Unconventional Ways to Use Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly, often recognized by the popular brand name Vaseline, has been a widely consumed cosmetic skin care item since the late 1800s. The semi-solid hydro-carbonic mixture has numerous useful attributes from hastening the healing of cuts to curing chapped or dry lips. Surprisingly, life experience has introduced me to some other rather unorthodox yet useful ways to use petroleum jelly:
1. Shoe Shine
Petroleum jelly may not necessarily polish or restore shoe quality, nor is it as authentic as Kiwi, however it does have some other perks when used on shoes. A light layer of petroleum jelly over a pair of dress shoes, (the best being black), gives them quite a nice little shine. Furthermore, petroleum jelly on dress shoes is somewhat waterproof. Petroleum jelly was discovered on an oil rig in 1859. When you melt it down, it has some of the same properties as oil or grease. As it is widely known, water does not mix well with oil. Thus, when applied to your shoes, water primarily beads off. However, don’t risk ruining a nice pair of shoes by standing outside during a rainstorm to test how waterproof your “jellied” Monks are.
2. Hair Grease or Oil
Women, and some men, spend countless amounts of money yearly on hair care products. Petroleum jelly can be a less expensive and slightly effective substitute to many products. Due to the fact that petroleum jelly has a minimal amount of ingredients and virtually no additives, it is capable of little damage to the hair. For people with kinky or curly hair who are in need of some minor detangling, apply petroleum jelly handsomely to your hair and comb through it. Knots come out more easily, there is no chemical odor or aroma from the jelly and its grease-like consistency keeps the hair in place until it dissolves, temporarily preventing future tangles.
For women seeking to simply keep those bangs out of the way for the wedding or long-haired men who want to look more professional for the big job interview, melt the jelly down and use it. Sticking a plastic jar of petroleum jelly in the microwave or holding it over a small flame for a few seconds will melt it just enough for easier use. People with naturally straight hair can apply melted petroleum jelly to the hair to make it lay in place for a short while in the same manner that hair gel can. Simply pour the desired amount into your hands, rub them over your hair, and be on your way! Be advised: people with naturally straight hair have a much harder time washing petroleum jelly out of their hair than people with curly or kinky hair.
3. Small Insect “Repellent”
On a trip to summer camp many years ago, I noticed I was the only kid who had no mosquito bites. However, I was covered in their dead bodies. When coated over the body, some brands of petroleum jelly can protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Some forms of it are base ingredients in lotions and moisturizers. All in all, because of the consistency of any type of petroleum jelly, many things such as dirt, hair, and bugs, stick the body if the jelly is present. If flies, mosquitoes, gnats, or other small insects come into contact with petroleum jelly, their chances of survival are slim. Due to their lack of weight they stick to the jelly. The jelly then greases their wings, rendering them inoperable and therefore they cannot fly. In essence, if you’d rather be covered in helpless bugs than be bitten repeatedly, apply generous amounts of the jelly to your body before you begin hiking up that mountain. Be advised: Petroleum jelly can stain or leave marks on some forms of clothing.
4. Household Lubricant
It is advised that petroleum jelly should not be used as a sexual lubricant because it can dissolve latex. On the other hand, it makes a great lubricant in odd areas around the house. Is your refrigerator door sticking less and less every day? Apply a little petroleum jelly around the frame and voila, good as new. Got a few squeaky hinges or rusted locks? Apply the jelly and bask in your newfound silence. No more creaky doors and no annoying screeches when you lock or unlock your gate.