The next time you need to unstick, soften, shine, depilate or de-squeak something, try baby oil.
The lightly scented mineral oil is good for numerous applications that have nothing to do with babies. In fact, having baby oil on hand can spare you from needing to buy an array of single-purpose products that are generally more expensive.
Following are more than a dozen uses for baby oil that could save you money.
1. Bath oil
I’ve poured baby oil into the tub to soften my winter-weary skin.
Note: You must use some cleanser on the tub afterward, or the oily residue that remains on the surface could cause the next bather to slip and fall.
Don’t feel like scrubbing an oily tub after every time you bathe to get the baby oil benefits? Towel-dry yourself a little after your bath, and then smooth a little baby oil on your still-damp skin to help lock in moisture.
3. Shave-gel substitute
Use a thin layer of baby oil on your legs instead of shaving cream or gel (or soap) before shaving.
4. Waxing aid
If you’re waxing brows, legs or, uh, other parts of your body, use a little baby oil afterward to remove any lingering wax.
5. Eye makeup remover
A cotton ball dampened with baby oil helps take care of eye shadow and eyeliner without irritating delicate skin.
6. Temporary-tattoo remover
Did Junior come home from a birthday party festooned with garish superhero tats? Rub them off with a little baby oil.
7. Cuticle oil
Sushmita Munda writes at makeupandbeauty.com that she uses baby oil on her hands when she gives herself a manicure. Sure, there’s a product called “cuticle oil,” but she never buys it.
8. Lip scrub
Munda also makes a lip scrub by mixing 1 teaspoon of baby oil, ½ teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. Every night before bed she rubs it lightly on her lips to remove dead skin.
9. Massage unguent
Baby oil is an inexpensive alternative to massage oil or cream.
10. Scaly-foot softener
Do your feet look positively lizardlike in the winter? Rub some baby oil on at bedtime, and then don plain white socks. While you sleep, the skin on your feet will soften right up.
11. Ring loosener
Did your hands swell because of pregnancy or air travel? Trickle a little baby oil on the puffy digit and gradually ease off the ring.
12. Paint remover
Got latex paint on your hands or arms after painting a room? It might rub right off, or it might embed itself in your knuckles and other skin folds. A post on Instructables.com recommends massaging paint spatters with baby oil in circular motions.
13. Squeaky-hinge lubricant
A drop or two should do it — and baby oil smells a lot better than WD-40.
14. Adhesive bandage remover
Time to change the Band-Aid on your kid’s knee? Saturate it with oil and wait awhile; the adhesive should lift right off with no pain.
15. Price sticker remover
If a sticker resists removal from an item made of glass, china or plastic, rub in some baby oil and wait a bit. The sticker should peel off much more easily.
Note: Don’t do this on cloth or paper items, as the oil will stain.
16. Golf club polish
Depending on which golf aficionado you talk to, you can protect and shine your clubs with gun oil, WD-40, special golf-club polishes, petroleum jelly, a silicone gun cloth or, yes, baby oil.
17. Paper shredder oil
If you have a document shredder — and you should — keep things running smoothly with an occasional oiling. Put a couple of pieces of paper on a baking sheet and squirt on some baby oil. Once the paper has absorbed the oil, run it through the shredder.
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