Do you have a bottle of baby oil lurking in the cupboard? Are you thinking about throwing it out because you’ll never use it? Think again.
Baby oil is an underrated household staple perfect for those random “what am I going to do about this?” type moments all of us encounter from time to time. We dive into some nifty uses for baby oil and answer a few of your burning questions about this staple.
Baby Oil Uses for Babies
In addition to being a baby moisturizer — although not for newborns, which we’ll talk about in the question section — these are other baby oil uses for the kids.
Research suggests that baby massage can:
- Reduce crying.
- Encourage relaxation and sleep.
- Encourage interaction between you and your baby (1).
To reap these benefits, lay your baby on a towel in a warm room, rub some baby oil into your hands and gently massage your little one. Talk soothingly and don’t massage less than 45 minutes after a feed, as this can cause vomiting, which is the exact opposite of relaxing.
Use just enough oil to ensure there’s no friction between your hands and your baby’s skin, and have a cloth nearby to wipe your hands after you finish and before you pick your baby up.
Cradle Cap Remedy
Before your baby’s bath, gently rub baby oil onto your baby’s head where they are experiencing cradle cap. Give the oil a few minutes to soak in, then brush with a soft bristle hairbrush — shampoo as usual and pat dry.
You may have to do this a few times to soften and remove stubborn cradle cap.
Baby Oil Uses for Adults
We’ve tried each of these baby oil uses for adults and can recommend every one.
After your shower or bath, pour some baby oil into your hands and rub it into your skin to lock in moisture.
Pour some baby oil onto a cotton ball and let it soak in a little, then rub onto your stubborn eye shadow or eyeliner. This is incredibly gentle on the delicate skin around your eyes.
Add a couple of drops of essential oil and a small squirt of baby oil to your bathwater, and you have a fancy pants bath oil for a fraction of the cost. The only downside? You’ll have to give the bath an excellent clean afterward.
Mix Epsom Salts or flaked salt with a few drops of baby oil, and you have a gentle but effective body scrub that removes dead skin and leaves you glowing.
Mix ½ a teaspoon of granulated sugar, one teaspoon of baby oil, and a small squirt of lemon juice, and you have a gentle but effective lip scrub. Use it before bed to remove dead skin and wake in the morning to super soft lips.
Lip Moisturizer and Gloss
A single drop of baby oil is an effective lip moisturizer, and a drop or two over your lipstick gives your pout a glossy finish. Voilà
Cracked Heel Repair
Last thing at night, rub a generous amount of baby oil into your dry feet and cover up with a pair of socks. Next morning you’ll have significantly softer feet. For severely cracked heels, you may need to do this every other night for several days.
Shaving Cream Substitute
A layer of baby oil is an excellent substitute for shaving foam or cream. Plus, you’ll have super soft, bump-free legs afterward.
Nail Painting Edger
Using a Q-Tip dipped in oil, draw a line around the edge of your nail. Then, when you paint your nails, any stray polish can be wiped away easily.
Self Tanning Smoother
If you use self-tanner and start to see a streak or uneven area appear, don’t panic. Rub baby oil onto the darker area before it dries. After ten minutes, buff the area with a soft, dry cloth, and it will blend seamlessly with the rest of your tan.
Hair Frizz Tamer
Save a fortune on bourgie frizz tamer for your hair. Instead, rub a single drop of baby oil into your fingertips and apply it to the ends of your hair. Repeat until you have tamer tresses, but don’t go overboard, or you’ll end up with greasy-looking locks.
Hair Clipper Oil
Keep those hair clippers running smoothly with a drop of baby oil at the clipper head after you have finished cleaning them. Run the clippers for a couple of seconds to ensure it gets right down into the mechanism.
Post-Waxing Debris Remover
If you are brave enough for a home wax, you’ll know it can leave traces of waxy residue. Rub baby oil into the leftover wax, and it will come away smoothly without having to scrape at your skin.
Ear Wax Remover
Put two or three drops of baby oil into your ear. Leave the oil for a day or two, and then flush your ear with warm water using a rubber bulb syringe (2). Don’t do this if you have tubes in your ear, damage to your eardrum, or an ear infection.
Baby Oil Uses for the Household
These are our secret household uses for baby oil.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
Clean your stainless steel appliances by gently rubbing some baby oil onto smudges and dirt. Buff afterward with a soft, dry cloth, and they’ll look like new.
Sticky Residue Remover
Taking a price sticker off a purchase or removing your child’s “artistic” application of stickers from the walls or furniture can leave a sticky residue. If left, the residue picks up dust and dirt.
Put enough baby oil onto a cloth to make it moist but not soaking, and rub the sticky residue in a gentle, circular motion to remove it. Wipe the area with a dry cloth to remove all traces of the oil.
Mildew and Soap Scum Cleaner
Scrub areas of mildew or soap scum with a baby-oil-soaked sponge. Rinse with warm water and enjoy. This also helps to make future soap scum easier to clean off.
Clean your chrome fixtures or trim with some baby oil on a warm, damp cloth. Polish afterward with a soft, dry cloth, and you’ll have chrome you can see your face in.
Dust your wooden furniture with a couple of drops of baby oil on a soft rag. The oil helps the dust stick to the cloth, adds a little nourishment to the wood, and, if you buff afterward with another cloth, acts as a polish.
Leather Softener and Shiner
Feed your leather shoes, bags, and other items with baby oil. Pour baby oil onto a rag and rub it into your leather using a circular motion. Remove any excess with a cloth.
