Household Uses for Mineral Oil

Mineral oil has been used for decades as a laxative, furniture polish, lotion and a treatment for cradle cap. Even though it has many uses, mineral oil is cheap and can be purchased at any pharmacy. According to Biology Online, mineral oil is a byproduct of making gasoline and is also known as liquid petroleum. While mineral oil is generally considered safe, speak with your doctor before you use it topically or orally.

Mineral oil is most often used as a moisturizer and helps to reduce skin inflammation. Baby oil, which is scented mineral oil, relieves the itching of diaper rash and eczema; it also moisturizes the scalp, which gets rid of cradle cap and dandruff. Mineral oil can also be used in place of a lotion or shaving gel.

Since mineral oil locks in moisture, it makes an effective wood furniture polish. Utah State University's Cooperative Extension recommends using mineral oil in place of commercial furniture polishes. They suggest adding 2.2 tbsp. beeswax to 1.1 quart of mineral oil, heating them until the beeswax melts, and then mixing them well. After the mixture cools, gently rub it into the wood for a beautiful finish.

Mineral oil can be used as an ingredient for homemade baby wipes. Justpeace.org, a Catholic social justice website, recommends mixing mineral oil with lavender and tea tree oil then pouring the solution over paper towels (see Resources for types of recipes).

Mineral oil can also be used as a laxative. According to the Health Square website, it is a lubricant laxative, which means mineral oil adds moisture to stools. This helps digested food move freely through the intestines. Before you use mineral oil as a laxative, especially for children under 6 years old, consult your doctor.