15 Non-Edible Uses For Coconut Oil

Coconut oil's been getting a lot of press lately for its amazing health benefits. It's great to cook with, adding a subtle richness to foods and doesn't break down at high temperatures meaning that it's perfect for frying. And, it's also great outside the kitchen! Here are some of the ways you can use it around the house.

  • As a body lotion and moisturizer: Smooth on the room temperature oil and watch it melt into your skin! As a "dry" oil, it won't leave a film of grease on your skin.
  • Stop the itch: Mosquitos been feasting on you? Dab on a bit of coconut oil to quell the itch (and next time, tuck a dryer sheet into your pocket to keep the bugs away). Plus, it may help the bite heal without leaving a scar and it's antibacterial properties will help it from getting infected.
  • Insect repellent: Mix coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint oil to keep bugs away!
  • Aftershave: Slather it on your face or legs after shaving to prevent rashes.
  • Sunscreen: It sounds counter-intuitive but apparently it works.
  • Deodorant: Use a small amount alone or combine with equal parts baking soda and cornstarch. Work into a solid paste until it's the same consistency as the stick kind.
  • Hair Conditioner: lightly coat your palms and smooth it into your hair before styling. It's especially great in the winter, smoothing flyaways and taming frizzy hair.
  • Toothpaste: Try this recipe!
  • Furniture Polish: Mix it with a little lemon juice and use it on wood furniture.
  • Bronze Polish: Rub a little into bronze items to clean and deepen the color.
  • Leather cleaner: Using a clean cloth, work a small amount into leather shoes to moisturize them and make them shine.
  • Remove rust: Before you toss those rusty knives or scissors, try this: slick coconut oil on the blades and let it sit for an hour then rinse with warm water.
  • Remove labels and their sticky residue: Cover the label with a film of coconut oil and let it soak in for a moment. The label should wipe off. Use a bit of oil on a towel to remove whatever's left.
  • Remove gum from hair: Peanut butter was the go to remedy for this when I was a kid. Coconut oil's a lot more pleasant to work with. Apply the oil directly to the gum, let it sit for a moment before slowly sliding the gum out.
  • Stain remover: Click here for details on how to make a spotting stick to remove clothing stains. The undiluted oil can be used to clean ink off of plastic and vinyl furniture.

(Image: SingChan, from their Flickr with a Creative Commons License, some rights reserved.)