Mineral oil, a by-product of petroleum, can be used for protecting butcher block counter tops, help in removing labels from glass products, as a polish for stainless steel appliances and as a lubricant when sharpening tools. Mineral oil also has some health, medical and cosmetic uses such as removing ear wax, as a laxative and in removing makeup.
Household mineral oil has many uses as a medication and a cleaning product, and also has facial and cosmetic uses.
As a medication, mineral oil can be used as a laxative to treat constipation. It helps the body lubricate the intestines to pass stools more easily, notes WebMD.
Mineral oil has been used as a skin moisturizer to sooth dry skin as well as treat minor skin burns and rashes. It has been used to remove eye make-up, as a night cream and to lubricate eyelashes to prevent breakage and does not clog pores, as noted in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Other popular applications for mineral oil are in preservation of wood products, such as wooden cutting boards. Rubbing mineral oil in wood salad bowls and serving pieces is popular. The mineral oil acts to prevent food and sauces from penetrating the wood and eases the cleaning process.