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Share to Pinterest20 Surprising Ways to Use Vegetable Oil Around Your Home

20 Surprising Ways to Use Vegetable Oil Around Your Home

By Alicia Smith
Share to Pinterest20 Surprising Ways to Use Vegetable Oil Around Your Home

Although nutritionists and dietitians don’t agree on whether or not vegetable oil should be a dietary staple, this versatile ingredient has an abundance of uses. Many people buy it in big bottles, so chances are, you have a decent supply of it sitting in your pantry.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and human beings learned long ago that vegetable oil is a great substitute for the branded alternative, to tackle a variety of everyday issues.


Bring new life to wooden spoons

Like vegetable oil, wooden spoons have been a staple in kitchens for generations. They have natural antibacterial properties, and they don’t scratch up cookware. But they can start looking a bit ragged after a while. Bring them back to life and restore their shine by rubbing a few drops of vegetable oil into the spoon and its handle.

Share to Pinterestvegetable oil pouring in wooden spoon
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Get rid of squeaky hinges

If your squeaky cupboard doors are hitting your last nerve, try rubbing some vegetable oil into the hinges. Work it in by opening and closing the door a few times. This will lubricate the hinges, and they’ll work much quieter. You don’t have to worry about any chemicals landing on food prep surfaces like you would with some spray lubricants.

Share to Pinterestapplying oil to grease furniture hinge
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Prevent rust on cast-iron cookware

A quality cast-iron pan can last for decades if you care for it properly. To keep these versatile pans and pots from rusting, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil with a paper towel after washing it. Afterward, place the pan in a 400-degree oven for an hour. Remove it and allow it to cool. This process, “seasoning,” not only maintains your cast iron but also prevents food from sticking to the pan.

Share to Pinterestcast iron being brushed with oil
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Remove stickers and their residue

Stickers may look decorative in the beginning, but soon, they start to fade and disintegrate. For something so temporary, they always seem to leave behind bits and pieces. Apply a few drops of vegetable oil to the sticker remnant, wait for a few minutes, and then pull it off. You should get the sticker and any glue residue with it.

Share to Pintereststar and unicorn stickers
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Upgrade and protect garden tools

Before you get busy with your next gardening session, wipe down your shovels and other tools with vegetable oil to create a slick surface. This will prevent dirt from sticking to the tool and make your tasks much easier.

After you’re finished for the day, clean off your tools and apply a coat of vegetable oil to help prevent rust.

Share to PinterestGardening Hand Trowel and Fork Standing in Garden Soil
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Separate glasses that are stuck together

If you’ve ever made the mistake of stacking the guest glasses in a cupboard only to find they were nearly impossible to separate in the future, this hack is for you. Before attempting to pull the glasses apart, pour a bit of vegetable oil around the rim of the bottom glass. It creates a slick surface in the stuck areas and makes it easier to separate them.

You’ll need to wash the glasses afterward to remove the oil, but you won’t destroy your glasses in the process.

Share to Pintereststack of glasses on a bar
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Defend wicker furniture against the elements

Cleaning is an integral part of caring for outdoor wicker furniture, but so is protecting it from the weather. Pour vegetable oil on a cloth, work it into the furniture, then allow it to soak in for several hours. Then, using a clean cloth, wipe it down to get rid of any excess oil. Not only will this method protect the furniture from the elements, but it will also moisturize the wood so it doesn't crack.

Share to PinterestWooden wicker texture of garden furniture
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Buff your shoes

Leather shoes tend to get dry and worn over time. Rejuvenate them using vegetable oil and a soft cloth to shine them up, much like you would if you were polishing them. If there are stains on the shoes, the veggie oil removes them and leaves behind a shine you can almost see your reflection in.

Share to PinterestMan polishing leather shoes
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Prep your car’s surface before you wash it

Washing your car can be a chore, but you can make things much easier by pre-cleaning some areas before it goes through the car wash. Areas on your car around the wheels, the sides under the doors, and the bumper areas, often take on the worst of road grime buildup. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a rag and go over these areas to soften the dirt and debris. It makes it much easier to remove, and it will create a slick surface that makes it harder for dirt to cling to in the future.

