8 Surprising Ways to Use Coconut Oil — Beyond Cooking

published Apr 3, 2022
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Someone holding jar of coconut oil.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

At our house, we love cooking with coconut oil. (We especially love baking with it and using it to cook up pancakes!) Beyond cooking, people love to use coconut oil in various personal applications; it makes for a great hair mask and a natural skin moisturizer. And guess what? Coconut oil is even more versatile than you might think! It can also be used all over the house to clean. This is why we keep two containers of coconut oil handy — one for cooking and one for cleaning!

Here are eight surprising ways you can use coconut oil. (Note: If anyone in your home has a coconut allergy, this post is not for you.)

Credit: Sarah Crowley

1. Remove sticky residue.

Coconut oil can tackle stubborn labels on dishes or remove a sticky residue left behind on jars. Apply the coconut oil to the sticky spots, allow it to penetrate, and then scrub with baking soda. Or you could make a coconut oil and baking soda paste, apply it, and then scrub it off. Your residue will melt away. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Clean and polish wood.

To make a simple and effective wood cleaner and polish, combine half a cup of coconut oil with the juice of half a lemon. Rub it into the wood and wipe off the excess after two minutes. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Condition your cutting board.

Rubbing coconut oil onto your wooden cutting boards will keep them from warping and splitting. And because we’re sure you’re wondering: You won’t notice any unwanted coconut flavor in your food. Use fractionated coconut oil (which means certain fats have been separated, and the oil won’t become rancid in your board over time) to condition your cutting boards.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Polish your stainless steel.

Coconut oil is great for cleaning and polishing your stainless steel appliances. Add oil to a paper towel or soft sponge and gently buff it into the stainless steel, making sure to rub along the grain. 

Credit: Erika Tracy

5. Erase crayon marks from walls.

Coconut oil can also be used to remove crayon marks from walls. Moisten a cotton ball or cloth with coconut oil and rub it gently over the marks. (Be sure to test an inconspicuous area first so you don’t inadvertently leave oil stains on your walls.)

Credit: Abigail Bobo

6. Clean leather.

A bit of coconut oil with a squeeze of lemon juice can also clean and condition leather. Lightly moisten a microfiber cloth with the solution, rub into your leather, and then buff with a clean, dry cloth. (Conduct a spot test before you dive right in!)

Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn

7. Spiff up bathtubs and showers.

Sprinkle some baking soda into a bowl of coconut oil until you’ve made a paste. The paste will work wonders on your tub and shower. Apply the paste, let it sit for up to 15 minutes, scrub, and rinse clean. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

8. Lift off scuff marks

Lift scuff marks from floors with a small amount of coconut oil on a rag. Make sure to clean oil residue from the floor to prevent slipping. 

How do you use coconut oil? Tell us in the comments below.

@thekitchn Beyond cooking and baking, there are tons of other ways to use coconut oil in the kitchen. You’ll want to save this one! #kitchenhacks #kitchenideas #coconutoil #kitchentips #cleaninghacks ♬ Countless – Official Sound Studio