Is Baby Oil Flammable: Can It Catch Fire?

Baby oil is a popular product that many people use for moisturizing their skin, especially for babies and children. It is supposed to help prevent dryness, irritation, and infection.

However, some people wonder, is baby oil flammable, can it catch fire, or explode?

This guide will answer those questions and more to help you stay fire safe.

Is Baby Oil Flammable?

Yes, baby oil is flammable. While not spontaneously combusting, baby oil possesses properties that allow it to ignite under certain conditions, posing potential safety risks.

Can Baby Oil Catch Fire?

Baby oil can catch fire if exposed to a direct flame or high heat source. The oil’s liquid nature and low flashpoint make it susceptible to ignition, and the risk increases when the oil is heated or spread over a large surface area, creating more flammable vapor.

Is Baby Oil Explosive?

No, baby oil itself isn’t considered an explosive. While flammable, baby oil lacks specific chemical properties to rapidly combust and generate a pressure wave, and won’t detonate like explosives.

Baby oil bottles

What Is Baby Oil Made Of?

Baby oil typically consists of:

  • Mineral oil: A highly refined, colorless oil derived from petroleum.
  • Fragrance: Optional, can vary depending on the brand and product.

Mineral oil is a flammable hydrocarbon, contributing to baby oil’s flammability. Fragrances might also contain flammable components, further influencing the overall risk around an open flame or heat source.

What Happens If You Burn Baby Oil?

Burning baby oil releases smoke and fumes that can be harmful. Inhaling these fumes can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system, potentially causing coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing, and the fire itself can pose risks of burns and property damage.

What is the flashpoint of baby oil?

The flashpoint of the baby oil is 275° Fahrenheit (135° Celsius) but can vary depending on the specific brand and formulation. Baby oil typically comprises a mixture of mineral oil and fragrances, and the type and concentration of these ingredients can influence the overall flammability characteristics.

Here are some additional facts about baby oil flashpoint:

  • Under typical ambient conditions, baby oil may burn, but it will not ignite readily.
  • Even though the flash point may seem high, baby oil can still readily ignite when exposed to an open flame or high heat source due to its liquid nature and the generation of flammable vapors.
  • Mineral oil is petroleum-based and highly flammable. It can burn under normal conditions, but it becomes combustible or flammable if heated too much.

Note: Baby oil is made up of different ingredients than baby powder. If you are using baby powder, then see this related guide about its combustible properties: is baby powder flammable?

Safety Precautions for Using Baby Oil

To minimize the risk of fire or inhalation hazards:

  • Never use baby oil near open flames or heat sources, including candles, fireplaces, or stoves.
  • Avoid applying mineral based baby oil near heat sources like hair dryers or straighteners.
  • Use baby oil sparingly and avoid spreading it over large areas of skin.
  • Always supervise children and pets when using baby oil.
  • Store baby oil in a cool, dry place away from heat and open flames.
  • Keep the cap tightly closed after use.
  • Consider alternative products with lower flammability, especially for infants or individuals with respiratory sensitivities.


While not as volatile as gasoline or other flammable liquids, baby oil is flammable under certain circumstances and can catch fire, but it will not explode

Understanding its flammability and implementing safe handling practices is essential to prevent accidents and protect yourself and others. Consider alternative products with lower flammability if concerned about fire risks or have individuals with respiratory sensitivities in your household. By prioritizing safety and awareness, you can ensure baby oil remains a helpful tool for bath time, massages, and skin care without compromising safety.