Share to Pinterestcleaning the wheel of a car
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Moisturize wood furniture

Vegetable oil restores moisture to wood furniture and it’s less expensive than wood polishes. Apply oil to a soft cloth, then use even strokes to brush over the wood and work the oil into the surface. Give it time to soak in, usually a few hours. Wipe off excess oil and enjoy the restored shine.

Share to Pinterestperson cleaning table with cloth
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Remedy hard-to-remove, sticky lids

Syrup, agave nectar, honey, and corn syrup can create a glue-like stickiness on their lids, making them next to impossible to remove. Save time and your hands by coating the outside rim of the bottle or jar with vegetable oil. The next time you try to open it, you won’t have a problem.

Share to PinterestHoney in jars
Dmitry Piskarev / Getty Images


Polish stainless steel

Buff out fingerprints, smudges, and tiny scratches on your stainless steel appliances using a soft rag and vegetable oil. Place a few drops of oil on the cloth and gently work it into the surface of the appliance. Not only does this bring back the shine, but it will also remove stubborn dirt and grime.

Share to Pinterestperson cleaning oven
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Coat measuring cups

To keep sticky ingredients from adhering to your measuring cup, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the inside before adding the ingredients. You’ll get a much more accurate measurement, and clean-up will be easier, too. This method works well when using jellies, honey, syrups, and even peanut butter.

Share to Pinterestoil in measuring cup
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Moisturize dry skin

Keeping your skin supple and moisturized can be a constant battle, especially in the wintertime. If you’ve found that you're sensitive to the perfumes and ingredients in store-bought lotions, try substituting vegetable oil to remedy dry lips, elbows, hands, and other parts of your body. You’ll save money, and you’ll like the results better.

Share to Pinterestwoman applying oil to hands
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Remove deep splinters

Make the process of removing a splinter less painful by applying vegetable oil around the area first, allowing it to soak into the skin, then using tweezers to pull it out. The vegetable oil lubricates the skin, which makes it more pliable so the splinter slides out much easier.

Share to Pinterestwoman is trying to pull the splinter out of the child's hand
Oleksandr Shatyrov / Getty Images


Substitute for shaving cream

There are two goals for shaving. The first one is to avoid cutting yourself. The second one is to get a nice, close shave. Shaving creams can help you accomplish this, but they can be a bit pricey and it seems you never have any around when you need it. Substitute vegetable oil instead. In addition to extra moisture, you’ll also enjoy a stubble-free result.

Share to Pinterestman touching his face while looking at mirror
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Moisturize pet paws

Most pets’ paws are exposed to an array of outdoor environments that can inflict damage. To ease their discomfort and soften their paw pads, apply a small amount of vegetable oil to them. It helps heal cracks, moisturizes the paws, and protects them from further damage. If the animal licks their paws, the veggie oil won’t harm them, though you might want to keep them off the couch for a couple of hours.

Share to Pinteresthand holding dog paws
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Smooth split ends and diminish breakage

Most people struggle with damaged hair at some point. The dryer it is, the more likely that split ends and breakage occur. A small amount of vegetable oil, mixed in and applied with your conditioner, will help smooth out flyaways and prevent damaged ends. If you make this a part of your routine each time you wash your hair, you’ll gain a healthy shine and healthier-looking tresses.

Share to Pinterestwoman applying oil on hair ends
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Pamper your feet

If there’s any part of our bodies that needs some relief, it’s our feet. Yet, they are the least likely to receive any attention. Cracked heels not only cause discomfort, they don’t look too pretty, either. To remedy the issue, apply a thick layer of vegetable oil to your feet at bedtime, adding more to the heels and excessively dry areas. Then, put on a pair of socks and wear them while you sleep. Rinse off in the morning and you’ll find softer feet with fewer callouses.

Share to Pinterestwoman touching heel of foot
RyanKing999 / Getty Images


Remove paint from hands

The worst thing about DIY projects is often the cleanup. Getting paint on your hands can be tough to clean off. Scrubbing can lead to rashes and dry out your skin. Instead, pour vegetable oil directly onto your hands. It will immediately start to soften the paint, which will slide off when you run your hands under running water.

Share to Pinterestpaint on hands
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