Talk:Petroleum jelly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Green" Section[edit]

I marked this section as unverified because it has no sources at all. I also marked it as potentially nonfactual because of the vagueness and clumsiness of the wording. It almost seems like a greenwash of sorts. Toroxus (talk) 01:44, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

An topic ointment?[edit]

The opening paragraph of the article states that petroleum jelly is "an topic ointment"? Is that really correct, or is it "a topical ointment" or at least "a topic ointment"? Eli lilly 01:19, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


Petroleum Jelly is incredibly good for the skin if applied daily.

Also, is it true that the creator (or patenter) of petroleum jelly used to eat a spoonfull everyday? Anybody know what kind of effects petroleum jelly would have on you if eaten? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:28, 22 January 2005

I heard vaseline was such. Please add it to the article.

I use it as lubricant. I tried putting that down but someone reverted it. I'd like to ask...why?

I don't know why someone may have reverted it, but please note that the correct term would be "personal lubricant" -- and not just lubricant (assuming you want to say that Vaseline is used to lubricate during sex or masturbation). As for other examples of Vaseline as a lubricant, what would some examples be? Rfwoolf 18:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I have it on good authority that it is effective at preventing thigh chafing for runners and hikers. I have also personally used it in my shoes to prevent blistering. 05:02, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
A friend claims it works well on the heels before socks are donned, to prevent blistering while hiking. Never tried it myself. —QuicksilverT @ 03:39, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, it'll give you unimaginable gas and make you throw up everyday.(even if you see a doctor.Believe the internet.Not doctors) It's really likely it'll kill you. Standard IANAD applies. --d8uv
More likely, it would produce diarrhea. —QuicksilverT @ 03:39, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Are there any negative effects if used on skin for an extended period of time? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:13, 3 March 2005

Having come into contact with crude oil on a number of occasions, and discovering that, even after intensive handwashing, eating your sandwiches afterwards is a mistake, I'm surprised that the residues left in the process of creating petroleum jelly are apparently so innocuous: is the bone-char filtering to remove remaining noxiousness? -- The Anome 23:17, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

Although talked about extensively in the History section, I note that dressing burns is not mentioned as an application in Uses. Should it be? In this regard it may be worth noting the BMJ letter at which recommends against its use as first aid for burns. -- User:Daniel Barlow Tue Apr 4 20:53:45 BST 2006

I organized this into sections so the paragraphs contributed by could be moved, but they really need to be rewritten. The abrupt change in voice is distracting, and they feel unencyclopedic to me. I do feel a "Uses" section might be useful though, so hopefully someone can improve it rather than just deleting them. Decklin 14:41, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

It should be noted that some sources

I took "non-comedogenic" to mean "not lending itself to comedy", and was about to angrily quote some counter-examples. Having looked up "comedogenic", boy, do I feel silly now. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:59, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

Musical instrument uses[edit]

I forgot to log in when I made the edit, but I removed the reference to use on brass instrument valves. This is inaccurate; brass instrument valves have very tight clearances and must move very quickly, so they use thin distilled oils rather than heavy, viscous greases like petroleum jelly. It is possible to use petroleum jelly as a grease for tuning slides; however, I understand it may be more likely to corrode the brass or travel through the instrument and gum up the valves than dedicated slide greases. I don't know how well it does or doesn't work as a cork grease for larger woodwind instruments, so I left that statement.

--Magnificat 16:15, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Merger of Carbolated petroleum jelly[edit]

A brand or a category?[edit]

All petroleum jelly brands are not Vaselin. It was strange to find Vasline the brand standing in for the whole petrlium jelly category. Please, separate Vaseline. - Aditya Kabir 09:56, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Let's leave out the graphic sex details, ok?[edit]

Kids with skin problems read this article. If someone wants to read about anal sex, they can go to that entry.

