If you're reading this, you might be huffing and puffing on the toilet trying to dislodge a turd that's been stuck up there for hours—maybe even days. Your morning coffee didn't do the trick, and you're desperate to get things (AKA your bowels) moving.
Constipation makes your stool dry and hard. Accordingly, your bowel needs lubrication so your stool can make a smooth exit. That's where mineral oil comes in: a natural lubricant laxative that successful poopers swear by.
Mineral oil comes from petroleum, which produces gasoline and plastic—so why the hell would you drink it to fix your poop probz? It's a fair question.
We know a thing or two about butt stuff, so stay tuned as we explore what mineral oil does to your gut and whether you should use it to clear the traffic jam in your colon.
What Is Mineral Oil?
Mineral oil refers to a wide variety of colorless, odorless, tasteless oils distilled from petroleum. When mineral oil is refined and purified, it's safe for human consumption and comes in handy for a lot of self-care products.
For decades, people have used mineral oil as a home remedy for dry skin, ear wax buildup, and dandruff. You'll find topical mineral oil in a lot of cosmetic and skin care products because it increases hydration.
Mineral oil can also be ingested orally to lubricate the inside of your body, too—that's why people use it to combat constipation.
Does Mineral Oil Relieve Constipation?
Mineral oil is a popular option for treating occasional constipation. It's pretty effective, but it can take a while to trigger that bowel movement you're looking for (we're talking up to eight hours).
Mineral oil is available over the counter at most drugstores. It is regarded by the FDA as a safe alternative to brand-name laxatives like Dulcolax (bisacodyl), Senokot (senna), and MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol). Not to mention it's cheap—you can snag a 16-ounce jug for $6.
When you ingest mineral oil, it lubricates your poop and the inside of your colon. This makes the stool slick so it can glide out of your booty with less friction. Think of it like nonstick spray for your bowels.
"Mineral oil helps stools' slide on by' if the stools feel stuck low in your bowels, if you have an internal tear or 'fissure,' or if you have pain from hemorrhoids during bowel movements," notes Harvard Men's Health Watch.
Mineral oil shouldn't be confused with stool softeners like Colace (docusate sodium). Those boost the amount of water in your poop, whereas mineral oil simply lubricates the poop, so it comes out easier.
Keep in mind that mineral oil is intended for short-term constipation only. If you're dealing with chronic constipation (fewer than three bowel movements per week), you should get professional medical advice to see what's going on in there.
How to Take Mineral Oil for Constipation
There are two methods for using mineral oil to treat constipation—let's break 'em both down.
This is when you ingest liquid mineral oil or an emulsion, which is mineral oil combined with another liquid to make it taste better. The typical oral dosage for adults is 15-45 milliliters (mL) and 5-15 mL for kids ages 6-12.
Since it can take up to eight hours for the effects to kick in, you might want to take it before bed, so you're ready to let it rip when you wake up.
It's also better to take mineral oil on an empty stomach because it can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. That's why healthcare providers advise pregnant and breastfeeding women not to use mineral oil for constipation.
Mineral Oil Enema
This is when you squirt mineral oil up your rectum. That may sound unpleasant, but it can work in as little as two minutes—way faster than the oral route.
Whichever method you use, stick to the instructions on the package to minimize the risk of side effects.
Does Mineral Oil Have Side Effects?
Mineral oil is generally safe for adults, but like any supplement, you've gotta watch out for adverse effects. The potential side effects can vary depending on what form of mineral oil you take.
Potential Side Effects of Oral Mineral Oil
- Abdominal pain
- Pneumonia (only if you inhale it)
- Allergic reaction, which may involve chest pain or difficulty breathing
Potential Side Effects of a Mineral Oil Enema
- Loose stools
- Itchy rectum
- Sudden changes in bowel habits (this requires medical attention)
Get DUDE Wipes Before You Get Mineral Oil
It might feel like you've got cement lodged in your ass right now. But once you drink that mineral oil (or squeeze it up your butt), the countdown to an explosive poop begins.
You never know when the urge will strike—it could be at dinner with your in-laws or on date night. That's why you need DUDE Wipes Singles to have cleanup material handy anytime, anywhere.
Our flushable wipes are extra large, but unlike toilet paper, they fit discreetly into your wallet or pocket. Think of it as an insurance policy for a poopy butt.