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Baby Oil - Unusual Uses

Filed Under: Essential Skills, Know-How

Baby oil is all grown up and ready to tackle plenty of jobs around the house. Meet your new multitasker.

baby oil uses Jb Reed, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Baby oil isn't just for babies. Yep, this household helper has uses that go beyond the nursery (and no, we're not encouraging you to use it when you sun bathe!). In fact, I use baby oil all over the house, from the laundry room to the bathroom. Here are some of my tricks.

Gooey Gummy Mess
Whether you've stepped in gum, dropped it, or your kids have made a major mess with it, grab some baby oil. All you have to do is saturate the gum with baby oil. Leave it on the surface for a minute or so and then wipe it away with a paper towel or comb it out. If you need to remove the oil, wipe with white vinegar to break up the oil!

Photo: Getty Images

Sticky Shredder Solver
If your paper shredder is sticking and isn't doing the job any more, don't but a new one, try this. Lay a couple of pieces of paper on a baking sheet and squirt it with a little baby oil. Let the oil soak into the paper and then shred. The oil will lubricate the shredder while it's shredding.

Bargain Baby Wipes
Cut a paper towel roll in half so you end up with two halves that look like toilet paper rolls. Put them in an airtight container, a coffee can or formula can is a great fit. Mix one and a half cups of water, and a tablespoon each of baby shampoo and baby oil. Pour it over the towels and let them soak. When they're good and wet, pull out the center core and pull your homemade wipes easily one by one out of the center.

Scummy Soap Build-Up Remover
You can keep nasty soap scum from building up on shower curtains and shower doors by coating them with a little baby oil. Be careful not to let any drip onto the floor, it's slippery! Now if you've already got soap scum, use some baby oil to break through that hardened scum. Just put some on a wash cloth and scrub the that scum away.

Dusting Helper
Apply a small amount of baby oil to a lint free dust cloth. , Working in a circular motion, apply oil to wood furniture. Once the oil has been worked into the wood, go over it again with a clean micro fiber cloth working with the grain of the wood for a beautiful, flawless finish.

zipper, baby oil usesPhoto: Getty Images

Zipper Helper
Stubborn zippers are no match for baby oil; use a cotton swab to lightly coat both sides of the zipper. Then work the zipper back and forth several times; it'll work like new!

Dish and Glass Unsticker
If you have a dish or glass stuck to a wood tabletop, don't try to pull it off or you'll damage the finish. Instead, squirt some baby oil around the base of the dish and let it sit for a few minutes. A gentle twist and the dish should pull off easily without damaging the tabletop.

Paint Problem Solver
If you get paint on your skin, rub a little baby oil into it with a washcloth to easily remove those splatters from your skin.

Bandage Saver
To remove a plastic bandage without pain and without leaving behind a sticky mess, use a cotton ball to cover the bandage with baby oil. Leave it for a minute and then easily remove the bandage. This tip is great especially if you have little ones who tend to scream when you pull that bandage off.

Bug Deterrent
Rub some baby oil on exposed skin before you go outside to keep bugs at bay.

So, have I convinced you – grab a bunch of baby oil. It is a perfect, inexpensive solution for so many household problems – give it a try for yourself!!

  • steve

    I always use baby oil for breaking in new baseball mits.
    Far less expensive then mink oil or other "official" baseball mit softeners,
    works great and my mits are still soft, flexible, and strong decades later.

  • Lemonbay Lady

    Baby oil also works great on finger smudged stainless steel appliances

  • kb

    Eye makeup remover.

  • Tstuve

    I also have been using baby oil as eye makeup remover for years. It works wonders and has probably saved me a ton of money by not needing to purchase expensive eye makeup remover products. I love it and this is a great tip for those who have not tried it!

  • marcia

    Removes the worst caked on mascara, I have used expensive name brand make-up remover, this works the best!

  • E

    Also great after a leg wax, get's rid of all the residue wax.

  • C.C

    I have used baby oil when making my homemade playdough for years. It smells great and won't go rancid like the vegetable oil the recipe calls for....

  • Sal

    They left out the most important usage us East coasters, who use to spend our entire weekends sunbathing at Orchard Beach in the Bronx in the 50's and 60's. We use to get a bottle of baby oil, add a little iodine to it and use it as a sunblocker. If you wanted that Florida tan, away went the Coppertone and out came the baby oil. LOL

  • Carole

    OMG Sal, your post came with a rush of memories and we never got warned about skin cancer then, and we were all tan and sexy without 1958!

  • Hank

    Have a Boat with vinyl seats? Use baby oil to wipe them down after cleaning. Take care to wipe all seams. This will prevent discoloration and cracking from the sun.

  • angela

    JOHNSON AND JOHNSON STILL ANIMAL TESTS! Check your products before you purchase. If you saw what they do to small, helpless animals you would think twice.

  • vickie

    I heard they are the worst company for testing on animals...there are other baby oils made by "companies with a conscience" no way does testing on animals makes it safer for humans.......there are a organization of ethical doctors who know this for a fact.......

  • Ida

    Why pay for J&J's animal-killing, chemical-loaded products such as "baby oil"? Why not just purchase the main ingredient, mineral oil, which is pure and designed to be taken internally when constipated (lubricant laxative)? Going one better, why not just purchase extra virgin olive oil? Both of these natural oils can be used internally and externally, don't involve killing innocent animals, and I've been using them for decades as moisterizers and for cooking. I also don't pay the high prices, nor consume the additional chemicals that J&J just love injecting into their products. Go "Natural" people! Don't harm the environment, don't murder animals, and don't harm Yourselves by buying into "big business" brainwashing and propaganda. A 16 oz. bottle of mineral oil costs $1.05 at the drug store, while J&J's Baby Oil is $4 for 14 oz!

  • karlynlov

    It's very sad that Angela's comment on animal testing seemed ignored. With just a few clicks, check out for yourself how horrific the animal testing is on dogs and other animals. It is unacceptable to me that given current technological advancements in ability to test virtually anything in a lab without animals...dogs are being tortured (watched a video of lab techs punching dogs in the face for 'misbehaving' before beinggrabbed by the throat and injected with God knows what. Tthen throwing them down into their concrete cages, scared, shivering, hurting without any human or humane kindness). Johnson & Johnson DOES animal testing...

  • Leslie

    Perhaps you would rather they test on you, or your children??

  • Phyllis Barlow

    I am a merchandiser, and when I'm cleaning shelves that have icky stuff on them or losts of rust baby oil does the trick. Soak area in baby oil and let sit for a couple of minutes then use fine steel wool or a paint scraper to remove the mess. Then use glass cleaner or a baby wipe to clean up the excess baby oil. Result is a shiny clean shelf!!

  • Rich

    Baby Magic is great for Shaving Cream leaving the non dry skin and body washes for thy BABY BOOMERS.

    Really cool stuff

  • Sara

    Use baby oil everyday in the shower if you are pregnant,,,you will never get a stretch mark...I have 2 children and I dont have one mark on me.

  • vanessa

    I used it religiously when I was preggers - in the AM after a shower, and in the PM before going to sleep at night - and got LOTS stretch marks anyway :( They didn't come until my last week of being pregnant.

  • Irene M

    If your car doors freeze shut when parked outside during the winter, before the snow flies, use some baby oil on a cotton ball or cloth to pre-treat the rubber edges inside the door frames to prevent the doors from sticking. You might have to do this a couple of times throughout the winter, but one treatment should last for at least a month.

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