Comment: Shouldn't we at least mention it? it doesnt need to be specific. Im not trying to sound perverted, but this is an encyclopedia.--Scabloo 02:19, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Comment: No, As in all wikipedia articles we should assume your 9 year old daughter and/or the most likely to be scarred/offended person/group is reading the article. Then we remove anything in the article that could possible offend/devastate the most fragile person you could imagine. ——Preceding unsigned comment added by Woofmaster (talkcontribs)

I restored some deleted text, which did not include anything remotely graphic (unless you consider a mention of condoms graphic). Woofmaster, your strategy is exactly the opposite of wikipedia policy: see WP:CENSOR. bikeable (talk) 05:29, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, we definitely shouldn't censor.WacoJacko 07:25, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I was being sarcastic, but apparently wasn't extreme enough.  :) Woofmaster (talk) 18:33, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
It probably would have been more obvious with "Facts are less important than protecting our children" or something similar. 21:52, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
The line item I most recently removed appeared to me to be for salacious intent rather than informative. Unless we're going to mention every conceivable use for petrolatum we shoul leave out the intentionally crude. This is censorship... Wikipedia should censor the ridiculous! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
In my part of the world(Scandinavia, EU), petrolium jelly(called vaseline here) is almost synonymous with anal sex. I believe it's similar in whole Northern Europe. Historically, vaseline has always been strongly connected to homosexuality in culture and remains so, even though it has been superseeded by a number of personal lubricants among gays. Yes it's repulsive but you cannot discuss vaseline without including its most infamous use! (talk) 21:02, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Petroleum jelly vs. mineral oil?[edit]

What is the relationship between petroleum jelly and mineral oil? Mineral oil is described in the wiki as "liquid petrolatum" and a by-product of the gasoline-making process, but I'd like to know how the two substances are related -- is one "refined" into the other, or is a substance added to one to make the other? Also, both substances have similar uses (on the skin, etc.) and I'm wondering which is more useful in which circumstances. --Hapax 05:53, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

They are all ALKANES of different sizes and their (phase =) form (liquid or mineral) is dependent on temperature. If one reads Wiki's articles on "alkanes", "paraffin" "mineral oil" and "paraffin wax" and "paraffin disambiguation" and some of their "SEEs" and "links" it would seem likely that "petroleum jelly" is either the transition area C=15-20 or is a solution of "lighter" (C=20-22) paraffin waxes in paraffin/mineral oil (C=12-18). Pharmaceutical mineral oil is probably very clean (contamination/solute free) mineral (paraffin) oil (and/or a particular small "fraction" from the distillation process. Someone with good editing skills and some understanding of simple hydrocarbon chemistry (unfortunately shades of gray) should "clean" all the above mentioned articles and add the "SEE" paragraphs where missing and suitable inserts therein. If this linking is emphasized it will aid inquirers' comprehension enormously Ecstatist (talk) 21:50, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

This shouldn't be in Category: Unilever brands[edit]

I'm removing it & putting in Vaseline (brand) in its place.

In the UK when a product's name, that has copyright and/or trademark protection , and when this "name" passes into the vernacular (becomes the common label attached to the product), the courts will not (or at least, are very reluctant) to prosecute the "misuse" of the name (I am not certain of this). Other examples are "nylon", "hoover", "cellophane", "neoprene" This pragmatic approach of the judiciary will be enhanced by not "capitalizing" the first letter. Ecstatist (talk) 21:01, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Nasal use of petroleum and lipoid pneumonia[edit]

In giving advice not to use petroleum in the nose, the article cited (reference #2) is a case report of a person who received petroleum-based dressings to an open wound in the chest. There is nothing in it about nasal use of petroleum causing lipoid pneumonia, and there are very few of these reported in the literature - and mainly in people with impaired cough reflexes. Making a blanket recommendation for such a rare complication may be a little aggressive.

