5 Clever Things You Can Do With VapoRub

Think VapoRub is just for cold and flu season? You can do more with VapoRub than you think. That little jar gathering dust in your bathroom cabinet may have more uses than you know about. We’ve uncovered 5 clever things you can do with it.

Use it to make invigorating shower bombs, or try it as an analgesic rub, antiseptic, insect repellant or toenail fungus treatment. Get the details below...

The Basics

VapoRub is a blend of camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil, all of which work as cough suppressants. Inactive ingredients include cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, thyme oil and turpentine oil, which have some antiseptic and analgesic properties, and petroleum jelly as a base. Most people are familiar with VapoRub’s soothing effects on a stuffy nose or congested chest, but its usefulness can go well beyond helping you breathe easier.

Try making VapoRub shower bombs: Mix 3 tablespoons of VapoRub with 1 cup of cornstarch and 5 tablespoons of water. Divide the mixture into molds or ice cube trays and freeze until solid, then store in an airtight container. Drop one near the drain of your shower the next time congestion hits, then turn on the hot water and breathe in the healing steam.

Pain Reliever

Camphor and menthol are both effective topical analgesics. In fact, you can find both in most sports rubs and arthritis creams. The heating effect that VapoRub creates on your skin comes primarily from these ingredients, an effect similar to topical capsaicin. If you’re in a fix and need to ease an achy joint or muscle, give VapoRub a try.


Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic. In one study, it effectively killed Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), two highly infectious and dangerous bacteria. Try VapoRub on pimples in place of more expensive products. Just make sure not to use it anywhere you might accidentally ingest it.

Insect Repellant

According to Consumer Reports, eucalyptus oil can be as effective in repelling mosquitoes as deet, without the potential side effects. Getting eaten alive and don’t have anything better to use? Try putting a little VapoRub on a bandana to wear around your neck or head or rub some along the base of your neck.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

It might sound bizarre, but VapoRub may be an effective treatment for toenail fungus. In one study, 15 of 18 participants saw notable differences in their toenail health after applying VapoRub to affected areas for 48 weeks. Five people saw complete clearance of their infections. VapoRub appears to be at least as effective, and in many cases a lot safer, than other conventional treatments.

VapoRub could be considered a must-have for your bathroom medicine cabinet. As great of a staple as it can be for flu season, it has all sorts of great year-round uses. Give them a try and see just how useful VapoRub can be.

~ Here’s to Your Health and Wellness

10/7/2020 7:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. Wellness.com helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
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the Petroleum Base is really toxic!! Do not use VapoRub!!
Posted by mhr
When I was a kid and had a bad cold,my mother would put a big gob of it in my mouth and make me swallow it.Worked great.I don't think they recommend you do that today tho.
Posted by Frank
I had toenail fungus on my big toe and used Vicks for about 8 months (I would put it on every night with a Q-tip being sure to get it under the toenail good). To make a long story short--Vicks really did clear up my nail fungus!!!
Posted by bengojengo@aol.com
When I was a kid with a cold/cough, my mum would put some vicks vaporub in a bowl, pour hot water over it, cover my head and the bowl with a cloth and have me breathe in the soothing vapors - It helped greatly in relieving the stuffiness.
Posted by Claudette

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