Home Remedies using Petroleum Jelly Outdoors

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The petroleum jelly of yesterday has surely evolved into a versatile product found in nearly every household. Whether stashed in the glove compartment or tucked away in a purse, there are endless ways to use the jelly to your advantage that doesn’t have to involve beauty and health care. For instance, the number of home remedies using petroleum jelly for the outdoors will have you solving common problems and saving money in no time.

What is Petroleum Jelly?

It is a mixture of hydrocarbons that makes the topical ointment known as petroleum jelly. At room temperature, the product is semi-solid and colorless. If the jelly was not highly distilled, then it will show a pale yellow color. There is no scent to petroleum jelly unless it has been compromised or made with other additives. For example, Vaseline (one of the most popular brands of petroleum jelly on the market) makes petroleum jelly with cocoa butter. At first, petroleum jelly was used to clean cuts and scrapes, but today, the many uses of the product have gone beyond the realm of health and beauty.

Petroleum Jelly Outdoor Home Remedies

If petroleum jelly can protect your lips, skin and body from the effects of Mother Nature, just think of what it can do for your belongings. Some of the components of Vaseline can offer many outdoor solutions – from preventing rust to combatting common obstacles associated with cold weather. Below you will find a handful of home remedies using petroleum in the outdoors that could be of some assistance to you in the future:

a) Keep a Tight Lid on Paint:

When storing paint cans in the garage, protect the contents by applying petroleum jelly around the inside edge of the can, which forms an air tight seal when the lid is closed over it.

b) Chrome Protection [1]:

When storing your kid’s bike for the winter in the garage, apply petroleum jelly to the chrome parts and the next time you bring it out in the spring, there will be no rust.

c) Prevent Rusty Tools and Equipment:

To make sure garden tools, heavy machinery, and other outdoor equipment stored in your garage doesn’t rust in the wintertime – apply petroleum jelly to the metal parts to form a protective shield.

d) Protect Runners:

When long distance runners take to the streets, they can prevent chafing of their nipples when they wear loose T-shirts. The petroleum jelly prevents the friction between the skin and clothing during a run.

e) Lock Maintenance:

To keep the locks on your house and car door from freezing in the wintertime, smear petroleum jelly on the shaft of the key and insert it into the lock. To lubricate the tumblers, you will have to work the key and lock about four or five times. You can also use this remedy to make sure a new key works smoothly inside of a new or old lock.

f) Prevent Battery Terminal Corrosion:

If you don’t want to find a dead battery in your car on the coldest day of winter, there is a remedy you can follow that lessens your chance of experiencing this nightmare. You can prevent the corrosion on the battery terminals that can lead to a dead battery. Before the start of winter, disconnect the terminals and clean with a wire brush. Reconnect, and then smear on petroleum jelly to prevent corrosion and help keep the battery running stronger throughout the colder months.

g) Stop Sticky Outdoor Light Bulbs:

Over time, the harsh elements can cause light bulbs to stick in their metal base. When you go to unscrew them, you could leave remains in your socket. This is caused by moisture getting into the socket. Sometimes, the light bulb base even becomes rusty. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, apply petroleum jelly to the base of the bulb before screwing it into the fixture.

h) Stop Noisy Door Hinges:

If your car or outside door hinges constantly make a squeaking noise every time you open and close it – apply petroleum jelly on the hinge pins of the door to enjoy a quieter motion. This remedy works wonders for outside screen doors that have a tendency to get squeaky.

i) Cold Weather Skin Protectant:

When working in the bitter cold, it is suggested to coat the skin with petroleum jelly as protection from the low temperatures, windchill levels, and blowing winds that you may encounter.

j) Prevent Rusty Outdoor Items:

To keep nuts, bolts and screws of your outdoor furniture, wooden picnic tables and other yard items from rusting – coat with petroleum jelly.

k) Keep Ants Away from Dog Dishes:

When you have set your pet’s food and water bowls in the garage or outside, you can stop an invasion of ants by ringing the bowl with petroleum jelly. The ants will head in a different direction because they will not want to come in contact with the jelly.

l) Protect Windburned Skin:

Before heading out to the slopes with windburned skin, apply a liberal amount of petroleum jelly on your face to help with the healing process, as well as prevent any further damage.

m) Garbage Can Lid Treatment:

During the wintertime, rubber garbage can lids have a tendency to freeze to the can, but you can prevent this from happening by apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly. The slippery consistency of the jelly will prevent the lids from sticking.

n) Paint Protection:

When painting doorknob to the garage door, but you don’t feel like removing metal fixtures and hinges – rub petroleum jelly over the parts and the paint won’t stick if you have an accident. After painting, you can just wipe the jelly off and any paint that may have come in contact with it.

o) Clean Bird Droppings [2]:

When a bird decides to choose your leather jacket as its private bathroom, rub a small amount of petroleum jelly and after five minutes, the stain should wipe right off.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 257.
[2] Who Knew? Almanac by Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin; pg. 170.