For years, Vicks Vaporub has been the choice for people all over the world to soothe congestion and symptoms of the flu. The product was first sold in 1905 and is indicated for topical use on the back, chest and throat to suppress coughs and clear sinuses. But, what if we were to tell you that there are so many other ways that Vicks can be effective in everyday life? Here are seven unconventional ways that you can use Vicks to treat common problems around the house!

1. Cure Insect Bites

We all know the pain — you had a wonderful weekend camping with your friends and family, only to come home covered in irritating insect bites that have you trying to awkwardly scratch your ankle while simultaneously walk down a busy street to work. Need some help relieving the itch? Well, Vicks is a surprising, cooling way to get rid of that nasty irritation. Rub some Vicks on the bite — the Vaporub has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which will help speed up the recovery process and reduce the swelling. Plus, the menthol in the rub will help soothe the itch.

2. Relieve Cracked Heels

Vicks Vaporub can also help dry, rough and cracked heels. Your heels have the toughest, thickest layer of skin on your foot, so it’s no wonder that ordinary lotion just doesn’t do the trick in softening them up. Before you go to bed, lather a thick layer of Vicks on your heel and then place a pair of socks on your feet. Let the rub sink into your skin overnight. Within just a few days, you will see noticeable results!

3. Treat Athlete’s foot and Toenail Fungus

vicks vaporub
Image: Gary Kopietz

This salve is also effective in treating athlete’s foot. Since the rub has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It attacks and kills the fungus on your foot, while also preventing new fungus from forming. The ingredients in Vicks also contains ingredients such as camphor, cedar leaf oil, and thymol — all of which as natural nail fungus fighters. So, once again, lather your feet with Vicks at night and place socks over your feet in order to treat that pesky athlete’s foot. It will also leave your feet smelling minty fresh!

4. Stop Cat Scratching

Is your cat tearing up your walls, furniture and clothes while you’re away at work? Well, while most humans find the smell of Vicks appealing and soothing, cats absolutely hate it. So, before you head out in the morning, rub a tiny bit of Vicks on the affected areas that your cat loves to damage, and they’ll be sure to stay far away from the smell.

5. Potty Train Pets

vicks vaporub

Along those same lines, Vicks can help deter your pet from urinating on pee-prone areas. If you’ve recently brought home a new puppy that isn’t potty-trained yet, then here is what to do! Dogs hate the smell of Vicks and one way that you can prevent them from peeing all over your carpet is to apply the rub to the areas that your dog has, well, ‘claimed’. They will want to stay away from the smell and hopefully, it will guide them to use the outdoors as their bathroom instead!

6. Relieve Headaches

If you do not want to turn to pain-relieving pills at the first sign of a headache, dab a little bit of Vicks Vaporub on your temples. The menthol activates receptors that produce a cooling sensation and soothe the overactive nervous system that causes headaches.

7. Alleviate Sore Muscles

vicks vaporub

Outdoor adventurers are no stranger to sore muscles. The long runs, hikes and bikes can leave us walking a bit funny the next day as we try desperately to walk down the stairs without our quads seizing up. But, Vicks can relieve some of that discomfort.

Menthol and methyl salicylate are known to be counter-irritants. They cause the skin to feel cold and then warm, which distracts you from the powerful aches and pains that are in your muscles, joints, and tendons. Massage the rub into the affected areas and cover with a warm towel. Your muscles will relax and you will get relief from the deep aches!

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By Brianne Doherty

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