By Claire Hansen
Blog Content Contributor
With the true nutritional benefits of coconut oil still hotly up for debate, it’s time we take a step away from the cholesterol and heart disease conversation and look at what other surefire purposes coconut oil can serve in each of our lives. If you’re like me and have a gallon-sized bucket of it sitting in your pantry, you might occasionally wonder if there’s anything else you can use it for besides sautéing some vegetables or whipping up a batch of cookies. As it turns out, coconut oil is actually one of the most versatile substances on the planet, with many of its uses achieving the ultimate goal of making life easier! There are far too many for me to include them all in this post, but here are a few of my personal favorite ways to use coconut oil that I find to be very helpful in all areas of life.
The Beauty Department
One of the more common non-culinary uses for this luscious oil is for deep conditioning your hair. The key is to spread it throughout your roots and tips, and leave it in for as long as you’d like (I usually do it overnight). After a nice wash a few hours later, your hair will be left feeling soft and thick!
My most frequent use for coconut oil is as a makeup remover. The oil gently removes every last bit of eye makeup without using hardly any pressure — perfect for the late nights you just want to crash head-first into your bed upon walking through the door. But make sure first that coconut oil will play well with your skin.
This is a real thing! It’s called oil pulling. Although it’s not the most pleasant process, it has been proven that swishing a spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes (20 whole minutes?!) can produce a whitening effect on teeth over time, while also improving gum health. Only the brave will attempt.
A skeptic myself, it took me a while to try this one. If I haven’t already mentioned, coconut oil makes for a great after-shave moisturizer, and, if used consistently, can aid in keeping your B.O. on the D.L.!
If you find yourself saying, “Where’s the chapstick?” I can personally assure you that coconut oil makes for a perfect, almost better alternative.
Around the House
Yes, your days of sticky skin caused by that uncomfortable but necessary insect repellent are over! Coat your skin in a nice layer of this stuff and you’ll be good to go on any outdoor excursion. The oil can be used both to repel insects and to soothe their bites. Increase the potency by incorporating catnip, rosemary or mint essential oils!
No more squeaky doors
Do you have that one annoying door in your house that drives you crazy every time it’s opened or closed? Apply some coconut oil to the hinges and it will be silent as a mouse.
Having coconut oil on hand at all times is great for a first-aid resource. The fatty qualities replenish the wound with the vitals it’s lost, and you’ll be all healed up in no time. It can also be applied to the inside of the nose as means of allergy relief.
Coconut oil works just as well as rubbing alcohol when trying to remove a label or sticker. It can also help defeat hairballs in cats, and be used as an ingredient to make homemade dog treats! Splash it on pots and pans to make your after-dinner routine a breeze. If you find yourself with the unfortunate reality of having gum in your hair, a bit of coconut oil will take it right out. And lastly, a dab on any leather you own will keep it shiny and moisturized!
As you can see, coconut oil can be used for pretty much anything you can think of, with even more new purposes still to be discovered. I wouldn’t trust quite everything you read about coconut oil online, but the ideas I’ve included here are all ones that I have personally tried myself and found to be very helpful and effective. Grab yourself a jar the next time you’re out– you never know what you may need it for!
Featured image by Claire Hansen.