel, making it easier to ignite the cotton balls and start a fire in camping or emergency situations.

  35. Apply to Your Hands and Body Before a Paint Job and Wash Off Paint Easily:

    Before painting, apply Vaseline to your hands and areas of exposed skin. This creates a protective barrier, making it easier to wash off paint afterward without excessive scrubbing.

  36. Styling Your Hair:

    Use a small amount of Vaseline to tame flyaways, create sleek hairstyles, or add definition to curls. It can be a versatile styling product, especially for achieving a polished look.


Vaseline, with its simple formulation, has proven to be a versatile product with surprising applications beyond its traditional use as a skin moisturizer. From household hacks to beauty tricks, these lesser-known uses demonstrate that this humble product can be a valuable addition to your daily routine. So, the next time you reach for that jar of Vaseline, remember its potential beyond just keeping your skin soft and hydrated.