10 Unusual Uses for Baby Oil

The common household item isn't just for babies!

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johnson's baby oil

Household Uses for Baby Oil

Like Windex and Dawn PowerWash, baby oil is one of those household products that can do seemingly anything. From removing mildew to unsticking zippers, baby oil miraculously solves a myriad of cleaning and DIY problems. Here are ten of our favorite uses for the powerhouse moisturizer.

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Small and compact bathroom shower stall in a small farmhouse decor inspired cabin with a blue striped shower curtain, hooks on the wall and a rustic wood plank ceiling
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Clean Your Shower Curtain

According to home and lifestyle brand PureWow, baby oil is excellent for removing the mildew and grime from shower curtains. To use, simply apply a tablespoon or two of baby oil to a cleaning rag and scrub away. When you’re finished, rinse the curtain thoroughly with water so it doesn’t stay slippery.

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Woman Wipes Cooktop
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Shine Steel or Chrome

Baby oil works wonders to buff stainless steel or chrome. A couple drops of baby oil on a soft rag can help shine up appliance fronts, like the refrigerator or dishwasher, as well as metal fixtures like sink faucets and handles.

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Female artist got all messy after painting with hands
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Get Paint Off of Your Hands

A former professional painter and author of an Instructables article on baby oil claims that when they couldn’t get latex paint off their hands, “baby oil would come to the rescue.” Just massage the baby oil onto your skin in slow, concentric circles using a cotton ball or towel, then wash the oil and paint off with soap and water.

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Person working, rubbing oiling with linseed oil natural wooden kitchen countertop before using. Solid wood butcher block countertop maintenance concept.
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Moisturize Wood

Because baby oil is 98% mineral oil, you can use it similarly to condition wood that has lost its luster. Baby oil also makes a great lubricant for sticky wooden drawers, as blogger Moms Loves Best points out.

However, make sure you don’t use baby oil on wooden surfaces that touch food, such as butcher block or cutting boards. Unlike mineral oil, baby oil is not food-grade; plus, it contains fragrances. Yuck!

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sticky residue on white fridge left from a piece of tape
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Remove Sticky Residue

If your surfaces have sticky residue on them, from sticker backings, glue, or other adhesives, don’t fret! A little mineral oil will gently remove that adhesive without damaging the surface. Just rub the oil around the perimeters of the sticker (or band-aid, or temporary tattoo, or bubblegum), wait a few minutes, then peel off. Good as new!

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Zipper on blue sweatshirt
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Unstick a Zipper

If you have a zipper that just won’t budge, PureWow assures that baby oil is the answer. Apply a few drops to either side of the zipper and rub in using a rag. This should loosen the zipper just enough to get it moving again!

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messy jewelry box
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Untangle Jewelry

To get a nasty snarl out of a delicate chain, try plunging the offending knot in baby oil. Instructables explains: “It’ll lubricate the metal links, allowing them to separate more easily. Use a pin to work out the tangled knot after the dunk in oil.” After the jewelry is untangled, be sure to clean it properly.

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conditioning leather boot with baby oil and rag
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Condition Leather

Maintaining leather is notoriously tricky. To help keep your leather boots, bags, jackets and furniture looking their best, use baby oil as a conditioner. Mom Loves Best suggests pouring the oil onto a rag and then rubbing the oiled rag onto your leather items. Just be sure not to pour the baby oil directly onto the leather, as you can leave drip marks, and always wipe off any excess.

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Woman unlocking entrance door with a key. Person using key and locking apartment door.
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Lubricate Locks

If your lock seems sticky whenever you insert your key, it’s time to lubricate it. While you can certainly use WD-40, baby oil works just as well! Apply the oil to either side of the corresponding key, then insert and turn it as normal. The oil should help lubricate the lock’s internal mechanisms so that you never have to worry about your key sticking again.

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door hinges Aluminum on white door
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Soften Squeaky Hinges

Finally, if a squeaky door hinge is driving you nuts, a drop or two of baby oil can silence it immediately. Apply the baby oil with a rag directly onto the door hinge, then open and close the door a few times to ensure that the oil makes its way into the crevices of the hinge. VoilĂ : peace and quiet.