24 Surprising Uses for Baby Oil

uses for baby oil

Newsflash: Baby oil isn’t just for babies. Not only can this gentle emollient be used on grown-up skin but it’s also an efficient ingredient to have in your home for cleaning, untangling, unsticking and more.

But wait, what is this miracle product actually made out of? Most commercial baby oil is made up of mineral oil (typically 98 percent) and fragrance (2 percent). Mineral oil is a noncomedogenic (i.e. it won’t clog your pores) ingredient that creates a barrier for your skin to lock in moisture. That’s why it helps to keep babies’ delicate skin so soft and smooth. But that’s not all it can do. Here, 24 uses for baby oil that go way beyond Junior’s bottom.

The Best Massage Oils for an At-Home Day Spa

1. Moisturize skin

Just a couple of drops of baby oil gently rubbed on your body can nourish parched skin by locking in moisture. For best results, apply the oil all over immediately after getting out of the shower or bath.

2. Use as a massage oil

Giving your partner a massage? Or want them to give you one? Create a luxurious at-home spa experience by using baby oil to help hands glide over skin smoothly. (Psst… here are some other massage oils to try.)

3. Remove eye makeup

We love a good cat-eye but getting rid of stubborn eyeliner can be a real pain. Here’s a tip: Soak a cotton ball with baby oil and gently run across your eyelids to remove makeup. It’s an effective way to get rid of eyeshadow and eyeliner without irritating the delicate skin around the eyes.

4. Soothe cracked heels

Feet looking a little worse for wear? Rub some baby oil on your heels before bed (or hey, ask your S.O. to do it), then put on a pair of socks to seal in the moisture. Go to sleep and you’ll wake up to softer, smoother feet. Sweet dreams.

5. Remove rings

Whether it’s from travel, pregnancy, a heatwave or something else entirely, sometimes a ring just gets stuck. Ouch. Here’s a quick fix: Massage a little baby oil around your finger and carefully ease off the ring. Simple.

6. Substitute shaving gel

Run out of shaving cream? Or maybe you just want to give your legs a hydrating boost. Rub a thin layer of oil on your legs before shaving to help protect your skin from razor bumps and leave them silky smooth.

7. Remove temporary tattoos

Your kid loves covering his arm with temporary tattoos on the weekend but come Monday, it’s time for those tats to go. Forget scrubbing with soap and water—rub them off with a little baby oil instead.

8. Give a flawless manicure 

Using a cotton ball soaked in baby oil, carefully trace around your cuticles before painting your nails. This will help prevent your polish from seeping out to the sides.  You can also use baby oil to tidy up any accidental messes.

9. Clean your shower curtain

It doesn’t matter how diligent you are about cleaning—mildew loves to hang out on your shower curtain. Get rid of all that yuckiness by scrubbing your curtain or shower door with a little bit of baby oil. Rinse with water and then wipe it away to ensure no slippage.

10. Detangle necklaces

You put your favorite pendant in your handbag a couple of days ago and now it’s a tangled mess. No worries—just rub a drop or two of oil on the knot and use a straight pin to untangle it. Sound too easy? Watch how to untangle a necklace here

11. Shine steel appliances

PSA: Your fridge is filthy. Wipe stainless steel with a little oil on a soft cloth to remove fingerprint smudges and spots. (This trick will also work on chrome.)

12. Create a hydrating bath

Pour a little bit of oil into the tub for a luxurious and skin-softening soak. Just remember to clean the tub afterward to get rid of any oily residue that could cause someone to fall.

13. Degrease hands

You did some work on your car and now your hands look like they’re covered in squid ink. Don’t try to get that grease off with soap and water, which will strip your hands of their natural oils (enter: dry, cracked skin). Instead, rub your hands with some baby oil to remove grease and keep them moisturized.

14. Lubricate wood

Got a sticky drawer or squeaky door that’s driving you crazy? Just use a drop or two of baby oil to lubricate the hinges.

15. Give Yourself a DIY pedicure

Want to give yourself an at-home pedicure but running low on time? Don’t fret—add a couple of drops of baby oil on top of your polish to help it dry faster and stay smudge-free. 

16. Remove band-aids...

Ripping off a band-aid is painful—especially for little ones. Make things easier by rubbing baby oil on the area around the bandage, waiting a few minutes and then lifting it off seamless. Ta-da—no pain.

17. ...And stickers

Whether it’s your kid covering your car window with them or stickers on your brand new wine glasses, you can use baby oil to ease that sticky label off without any residue. 

18. … And bubblegum

Getting a big wad of gum stuck in your hair is basically a rite of passage for kids. Before you break out the scissors, unstick the gum by rubbing some baby oil into the strands. You may need to let it sit for a few minutes and then use your fingers to gently tease the gum out of the strands. Repeat until the gum is gone. 

19. DIY moon sand for kids

Just because you’re not at the beach doesn’t mean your kids can’t build sandcastles. All you need to make this magical molding sand that never dries out is flour, powdered paint and baby oil. Learn how to make DIY moon sand here.

20. Get that self-tanner streak-free

The look you’re going for is lightly bronzed—not like an orange zebra. But it’s almost impossible to avoid a few streaks when applying self-tanner. Or is it? If you notice a spot that looks streaky or unevenly applied, don’t be tempted to wait until you’re finished applying to try and fix it. Instead, right when you notice a mistake, apply a small amount of baby oil with a Q-tip to the darker area and leave it on for ten minutes. Then, gently buff the skin with a warm washcloth to get rid of the extra tanner and start clean. Perfect.

21. Remove paint from skin

So you did some redecorating and now your hands are covered in caked paint. Similar to working with grease, turning to soap and water can strip your hands of moisture and cause them to dry and crack. Instead, massage a little baby oil onto your hands to gently remove any paint.

22. Use as a cuticle oil

Why buy one product when multi-purpose baby oil can do the job instead? Save money by softening cuticles with a little baby oil.

23. Unstick a zipper

Got a zipper that just won't budge? Apply a small amount of baby oil to a cloth and rub it on both sides of the zipper to get things moving.

24. Make your own baby wipes

All you need is some paper towels, baby wash, shampoo or soap shavings, and a little bit of baby oil. (It’s easier than it sounds, promise.) Here’s a how-to guide by Earth Mama for DIY baby wipes.

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