10 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Can of Cooking Spray

updated May 7, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

That can of cooking spray hanging out in your cabinet? You can use it for more than just keeping brownies from sticking to the pan. Whether you use sprayable vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or something else, you might be pleasantly surprised by all the ways it can improve your life — both in and out of the kitchen.

Want to try some of them now? Here are 10 clever ways to put cooking spray to work throughout your home. 

1. Remove soap scum.

Grab your cooking spray and head to the bathroom, because it can also make mineral deposits and soap scum in your shower or tub disappear. Spray the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then thoroughly wash it away. 

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2. Lubricate hinges.

If you don’t have any WD-40 on hand, cooking spray is an effective alternative. Simply spritz a bit of oil onto the squeaky area of any hinge. Try this on doors and cabinets alike! 

3. Prevent plastic food storage containers from staining.

Tomato sauce stains are some of the most stubborn to remove — especially when they’re locked into plastic food containers. Instead of dealing with the stain, prevent it from happening in the first place. Before you fill a container with leftovers, coat the inside with cooking spray, which will act as a barrier between the plastic and the offending foods.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Add shine to fixtures.

Cooking spray is an unsung hero for faucet handles or fixtures in need of a pick-me-up. Just spritz some onto a microfiber cloth and then wipe. The metal will be shiny in no time.

5. Measure sticky substances.

If you’ve ever had to measure out maple syrup, honey, or molasses for a recipe, you’ve experienced the frustration of transferring those sticky substances from the cup into a mixing bowl. Before you divvy up any of these ingredients, spray some cooking spray in the measuring cup and it’ll slide right out.

6. De-stick locks.

Have a lock that’s hard to turn? Cooking spray is a simple way to take care of it by lubricating the stiff or stuck mechanisms inside your lock. Spray the key, then use it to lock or unlock the affected door.

7. Clean a grater.

Next time you shred cheese, spray the outside of the grater with cooking spray first. It’ll be so much easier to remove the sticky cheese debris after you’re done.

8. Prevent water from boiling over.

Hate when water boils over? Cooking spray to the rescue! You can use it two ways: Coat the pot in spray before you start cooking, and if you notice the water is becoming too high, you can spray a tad more on the water’s surface to prevent a spill. 

9. Eliminate ice buildup in your freezer.

If your freezer tends to get a frosty buildup, this tip is for you. The next time you defrost it, spray the walls inside — this will help prevent ice from building up.

10. Clean up candle wax.

Candle wax messes can be a pain to clean up. Just spray a bit of cooking oil on rogue wax to soften it up, and wiping it away will be a cinch. This will work on furniture and the candlestick holders.

Got any other smart uses for cooking spray? Share them in the comments below.