Not only for colds: 9 surprising alternative uses for vapor rubs

It's something that spends most of its life in a deep, dark corner of the medicine cabinet and that's actually a good thing. Because if you need it, chances are you have a nasty cold and need some relief from the aches and congestion. We're talking here about vapor rubs. The most common is probably Vick's VapoRub, but Tiger Balm is more concentrated for those severe colds that require a more aggressive treatment. It's always good to have one of these around the house and you don't have to wait until you have a cold to use it. Here are nine other ways to use vapor rub that you might not have thought of...

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1. Dog training

Dogs don't like the smell of vapor rubs. If you're in the process of house training your dog and it's still doing its business in particular areas, you can leave an open jar of the rub in these spots. Your dog won't dare go near them now.

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2. Mosquito repellent

Vapor rub is one of the less aggressive ways to drive away mosquitos. Simply rub some on your skin and those pesky bugs will leave you alone.

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3. Tick removal

Ticks are very annoying and they can carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease and typhus. If you do get bitten, simply rub some vapor rub on the little critter and it will loosen its grip making it easier to remove.

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4. Cough reliever

This may seem obvious, but the technique is a lot different than you might think. Instead of rubbing vapor rub on your throat to relieve a cough, try rubbing it on your feet before going to bed instead. You'll have a much more restful sleep.

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5. Pain reliever

Vapor rub can work wonders on sore muscles. Simply rub some on the affected area and cover it with a warm, dry towel. You'll feel the relief in no time.

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6. Treat nail fungus

If you're having problems with nail fungus, rub some vapor rub on the affected nails. Doing this regularly will draw the fungus out so it can be removed with scissors or nail clippers. This treatment can require up to a year, so you'll need some patience. And even when it looks like all the fungus is gone, continue applying the vapor rub for a couple of weeks to be sure.

Warning: If you are dealing with a severe case of fungus, you should use a specialized treatment or consult a doctor.

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7. Relieve headaches

Muscle pain isn't the only kind of aching vapor rub can help with. If you have a headache, rub some on your forehead and temples and enjoy the relief.

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8. Treating wounds

This tip should be applied with caution. If the wound is serious, always seek medical attention. But if you're only dealing with a minor scrape, cut or splinter, vapor rub can help. Rub some on the wound for pain relief and to prevent swelling. This also applies for minor burns.

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9. Cat scratch prevention

Does your feline friend use your furniture as a scratching post? If so, simply rub some vapor rub on the areas that your kitty likes to scratch and it will no longer be a problem. Like dogs, cats don't like the smell of vapor rub and will avoid it at all costs. But be sure not to put it on any sensitive wood finishes or fabrics that might get discolored.

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You can see how all these tricks are applied in this instructional video:

It's pretty amazing to think that one little cream can do all this. So make sure to have some vapor rub around at all times — chances are you'll be keeping it right at the front of your medicine cabinet from now on.

This website is neither intended nor suitable to replace, complete or refute professional advice, examinations, treatments, diagnoses, etc. by doctors, pharmacists, psychotherapists, medical practitioners and / or any other medical professional.

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