Unexpected Ways You Can Use Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub... just one whiff and we're transported back to a world of childhood colds and other minor ailments. The little blue tub seems to be part of every mom's arsenal of home remedies. While the official Vicks website only mentions their product being used for cough suppression and muscle and joint pain, Dr. Google (everyone's favorite physician, available 24/7 and always makes house calls, no insurance necessary) prescribes it for a wide variety of other ailments and even a few household hacks. Master multitasking (and maybe teach mom a few new tricks) by finding out how to use Vicks on your feet, your face, and even your furniture.

Use Vicks VapoRub on your feet

Bright Side recommends Vicks VapoRub as a great treatment for dry, cracking feet. The product should be applied before bedtime, but you must remember to cover your feet with socks after using it. Otherwise, you're going to have some stinky, messy sheets in the morning. (Socks are cheaper and more expendable, but Bright Side still suggests using an old pair.) When you get up, wash your feet in cold water, and then use a pumice stone to remove the softened dead skin.

Byrdie makes mention of VapoRub's antimicrobial ingredients, which some claim to be effective as a topical treatment for athlete's foot. Expert Home Tips even suggests the product is thought to use a useful treatment of toenail fungus if applied to the affected area and left on overnight. However, VapoRub should never be used in place of a doctor prescribed treatment or medication.

While Healthline says that Vicks VapoRub can be effective at soothing tired, achy feet, it warns that applying the product to feet as a cold remedy won't work at all. What is applied to the feet, stays on the feet.

Use Vicks VapoRub for skin care

Vicks VapoRub may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of beauty products — possibly the not-so-beautiful smell may have something to do with this? — but Expert Home Tips says it can be used as a moisturizer on elbows, knees, and other dry areas and report that some have even claimed its moisturizing properties have helped to fade or heal their stretch marks.

One of the best medicinal and beauty hacks using Vicks, however, may be the fact that it might help to combat acne if applied to the affected area. Its three main ingredients — camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol — are all antibacterial agents, and they may be able to soothe and reduce skin inflammation and outbreaks after a few days' use. As always, you should immediately discontinue use of any product that irritates your skin.

Use Vicks VapoRub as a pet deterrent

Byrdie and Bright Side both make mention of the fact that cats often can't stand the smell of Vicks VapoRub, so it can be applied anywhere you want them to stop scratching — couches, curtains, doors, etc. (No mention of how you can do so without leaving stinky, greasy spots, but hey, every household hint has its price.) Bright Side mentions that dogs hate the smell, too, so leaving a little Vicks anywhere your pets are having "accidents" may help to deter them from re-christening that same spot.

Expert Home Tips reveals that insects also hate Vicks VapoRub, so you can applying it to your skin for a pretty decent DIY insect repellent. Of course, it might repel anyone who gets near you if you overdo it, but then, most other bug sprays tend to stink, too.