Using Mineral Oil

A bottle of mineral oil.
The most common use for mineral oil is as a laxative. However, there are a number of other great uses for this type of oil, including cosmetics, lubrication for stuck levers on appliances, restoring the appearance of plastic patio furniture, and more. This page discusses using mineral oil.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 6, 2018

What do these items have in common? They had issues and ended up at the thrift store. The percolator had a stuck lever that regulates the strength of the coffee, the cactus necklace (which still had the tags on) had a huge knot in it, and the starfish necklace had the jump ring that closes it stuck in the open position.A percolator that was purchased at a thrift store.


I used food-grade mineral oil to fix all the problems. I put the oil on a cotton swab and coated over and under the lever on the percolator. I put a drop of the oil on the knot and used two straight pins to remove the knot in about 10 seconds. I used the cotton swab and dabbed oil on the jump ring. All the items work perfectly now.

Each necklace was 50 cents and the percolator was $1. I think I did really well!

Two necklaces from the thrift store.
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June 22, 2010
before and after on red chair

I have done this with my plastic Adirondack chairs, and it works. Clean off dirt by hosing the furniture down or wash with soapy water and a rag. Dry off your chair. Wipe mineral oil on it with saturated cloth or use your hands (the oil will actually help soften your hands at the same time). Wipe off any excess oil. The chair (or whatever furniture your working on) will look shiny and new.

We get dust storms here, so I need to rinse off my chairs at least once a week. I oiled mine several weeks ago and it still looks pretty good. You may need to reapply when it starts looking dingy again.


Have fun restoring your outdoor plastic furniture!

By Joanie from Palm Desert, CA

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March 24, 2009

I had a small amount of (Cover Girl) liquid makeup in a shade I wanted to use up. I poured into the bottle a small amount of mineral oil, shook it vigorously and that made just enough for one use.

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October 21, 2011

Take some mineral oil and put a few drops in your dog's ear with a baby's ear dropper or ask a pharmacist for one. Gently rub your dog's ear to get the oil inside the ear and let the oil stay in the ear for about 3-5 minutes.

Tri-colored dog sitting on a deck looking up at camera.

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