Anyhow, here's a better reference for the aforementioned albeit rare complication: LinksBrown AC, Slocum PC, Putthoff SL, Wallace WE, Foresman BH. Exogenous lipoid pneumonia due to nasal application of petroleum jelly.Chest. 1994 Mar;105(3):968-9. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Ciliary motility[edit]

Please reference the sentence about effects of ciliary motility in the nose or remove the sentence. There are no references on Medline to support that statement. (talk) 20:00, 13 December 2007 (UTC)mrwilson


Why do people add really trivial information that it is used in song lyrics or mentioned it on a talk show. Pointless trivia should be removed. Riveira2 (talk) 08:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC) Riveira

Porsche references: A bit over-the top, and somewhat irrelevant to the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:32, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Discovered on "oil rigs"?[edit]

We state: "The raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States, on some of the country's first oil rigs". Titusville PA is an entirely land locked city. I'm not sure if the rig was somehow in the middle of a small lake or not, but "rig" applies to water apparatus only and are not general drilling terms. Tgm1024 (talk) 17:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

An "oil rig" refers to the machine and related equipment. While a rig or rigging referred to boats centuries ago, it has taken on many additional uses, including anything bound up with ropes or other gear. The term "oil rig" was used early in the industry's history, and it is correct here. See also the Wictionary definition of "Oil Rig". Bwagstaff (talk) 05:49, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Hydrophilic petrolatum[edit]

Since hydrophilic petrolatum is also available, how come petrolatum be hydrophobic? Any data on this would be greatly appreciated. --Enigma (talk) 04:42, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Is there as citation for "improper uses"?[edit]

I ask this question because my doctor actually just instructed me to apply it to my nose for frequent nosebleeds (from dryness), but the "Nasal congestion or dryness" section seems contradict this. Is there a source stating it shouldn't be used in the nose? Paulish (talk) 05:47, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Another common use[edit]

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned in the article, is the use of petroleum jelly on the terminals of lead-acid (car's and the like) batteries to keep out moisture and prevent corrosion.Trumpy (talk) 14:56, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Skin absorption[edit]

The first statement in the "Uses" section:

"Chesebrough originally promoted Vaseline primarily as an ointment for scrapes, burns, and cuts, but physicians have shown that Vaseline has no medicinal effect nor any effect on the blistering process, nor is it absorbed by the skin. Vaseline’s effectiveness in accelerating wound healing stems from its sealing effect on cuts and burns, which inhibits germs from getting into the wound and keeps the injured area supple by preventing the skin's moisture from evaporating"

Seems inconsistent with this research: [1]


(Sentients (talk) 00:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC))

What I understood from that article is that they used acetone to remove the skin's natural moisture barrier, then applied vaseline over the skin, and watched how the skin recovered. It was feared that, by trapping moisture, the vaseline would somehow retard the recovery of the natural barrier. What they found is that vaseline actually helped a bit in this regard. So it does not contradict the statement above. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 03:42, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe the above is why many people use on there tattoo's when healing?! Is that correct?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

"Traps bacteria"[edit]

There are common claims that PJ should not be used as anal lubricant. This article confirms one of the claims, that PJ will break down latex, making it incompatible with condoms and other safe sex techs. This is not always a practical concern. Another claim which can be found repeated thousands of times by (often self-described) sex expert columnists is that PJ "traps bacteria". Well, it probably does. But, so what? This article does not mention any such risk, and I cannot find anything remotely like a primary source that mentions it. Can anyone provide one? Kjhdfkgh (talk) 17:18, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

"it can be absorbed into the intestinal wall and may cause foreign-body granulamatous reactions" see Wiki "liquid paraffin (medicinal)" Ecstatist (talk) 22:02, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

  • The source Ecstatist refers to is:

    Alan Nathan. Non-prescription medicines. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006 [cited October 8, 2011]. ISBN 978-0-85369-644-5. p. 68 (Full text via link.)

    However, the best quote is found on page 69: "There is no justification for the use of liquid paraffin as a non-prescription laxative." And with that, there should be no further need for additions to the article in regards to bowels, bacteria, and human backsides. Senator2029 | talk 23:07, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Melting point too high[edit]

Page says "melting-point usually within a few degrees of 75°C (167°F)". That is too high. various MSDS list it as 36-60°C, on par with paraffin wax. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

The figure of 75°C is way off, and so I changed it in the article from 75°C to approximately 37°C. Here's why:

