Coconut Oil Uses for the Home
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Coconut oil is increasingly a go-to ingredient for cooking and body care, but this versatile substance can work wonders in a number of different contexts. Read on to discover 14 ways that you can use coconut oil in every part of your home.
Follow Topics for more like this
Follow for more stories like this
- Season a cast iron pan. Cast iron needs a protective surface to stay in good working order. This step-by-step guide from The Kitchn will tell you how to season your cookware, but instead of vegetable oil or shortening, you can coat your pan in coconut oil.
- Condition a cutting board or wooden utensils. Once the wood is clean, use a soft cloth to rub in coconut oil. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then you can buff it off, as you would with any other conditioning oil.
- Lubricant for small-motor appliances. Use a teensy amount to lubricate any small motors on household appliances that need a bit of get-up-and-go. But do be careful because using too much, particularly when the oil solidifies, can cause malfunctioning.
BEDROOM & CLOSET
- Care for your leather. A bit of coconut oil can clean and revive worn leather. I’ve found it particularly effective on toe scuffs on my leather shoes.
- Unstick a zipper. You’ve probably heard the old trick of using Vaseline or Chapstick to unstick a zipper, but a dab of coconut oil can work just as well. Just touch the resistant zipper teeth with a bit of oil, and zip back and forth a few times. This should get it back in working order. (Be careful not to get oil on the surrounding fabric though, as it may stain.)
- Use as a base for aromas. I have a scent warmer, and I’ve found that a cheap and effective way to spread scent is to put a spoon of coconut oil in the warmer dish with a few drops of essential oils. If you want a slightly fancier solution, here is a recipe for making scented wax tarts with coconut oil and beeswax.
- Polish your faucets. Coconut oil makes a good metal polisher, and you can rub a bit of the oil over metal with a soft cloth. Let it sit for a minute, and then buff it to a shine.
- Get rid of shower scum. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical of this one when I read it, because adding oil to scum seemed somewhat counterintuitive. But I gave it a shot, and darn it, it worked! Put some oil on a rag and scrub that scum away with ease.
- Polish your furniture. I already mentioned that you can use coconut oil to condition cutting boards and wooden utensils, but it also works with wooden furniture. As with the kitchen goods, give it a few minutes to seep in before you wipe off the excess. It won’t give you a super-glossy finish, but it will give the wood a healthy, natural look.
- Get rid of sticky substances. Whether it’s because of a price tag that refuses to let go or because your children have decided that chewing gum makes an excellent form of Play-doh, chances are, you will at some point be faced with a sticky residue that lingers. Coconut oil will help get rid of the residual tackiness, although you should test a small bit on any fabric or carpet before going at it with gusto, just to make sure that it won’t leave an oily stain.
- Repel dust. A thin layer of oil will actually help repel dust from surfaces, making them easier to wipe down in the future.
- Fix squeaky hinges. If you don’t have WD-40 at the ready or you want a more natural solution, then by all means, give your coconut oil a go.
YARD & GARAGE
- Remove rust. Spread a layer of coconut oil over the rusty area, and let it sit for at least two hours. Wash the oil off and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Really pesky rust areas may take longer to remove.
- Keep your lawn mower and bike running smoothly. Apply a thin layer of oil to your lawn mower blades to keep grass clumps from sticking. You can also add a thin layer of oil to your bike chain to keep it running smoothly. But heed the note in the kitchen section above. Applying too thick a layer can actually hinder motion, since coconut oil solidifies under 76ºF.
How else do you put coconut oil to work in your home?