Most of us have a jar of this stuff. Even if it’s in the back of your pantry and you bought it one time on a whim but let it sit or maybe you use the stuff daily and have it stored throughout your house. Coconut oil has some super powers that other oils just can’t beat. Plus, there are literally thousands of uses for coconut oil.
Coconut oil is derived from you guessed it, coconuts. It is the fatty part of the coconut that’s been minimally processed into an oil. Coconut oil can be liquid or solid depending on the temperature it’s stored at. Additionally, it has been shown to increase HEALTHY cholesterol, has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and can be used in place of topical medicinals in many cases. This powerful oil helps to regulate blood sugar and and improves digestion.
The best feature of coconut oil perhaps is how widely available and affordable it is. I have replaced so many of my household personal care products with coconut oil and have developed a long list of uses for coconut oil.
You can buy a gigantic tub of the white gold at places like Costco, Amazon or Thrive Market. Pretty much every store online or otherwise carry several brands to choose from. I choose organic coconut oil that does not have any other ingredients listed on the back. It’s really hard to go wrong with those requirements.
In the recent past, some naysayers have painted an evil picture of coconut oil saying that it causes heart disease and other weight-related illnesses. One specific article got the attention of the entire world when they stated “coconut oil isn’t healthy and never has been.” However, nothing the article shared was new information. They said coconut oil is pure fat. And guess what? It is.
But, we’ve known since at least 2010 that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Yep. You read that right.
Here are 10 uses for coconut that you’ve probably never heard of:
1. Furniture Polish- Yep. You can totally use this stuff to shine up your wood and laminate furniture. I use about a teaspoon melted onto a cotton cloth and rub down my cabinets and tables like I would with traditional furniture polish. This method is significantly cheaper and gets rid of all the nasty chemicals you’d be exposed to with traditional methods. You want to make sure you use the small amount to avoid having greasy furniture that dust gets stuck in.
2. Eye Makeup Remover- About a year ago I ran out of my pricey eye makeup remover and didn’t have a backup. I whipped out my trusty bathroom jar of coconut oil and wiped it across my eyes using a cotton ball. Voila! No more liquid eyeliner or waterproof mascara. Never again will I go back to buying the junk at the store. Again, adios chemicals and questionable ingredients.
3. Hair Treatment- If you’ve seen my Instagram posts you’ll know I love a good coconut bun. The night before I plan to wash my hair I coat my locks in 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and tie it up in a bun. In the morning it’ll wash right out and leave your hair shinier and stronger than before. Word to the wise though, sleep on a towel if you want to avoid oily pillowcases.
4. Bike Gears and Door Hinges- You know that blue can we all have in our garage reserved for greasing gears and unsticking hinges? You can kick that stuff to the curb too. If you have a sticky door or a clanky bike chain, grease it up with coconut oil and it’ll be good as new!
5. Teeth Whitening- If you’ve never tried oil pulling, the concept can be a bizarre one.However, this method has been used for centuries and may also help reduce acne and prevent cavities. If you want to gain a healthier grin consider swapping out your mouthwashes and whitening gels for good old fashioned coconut oil. Melt and swish a tablespoon or two for 10-20 minutes (I recommend watching TV or reading while you do this) and spit it out. The oil will pull impurities and bacteria from your teeth and mouth. For best results, keep this up as often as possible.
6. Ice Cream Topper- Remember when you were little (ok, maybe last week) when magic shell was all the rage on top of ice cream? You’d heat up a bottle and pour some chocolatey goodness over a bowl of ice cream and it would harden into a tasty treat. Well, now you can bring back those tasty memories in a healthier way. Melt 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips (I like extra dark) with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Pour the mixture over any frozen treat like ice cream, a smoothie, or nice cream (banana based ice cream) for the same idea without the nasty oils and thickeners.
7. Sore Throat Treatment- This one is one of those super important uses for coconut oil. The next time you’re feeling under the weather swallow a teaspoon of coconut oil and see how you feel.
The oil will coat your throat to combat the pain and will also help kill bacteria that’s making it hurt in the first place.
8. Natural Deodorant- First things first, I think it’s important to distinguish the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. Deodorant will help prevent underarms (and other areas) from smelling like a gym sock. Antiperspirant clogs pores to stop sweating from occurring. Personally, I do not use antiperspirant because of the health risks associated with it. You can make an awesome homemade deodorant for under $1. Combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3-4 drops of your favorite essential oil (my personal favorite is lavender and rosemary). Store the mixture in an air-tight jar in a cool dry place like your bathroom cabinet. Use a popsicle stick or even the end of the spoon to apply about ½ teaspoon under each arm before dressing. If it’s hard to spread you can hold the stick under your arm for 10 or 15 seconds for it to become liquid and more easily spread.
9. Egg Protector- When I learned this one it blew my mind! The reason eggs (or anything) go bad is due to their exposure to air. Egg shells have tiny pores that exposure the whites and yolk to oxygen. Rubbing the outside of your eggs with coconut oil slows down the oxygenation and can keep them fresh for up to two weeks longer than without using oil. For reals. Mind. Blown.
10. Face Wash- If you’re like me and you suffer from occasional acne, it seems counter intuitive to put oil on your face. In fact, isn’t that what’s causing acne in the first place? Nope. As I mentioned above, coconut oil has excellent cleansing properties for the skin and can actually help get rid of acne. Rub the stuff on your dry face then cover with a warm washcloth for 2-4 minutes. Whip excess oil with the washcloth and tone and moisturize as needed. (Note: you can also use coconut oil as your moisturizer)