can you eat petroleum jelly

This brief guide will answer the query “can you eat petroleum jelly”. We will also discuss what petroleum jelly is, its uses, side effects of petroleum jelly and more details in this article.

Can you eat petroleum jelly?

Yes, you can eat petroleum jelly. Since petroleum jelly is a non-toxic product it will have minimal effect on you if you ingest it. It is reported that its founder had eaten a spoonful of it daily as he believed it had the ability to heal the body.

What is petroleum jelly?

Petroleum jelly is a mixture of hydrocarbons. It was discovered by Robert Augustus Chesebrough in 1859. He observed that the workers of oil rigs used a jelly to treat wounds, and burns on their bodies. He later branded this jelly as Vaseline and started to commercially produce and sell it.

What are the uses of petroleum jelly?

Petroleum jelly has many uses. Some of its uses are listed below.

  • Healing minor wounds and scrapes – When petroleum jelly is applied to a wound it creates a protective layer and stops bacteria from getting in. Because of this, the wound tends to heal more quickly. However, the wound must be properly cleaned before applying petroleum jelly or the layer will trap bacteria and other pathogens, delaying the healing process.
  • Moisturizing skin – petroleum jelly can be used to moisturize the skin after a shower. If you have cracked heels, applying petroleum jelly will moisturize the area and bring you some relief. It can also help give relief to chapped lips.
  • Pet paws – applying petroleum jelly to your pet’s cracked paws will definitely reduce their discomfort. But be careful so that you don’t use too much petroleum jelly on its paws as they tend to lick them. Too much petroleum jelly might make your pet’s stomach upset.
  • Preventing Diaper Rash – Applying petroleum jelly after cleaning and drying your baby will help keep your baby’s skin dry. This way diaper rash can be avoided.
  • Prevent hair-splitting – By applying a small quantity of petroleum jelly on hair ends you can prevent further splitting.
  • Petroleum jelly can be used to prevent hair dye or nail polish from staining the skin. This can be done by applying petroleum jelly before dying or putting on nail polish and then wiping it off after it’s done.
  • Petroleum jelly can be used as a base before putting on perfume. This way the scent of perfume would last for a longer period.
  • Another important use of petroleum jelly is as a lubricant. Whether it’s to take off a ring stuck on a finger or for a creaking door, petroleum jelly can give good results.

What are the side effects of petroleum jelly?

There are several potential side effects of petroleum jelly.

  • Allergies – Some people may have allergic reactions when using petroleum-based products. If you have such allergies it is best to be cautious when using petroleum jelly and look out for irritations and other adverse effects.
  • Infections – If petroleum jelly is applied without cleaning and drying the skin properly, it can lead to bacterial or fungal infections. So, it is best to use these necessary precautions properly when using petroleum jelly on your skin. Always keep the petroleum jelly container closed properly to avoid it becoming contaminated.
  • Aspiration risks – It is best to request advice from your doctor when using petroleum jelly around the nose of your child. Inhalation of petroleum oils may cause adverse effects in children.
  • Clogged pores – If the skin is not properly cleaned prior to the application of petroleum jelly, breakouts may occur on the skin due to clogged pores. 

What will happen if you eat petroleum jelly?

In most cases, nothing significant will happen if you eat petroleum jelly since it is a non-toxic product. However, eating a large amount of petroleum jelly may result in loose stool as your stomach might not be able to digest it properly.

It can be harmful to children if a large quantity of petroleum jelly is ingested since it may get stuck in the throat. You should immediately seek medical assistance if a child ingests a large quantity of vaseline.

There is a myth that petroleum jelly can be used as a way to lose weight. But the only way that can happen is because it will cause more bowel movements. It is not a good way to lose weight.

Another myth is that petroleum jelly can give relief to a sore throat. If you tried this you would know that this is untrue and that it will cause further irritation in the throat and may even result in difficulty breathing.


This brief guide has answered the query “can you eat petroleum jelly”. We have also discussed what petroleum jelly is, its uses, side effects of petroleum jelly, and more details in this article.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.