13 Little-Known Uses of Vicks VapoRub That You Won’t Read on the Label

By Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
August 29, 2019 Updated: February 10, 2021

If you have a medicine cabinet, then you know Vicks VapoRub! The stuffy-nose reliever uses camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus as its main ingredients. But did you know that there are myriad uses for this ointment besides relieving congestion?

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(Illustration – Raihana Asral/Shutterstock)

Here we’ve compiled 13 of the very best “alternative” uses for Vicks VapoRub. Which will you try?

Disclaimer: Vicks VapoRub shouldn’t be used for children under the age of 2 years, and always try a skin test first.

1. Banish biting insects

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(Illustration – 41330/Pixabay)

Insects cannot stand the strong menthol smell of VapoRub, which is good news for you if you’re prone to being bitten. Apply a thin layer of the ointment to your exposed skin before exposing yourself to these pesky insects, and relax! And, it’s much cheaper than over-the-counter bug sprays.

VapoRub also acts as an anti-itch, antiseptic balm for existing bites.

2. Care for cracked heels

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(Illustration – xavalox/Pixabay)

VapoRub is immensely effective for repairing cracked heels thanks to its hyper-moisturizing formula. Rub a little on your heels before bedtime; exfoliate gently in the morning.

3. Ease angry stretch marks

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(Illustration – Dragos Gontariu/Unsplash)

If you, like so many, are prone to the occasional stretch mark, then never fear! You can disguise their redness by massaging a little VapoRub into the affected areas once a day for at least two weeks. You’ll be delighted as the marks diminish.

4. Relieve a pounding headache

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(Illustration – Jorge Franganillo/Unsplash)

Try to resist grabbing for the painkillers, as tempting as they may be, in favor of a topical approach. A pea-sized dab of VapoRub will evoke an invigorating cooling sensation when rubbed into your temples.

As you relax, so the pain will lessen. To help even further, dim the lights and place a soft towel across your eyes and forehead for a calming moment of sensory deprivation.

5. Soothe bruised skin

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(Illustration – lukas_zb/Shutterstock)

If you suffer a knock or a bump, grab the VapoRub! Combine a pinch of the ointment with a pinch of salt and rub the grainy mixture into the affected area. It works wonders for reducing swelling under the skin.

6. Gently treat acne

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(Illustration – Kjerstin_Michaela/Pixabay)

Try to smear a small amount of VapoRub onto a pimple before bedtime, the cooling ingredients will work their anti-inflammatory magic overnight. Cleanse and tone in the morning, and repeat until the spot is gone!

7. Calm an earache

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(Illustration – Anemone123/Pixabay)

A painful earache can well and truly ruin your day. So, don’t let it! Wipe a little VapoRub onto a cotton wool ball and place it gently inside your ear. Leave for a few hours; the antiseptic properties in the eucalyptus, in particular, will help combat any encroaching ear infections.

8. Banish belly fat

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(Illustration – jarmoluk/Pixabay)

Make a paste of VapoRub, camphor oil, baking soda, and a dash of alcohol. Before exercising, rub the paste onto your abdomen and wrap yourself with plastic wrap. Work out like there’s no tomorrow, then rinse off the paste in the shower.

According to Bright Side, two to three applications per week can achieve the same effect as many of the expensive slimming creams on the market.

9. Relieve aching muscles

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(Illustration – VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)

Massage is miraculous, but it’s even faster and more effective for aching muscles if you employ a little VapoRub in the process. Massage the ointment into the skin for a few minutes until you feel the tense muscle relaxing and the ache beginning to dissipate.

10. House train your pets

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(Illustration – Ramiz Dedaković/Unsplash)

Biting insects hate the smell of VapoRub, and so do cats and dogs! The intense menthol sting will deter them from scratching and peeing on your furniture, so VapoRub can be used as an excellent potty-training aid.

MedNet Direct advises mixing a small amount (the active ingredient here is the eucalyptus) with water in a spray bottle. Spray the furniture that you don’t want ruined by your furry companions.

11. Shed a tear … if you need to

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(Illustration – Luis Galvez/Unsplash)

If you’ve ever had an eyelash, a speck of dirt, or a grain of sand in your eye, then you’ll have wished you could cry on command! Well now you can thanks to the menthol magicians at Vicks. Dab a little VapoRub under the affected eye and wait to see the reaction.

12. Freshen the air in your home

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(Illustration – asundermeier/Pixabay)

If the air in your house is getting a little stale, then add a little VapoRub ointment to your humidifier to eliminate bad odors. Top up daily for best, freshest results.

13. Lubricate door hinges

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(Illustration – TryJimmy/Pixabay)

Have you ever noticed how most hinge-lubricating oils have a funny smell? Well, VapoRub doesn’t! Its oil-like properties are just as effective for loosening up sticky hinges, and your home will smell great too.

Have you ever tried any of these VapoRub hacks before? Pick a few, experiment, and don’t forget to spread the word among your friends and family. One pot cures all!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.