Coconut oil is having something of a moment – the once obscure ingredient has become a popular kitchen essential for health-conscious households all over the country.
But it’s not just for cooking where coconut oil proves its worth – the natural ingredient has a whole host of uses that have little to do with eating.
Here’s some of the cleverest uses for your jar of coconut oil.
As a butter substitute
With a similar consistency to butter, coconut oil can be used a substitute to butter in cooking and baking. When added to heat it reduces to a clear oil and is great for stir frys. In your baking, you can do a straight 1:1 substitution, though be aware it has a lower melting point and in large enough quantities will add a faint hint of coconut. Try it with brownies – it’s a great addition!
As a hair conditioning treatment
Because coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, it can help restore some of the texture and shine to your hair when used as a conditioning treatment. Warm a few teaspoons (depending on hair length) of coconut oil to melting point and then massage into damp hair. Wrap in a towel, shower cap or even plastic bag and leave for twenty minutes, then rinse. It’s a simple and inexpensive treatment you can use once a week.
As a lubricant
Squeeky hinges, bike chains and stiff bearings are no match for coconut oil, which makes for an easy all-natural lubricant that doesn’t contain the same harsh chemicals of popular alternatives like WD-40.
To condition wood
Virgin coconut oil makes a great conditioner to help moisturise wood and keep it looking its best. Use a clean cloth to rub coconut oil and leave to dry for roughly fifteen minutes. Then, buff away any excess using a soft, dry cloth using wide circular motions.
Coconut oil can add a boost to your kindling when you’re lighting a campfire. Soak a cotton pad in a small amount of coconut oil and add to your kindling wood to help ignite your fire.
To clean leather
Coconut oil can also be a good leather cleaner and conditioner. Rub a small amount of oil into your leather goods, allow to penetrate, then wipe away any excess.
As a bath soak
Coconut oil also makes for a great body moisturiser and bath soak. Bring two tablespoons to melting point and then add to your bath water. Be sure to take care when stepping in and out – adding oil can make the tub slicker than usual.
Do you have any clever uses for coconut oil? Let us know in the comments below!