Using 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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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.

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!

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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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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. I believe you could use extra virgin olive oil if you didn't have the mineral oil.

By BJ from Mid Missouri

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March 25, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

What an excellent concept, but PLEASE don't use Mineral Oil unless you want LOTS of EXTRA-large pores sooner than later!


Although it might be the least smelly, I'd use Canola or Grapeseed oil with a few drops of alcohol to "preserve it"? Be VERY careful when adding so you don't over-do it. This won't work well for those with oily skin, of course, but another option is this which will likely be healthy:

Take a small amt. of coconut "oil", which starts slightly solid, like Crisco, but melts so quickly that you have to hurry and spread it all over your clean face with VERY clean hands EVERY time. (Keep your hands off your face once makeup is applied. ) Let it soak in a few minutes, then use a paper towel to blot any residue before applying your liquid makeup.

Each brand has a different formula, which may/may not bond with whatever is added to it! If too much is used, it might remove the makeup instead. If too little, it will only moisturize and stretch your makeup a little. So, obviously, it will be a trial and error for each person who plans to try this and could become expensive until you figure out your best formula.


God bless and help you. : )

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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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