  1. The Vaseline website, a health website, and the Vaseline MSDS all indicate the melting point is >37°C (100°F) or just above body temperature (98.6°F).
  2. Some sources do have higher figures. The Encyclopædia Britannica says it's from 38° to 54° C (100° to 130° F), while the International Chemical Safety Card gives a range of 36-60°C. The only places I can find 75° are webpages that copy Wikipedia (an example).
  3. This article is more general in nature, rather than a chemical/chemistry-oriented page. Thus, using an approximate term referring to body temperature is suitable. Senator2029 | talk | contributions 10:50, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


The label says to call poison control if you swallow it, but isn't it widely known for its non-toxicity? If it wasn't safe to swallow I'd hate to think what would happen if it was applied to open wounds, which it obviously doesn't harm.

There are many substances that are dangerous but not toxic. It is better to be cautious and call poison control if there is any concern. Eating a small amount of the stuff would likely have no effect, as it is commonly found in an enormous variety of products. Looking it up on one Poison Control web site, they suggest that large doses pose a choking hazard in small children if it covers their windpipe and has potential breathing issues if it aspirated; for a large volume it may trigger vomiting (triggering the windpipe and aspiration concerns on its way out) or diarrhea; if the child can swallow easily and breathe easily and has no other symptoms it will likely only cause a soft stool if eaten. Bwagstaff (talk) 06:10, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Traps heat?[edit]

Do I even need to explain how ludicrous it is to imply that an ointment could 'trap heat' on burned skin? This is real life, not Rurouni Kenshin. The heat from a burn is on the stove or wherever you left it, not in your skin somehow. Skin is the same temperature as the surrounding air, give or take, but even fully trapping your body heat wouldn't make a difference on a burn, or you'd scald yourself with your own blood.

  • Seconded. Let's remove that statement. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 03:00, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I have not removed the statement because it has a ref to the British medical Journal (which I cnnot access), and I could not find any authoritative ref disputing the claim. I have found however plenty of statements about "sealing the heat in" in non-technical sites, several of them obviously bunk. I agree that blood circulation should rapidly bring the temperature of the skin down to body temperature, faster than the time it takes to find the jelly pot and open it. Moreover, rubbing the part with room-temperature jelly should cool it faster than leaving it exposed to air (but less rapidly than washing with cold water). Stuff for MythBusters, perhaps? --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 03:27, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that "trapping heat", if it indeed comes from a medical reference, is not talking about the heat that caused the burn, but the body heat. The usual advice to hold burned skin under water for fifteen minutes would imply imo that it's important to cool the skin down below body temperature. Damaged cells leak chemicals like free radicals that are likely to cause further damage to other cells. The body's immune system and inflammation response may aggravate the situation (maybe a bit like secondary brain injury). Lowering the temperature slows down the rate at which chemical reactions proceed ( approx. halving it every 10°C, see Chemical_reaction_rate#Temperature_dependence). Skin exposed to the air will be cooler than skin covered with petroleum jelly, which may be the reason it's not advisable. Ssscienccce (talk) 15:49, 30 September 2012 (UTC)


Why does Aquaphor redirect here? Aquaphor is NOT petroleum jelly. -- (talk) 06:14, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

The main ingredient of Aquaphor is petroleum jelly. See [2]. Falcon8765 (TALK) 07:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

To prevent the inhabitants from obtaining physical purchase[edit]

What? Is it too much to ask for this phrase to be given in plain English? I don't think I've ever come across such a pretentious phrase as "obtaining physical purchase".

Now I come to think of it, it's such rubbish that I'll change it now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Controversy around petroleum jelly and cancer[edit]

It seems it isn't the PJ itself it's impurities. It seems to have started with this: scroll down to find the impurities part, then go to here: . The information is thin but there are references on both pages. The problem is that anything made with PJ is suffering big downturns because "PJ causes cancer" has appeared all over the net. Sensationalism, alternate products taking advantage, and no reference checking as usual. Apparently, if it's pharmaceutical grade PJ it's fine. jayoval (talk) 23:54, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Petroleum jelly. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 06:31, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Ant barrier[edit]

Please add its use as an . Jidanni (talk) 00:48, 6 October 2017 (UTC)