At first glance, coconut oil seems like it’s probably only good for one use: cooking.
However, as many crunchy moms know, there are tons of other creative ways to use coconut oil in and out of the kitchen.
Today I’ll show you some of my favorite ways to use coconut oil around the house.
Note: If it’s summer and you live in a warm climate, your coconut oil will likely be liquid. This is because it has a low melting point of around 76 degrees. While you might need to stick in the fridge if you want to use it in its solid form, this saves a step for liquid applications!
Using Coconut Oil in the Bathroom
1. Makeup Remover
Instead of using a toxic makeup remover spray, use coconut oil.
Simply grab a small amount of coconut oil (A little goes a long way), let it melt a little on your fingers, and rub it on. Then wipe it off with a cloth or a Kleenex.
This trick even works with mascara. While the mascara could potentially stain your washcloth, I don’t remember ever having this problem even when I was wearing mascara frequently. If you’re worried about this, either stick to dark cloths or use something disposable.
2. Face Moisturizer
Can you get any better than a single-ingredient facial moisturizer that’s good for your skin and smells amazing?
Just like when you use it to remove makeup, a little goes a long way. You only need a tiny bit of coconut oil to moisturize your whole face. Any more than that and your face might start to look shiny and a little “too” moisturized.
Coconut oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal, so it can help keep your face healthy while making it soft and smooth.
3. Heel Softener
As you’re moisturizing your face, you can also do the same for your feet. If you’re like me and end up with dry heels during the winter (or anytime during the year for that matter), just rub some coconut oil on your heels and throw on some cotton socks (synthetic fibers won’t let your feet breathe well).
Once you do this a couple times, you should be able to feel a different in the softness of your heels.
4. Diluting Strong Essential Oils
Whether you have sensitive skin or you need to dilute you favorite essential oil for your kids, coconut oil is a wonderful option.
You can also get a kind of coconut oil that has been “fractionated”, meaning that it’s always liquid, even at room temperature. With this kind of coconut oil, you can just add a pump of it to your hand or container and it’s all ready to mix with essential oils, no melting involved.
While I would say use what you have on hand to dilute your essential oils, coconut oil is my favorite because it has such a mild smell. I’ve heard that some people prefer olive oil, but to me that seems to have a much stronger aroma than coconut.
5. Making Your Own Personal Care Products
If you search coconut oil and the type of homemade personal care product you want to make, someone is bound to have a recipe that uses coconut oil. That’s because it’s so versatile.
Using Coconut Oil in the Nursery
Just like you would use it to moisturize your own skin, coconut oil is a great way to help your baby’s skin stay nice and soft without worrying about them absorbing toxic chemicals found in most baby lotions.
If your little one’s skin needs a little help this winter, try rubbing a tiny amount of coconut oil on it.
2. Diaper Rash Cream
Since it has antibacterial properties, coconut oil can make an excellent diaper rash cream for daily use. Because of these properties, it can be a barrier on your child’s skin so it doesn’t get irritated by their diaper.
In my experience, straight coconut oil doesn’t work the best for healing really bad diaper rashes, but it can help curb them before they get too bad.
If you need something more heavy duty, I would recommend either buying some natural diaper rash cream. You can also make your own quite easily with added ingredients to boost the coconut oil.
And best of all? Coconut oil is cloth diaper safe!
3. Remove Cradle Cap
I haven’t been able to try this one myself yet, but I have heard lots of moms who’ve had great success using coconut oil to remove cradle cap on their babies’ heads.
You simply rub it on their scalp and it helps soften the cradle cap. Then you can brush or comb it out and wash their hair like normal to get out the rest of the coconut oil.
The best part? Since coconut oil is so versatile in the nursery, you won’t have to buy multiple products to do all the things I just mentioned! Multipurpose products are amazing when you’re trying to save money on stuff for your baby.
Using Coconut Oil in the Kitchen
Two words that make it seem like the only thing this oil is good for is making coconut flavored desserts. However, since it has such a mild coconut flavor that you’d never be able to tell it’s in a recipe. This makes it a really versatile ingredient for pretty much any recipe!
Using coconut oil in recipes that call for liquid oil will add a step for you since you’ll need to melt it first, but since it melts at such a low temperature, it won’t take too much time to melt.
If you have a recipe that calls for shortening, coconut oil can also be an excellent substitute. Plus, you won’t even have to melt it for these recipes.
Since coconut oil is naturally the right consistency, you’ll be able to have a one-ingredient way to replace all the toxic processed ingredients that are in shortening.
Conversely, you might have to put it in the fridge or freezer for a bit if the warm weather has liquified your oil.
2. Non-dairy substitute for butter
If you find yourself needing to make something dairy-free for your family or friends, you can replace the butter in your recipe with coconut oil.
Whether you melt it or not will be determined by the form of butter called for in the recipe.
3. Greasing Pans
I love using coconut oil to grease my baking pans because it is way less prone to burning that if you were to use butter.
Simply use a pastry brush or silicone spatula to distribute the oil evenly around the pan. If you melted coconut oil for the recipe already, stick your utensil in that container and you can use up the last little bit that stuck to the sides.
4. Pan Frying
While my favorite fat of choice for frying eggs and most vegetables is still bacon grease, coconut oil is my go-to for when I’m out. It has such a mild flavor that I’ve never noticed my eggs or vegetables tasting like coconut.
If you need a little oil to grease your cast iron or stainless steel pan, coconut oil is great because it gets the job done without adding a flavor of its own or burning like butter.
5. Deep Frying
Okay, I’ll admit I haven’t tried this yet. I’m kind of scared of the idea of having a pot full of hot oil on my stove, so I stick to cooking methods that only require a little oil.
However, coconut oil is known as a really good oil for deep frying foods in because it has a high enough smoke point that heating it for frying won’t make it go bad like olive oil and some other vegetable or seed oils.
Using Coconut Oil in the Garage
1. Lubricant for Mounting Tires
This tip actually comes from my husband. While I wouldn’t recommend using a perfectly good cooking oil (and not even one of the dirt cheap ones, either) for this kind of a project, I have to admit that it’s definitely a creative use for it.
My husband was working on manually mounting some new lawnmower tires on their rims and he needed something to lubricate the tire to help it slide on.
I walked downstairs in the middle of this and wanted to know why my coconut oil was missing from the kitchen. Turns out, he’d borrowed it.
This may not have been the best use for coconut oil, but it got the job done and was definitely thinking outside of the box. So tell your husband about this tip if he needs to mount tires. Or don’t, and protect your coconut oil from being taken.
That’s all I have for today! Coconut oil is a very versatile product, so it’s always fun finding more ways to use it.