#DIY: Surprising uses of Vanilla, Vaseline and Vegetable Oil


By Lyndy Mansfield

These three products beginning with “V” are extremely versatile in many walks of life, especially around the home.

Here are a few surprising uses of Vanilla, Vaseline and Vegetable Oil:


  • Vanilla extract is not only used for cooking. It has a lovely perfume for starters and many a housewife has been known to dab a little behind her ears and on the wrists while in the kitchen!
  • Use vanilla to freshen up your fridge and microwave. For the fridge, simply wipe down the sides with a vanilla infused cloth. You can leave a cotton wool ball soaked in vanilla in the fridge too.
  • For the microwave, pour a few drops in a bowl and switch on to high for a little less than a minute.
  • Bugs hate the smell of vanilla and will scarper.
  • This is also good if you burn yourself. Apply it immediately and the alcohol in it will have a soothing effect.


  • Vaseline has, in some instances, become unacceptable for beauty products and general health, because of the petroleum contained in the gel, but…
  • Any lock that has become old and sticky will be eased with a thin layer of Vaseline inside the lock. This will loosen up the mechanism.
  • Watermarks on highly polished wood will usually disappear if you put on a layer of Vaseline and leave overnight.
  • Vaseline smeared along the base of dogs’ and cats’ food bowls will keep off ants. They can’t cope with that slippery slide!
  • Quiten squeaky door hinges and at the same time protect them from rusting.
  • A little will shine your shoes and bags.
  • A few dabs on battery terminals will protect them from rusting.

Vegetable Oil

  • If you apply some  of the oil to your bird baths you will stop mosquitoes from breeding in the the stagnant water. It won’t harm the birds.
  • A little vegetable oil will shine up your stainless steel. Buff well afterwards with a soft cloth and then look at your reflection!
  • The oil will assist in the removal of splinters. Apply a dab to the area  which will soften the skin. Then gently remove the splinter.
  • Vegetable oil is ideal to nourish all your wooden appliances, like spoons, cutting boards. servers and salad bowls, as it is a very good and safe lubricant and conditioner.


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