Don’t drop the oil directly onto the leather, as you may leave drip marks.
Baby Oil Uses for DIY
Baby oil also has some handy-dandy DIY applications.
Have you been working on the car, fixing an appliance, or doing something else that leaves your hands greasy? Rub some baby oil into your hands before washing with soap. The grease on your hands will come off more quickly, and the oil will leave your hands softer.
Hinge Squeak Fixer
No need to crack out the WD-40; baby oil works just as well for squeaking hinges.
Do you have a drawer that’s sticky or makes a screaming, squeaking noise when you open it? Apply some baby oil onto the runners when the drawer is fully open. Then open and close the drawer a few times to spread the oil, smooth your drawer, and stop the squeaking.
Gentle Paint Remover
Rather than scrubbing at the paint on your hands with hot soap and water and potentially leaving them dry, pour a generous handful of baby oil onto them and leave it to soak in.
Rub at the paint gently, either with your fingers or a cotton ball, and it will come away. You can then rinse your hands and dry them off on a cloth.
If you have a lock in which your key tends to stick, rub baby oil onto both sides of your key and slide it in and out of the keyhole a few times for a quick, smooth fix.
Arts and Crafts With Baby Oil
Baby oil is an essential ingredient to some fun arts and crafts.
Thoroughly mix eight parts flour with one part of baby oil. The result will look like flour but will mold like sand. For colored cloud dough add a heaped tablespoonful of tempera paint powder. You may need to add an extra drop or two of baby oil to get the perfect texture.
Add an equal amount of water and baby oil to a Ziploc bag, along with a few drops of food coloring. For a little extra variety, you can add glitter.
Kids adore playing with these, and they are great fun when you lay them flat and displace the oil/water mix.
Make the same mix as you would for the sensory bags and add a few LEGO bricks, some small plastic animals, or something similar. Now you have a quick and easy sensory bottle.
If you use coloring pencils or oil pastels, here’s a tip that will give you a smooth color blend. When you have finished coloring or drawing, use a Q-tip dipped into some baby oil and rub it along the areas you want to blend. Use the oil sparingly, or you’ll make your paper opaque.
Using a relatively thick black permanent marker, draw a picture made of large geometric shapes. Think of the marker as the lines between the pieces of glass in a stained glass window.
Color the picture with colored pencils or markers, but don’t use permanent markers. Apply baby oil all over the back of your image using a soaked cotton ball. Once it’s dry, hang your stained glass at the window.
Cut some circles or other shapes out of construction paper. Let the kids draw a basic design on the paper, being sure to draw lightly. Using a Q-tip as a paintbrush and baby oil in a pot as paint, trace the design on the paper and leave it to dry. Hang your finished product in the sun.
Don’t use too much oil as it soaks and spreads, and you’ll lose your pattern.
Marbled Paper and Cards
Pour water into a baking tray and add several drops of baby oil, being sure to add them at random spots. Drip food coloring or water-based paint on top of the drops of oil. Use a straw to gently swirl the oil, color, and water.
Carefully lay a sheet of paper on top of the oil and water mix, being sure not to submerge it. Remove the paper and let it dry to enjoy your marble paper patterns.
If your paper is light enough, you can use it as wrapping paper or, if you lay a plain card on the mix, you can have personalized, handmade greetings cards.
Other Baby Oil Uses
And if you’re still wondering if there are baby oil uses for you, consider these options.
Removing Temporary Tattoos
Never trust the label on a temporary tattoo if it says “easy to remove.” They are not so easy, especially if you have a wiggly kid to remove them from.
Dip a cotton ball in a generous amount of baby oil and rub the tattoo for a genuine, easy-off option.
Virtually Painfree Band-Aid Removal
Use a soft cloth and rub a generous amount of baby oil into the skin around and over the edges of the bandaid. Leave for three or four minutes and remove without the usual pain.
Suppose you have necklaces, bracelets, or other metal jewelry that has become tangled. No worries. Either dunk your chains in baby oil or rub a generous amount onto the knots. Then, using an open safety pin, slowly work out the knots.
If your little one, no, make that when your little one gets a wad of gum in their hair, don’t panic. Rub a generous amount of baby oil into the gum and surrounding hair. Let it sit for five minutes, and then tease the gum out.
FAQs About Baby Oil
Let’s take a look at the top three questions about baby oil use.
Is Johnson’s Baby Oil Safe for Newborns?
Johnson’s Baby Oil is safe for Newborns, but a newborn’s skin does not absorb baby oil very well. Therefore it is better to use baby oil to massage your baby rather than moisturize their skin (3).
Is Lotion or Baby Oil Better?
If you are looking for the best moisturizer, then apply oil after a bath or shower if you have dry or normal skin and lotion if you have oily or acne-prone skin (5).
Is Baby Oil Bad for Your Hair?
Baby oil can be good for your hair if you use it correctly and sparingly (6).
You can lock in moisture and detangle your hair with baby oil, which has the added benefits of being minimally scented and suitable for use on dry hair.
On the other hand, using too much baby oil or using it too frequently can make your hair greasy, block pores, aggravate acne on your hairline, and stain your clothes.
Should We Rename It Baby (and Loads of Other Stuff) Oil?
While we traveled around the internet, we did find other baby oil uses. However, some of them didn’t work as was claimed or were so bizarre we didn’t dare try them in the first place.
Thankfully, we finally up with these 28 uses for baby oil to share with you and hope that at least one or two will turn out to be just the hack you are looking for.