Introduction: 10 Unusual Uses for Butter

Picture of 10 Unusual Uses for Butter

Not only can you smear butter on your food, but it has some great uses around your home. This just goes to show that butter goes well with everything.

So grab that stick, and let's go make Paula Deen proud!

Step 1: De-Sticks

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The natural oils in butter are perfect for combating any and everything sticky. If you've been crafting and got some glue on your hands, first rub them with butter before washing with soap and water.

After your in-home wax treatment, your legs are hair-free but still have some waxy remnants. Just like with the glue, rub a bit of butter on it, and the whole mess will wash off with soap and water.

Gum in your hair? Never fear! Apply softened butter to your locks, and the bubble gum will glide off pain-free.

Maybe you parked your car under and especially sappy tree, or perhaps got a bit over-enthusiastic while tree-hugging. If you've got sap all over, dislodge it by rubbing some soft butter on the spot with a cloth. Wipe away, and wash with soap and water.

If you're needing to cut up some sticky food (pies, dates, toffee, marshmallows, etc) spread a knife very thinly with butter before slicing in. It will slide through easily without sticking - and add a few more delicious calories to your plate.

Step 2: Around the House

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If you're out of WD-40, or don’t have any oil, you can stop a door from squeaking by rubbing a little butter on the hinge.

To shine up cast iron, a small dab of butter on a cotton rag will make your metal look like new. This works well with other metals, as well.

Butter can also be used to add shine to your leather baseball gloves, jackets, belts, wallets, purses, etc. Because butter contains proteins, it has plenty of amino acids and won't hurt the leather. Simply rub a small amount of butter on your leather goods for a nice shine.

Step 3: Tough Pill to Swallow

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Some people swear a spoon full of sugar does the trick - but if you're swallowing down horse pills, you need something more substantial. Pills covered with a light layer of butter will help the medicine go down.

Step 4: Beautify

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These same proteins that are good for you leather are good for your own skin, too! Rub a small amount of butter around your hands, or other dry/damaged areas of skin. Rinse off with a mild soap and water, and you'll feel the difference.  Butter also keeps cuticles soft and flexible, and fingernails less brittle.

Butter is excellent for treating skin irritations like a nasty rash. Rub a generous amount of butter on these irritations twice a day. Allow it to air for an hour or so each day. Cover with a bandage after applying the second daily coating of butter, and within a few days, the wound should be gone.

If you run out of shaving cream, and need smooth skin in a pinch, use a knob of butter on wet skin and get a nice, close shave. 

Butter is also be an excellent substitute for hair conditioners.  It provides essential amino acids to fine, limp hair. Comb a little butter through your hair after you use your regular shampoo. Rinse the butter with moderately warm water for a shiny, healthy head of hair. Take that Pantene Pro-V!

Step 5: Cat Training

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Hey cat people - next time you move, butter your cat's paws before you let them outdoors for the first time at your new residence. Instead of darting out the door in a panic, the cat will sit down to lick the butter, which gives it a little time to become aware of it's surroundings.  Not only is butter a tasty treat, but your cat's coat will be glossier, and the grease from the butter will keep furballs at bay.

Step 6: Prolongs Shelf Life

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Leftovers? Butter can help. If you're worried about how long your hard cheeses will last, apply a light coat of butter to keep them fresh and free of mold. Each time you use the cheese, coat the cut edge with butter before you reewrap it and put it back in the fridge.  This trick also works well for onions. Rub butter on the cut surface and wrap the leftover onion in aluminum foil before refrigerating it.

Step 7: Don't Boil Over

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Stop pasta water from boiling over by adding a knob of butter to the water when boiling

Step 8: Ring Removal

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Ever tried on a small ring and experienced that moment of panic when you can't get it off? Next time that happens, remove the ring by gently rubbing a little butter around your finger joint and easing the ring off. You may have to do it a few times until it slides off.

Step 9: Something Fishy

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Sure, your fishing trip was a big success, but now your hands reek of fish. Rub some butter on your hands, wash with warm water and soap, and everything will smell clean and fresh again.


Step 10: If All Else Fails...

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...and you're left with an obscene amount of butter, go ahead and carve a sculpture . Or experiment with a deep-fryer


dnalrahc (author)2015-12-09

Come on people it's BUTTER , you put it on your toast , you put it on your veggies , you put a whole lot on cooked ronies then a little sauce but you all don't be putting it on your feet , your cats , your burns ,your sticky hinges , etc , etc ,etc . Wow I can't believe you all , it's butter ! Use it for what it was intended for !

BigMan13000000 (author)dnalrahc2017-08-14

dude, chill out

stodd1 (author)dnalrahc2016-03-27

Or, you can use it for many other things with great results. Could you imagine if Facebook was only used for what it was intended for? The reason it stopped being a college only thing was cuz people were using all sorts of methods to get around having to be in a specific college.

grannyjones (author)2017-07-18

Butter can be frozen--unsalted butter SHOULD be frozen, until you are ready to use it. Otherwise it will become rancid.

CarlaJ10 (author)2017-03-19

Thank you, Kazmataz, for writing the article. The butter trick for my hands worked awesomely! I'd like to point out honey is also for eating and so is oatmeal. But I love my honey and oatmeal facial masks I make myself. I'd rather skip buying expensive facial and skin products so I can buy more groceries. And if anyone thinks it's silly to do anything with butter other than eating, why read an article entitled "10 Unusual Uses for Butter?"

_NightSky_ (author)2017-02-27

I prefer my favorite use,


KiranP2 (author)2015-12-02

What makes you think coconut oil is better for cats and dogs than butter? They're both basically the same thing. If anything, butter is better because it's from animals instead of plants.

Also, while butter is made from cream, it lasts longer than milk or cream because it will not curdle- which, I might add, is the process by which cheese is made. So I wouldn't worry about leaving butter unrefrigerated for a few days. Most people use it up before then anyway, and if you cover it it's even safer.

And the reason mayonnaise removes gum from hair is that it contains oil. Just like other common remedies like peanut butter, vaseline, and BUTTER.

grannyjones (author)KiranP22016-04-14

Please read the label on spreadable butter. It has WATER added. It wil get moldy if left out.

grannyjones (author)2016-04-14

Years ago, our cat pulled down a strip of flypaper. It was pulling his hair out and he was totally freaked out. I rubbed butter into his fur to remove the glue, and the cat was willing to calmly remove any excess butter.

Ggungaby (author)2016-03-07

Deep-fried butter.

Mex5150 (author)2015-12-07

A lot of these are actually the same this, it works great as a lubricant, probably worth repeating though.

Also it's worth noting, butter is a damn sight better for you than margerine if you are going to do something as mundane as eat it.

dreadeno (author)2015-12-04

My wife was horrified when she found out I used WD-40 to get gum from my son's hair. Worked great though!

JenniferL30 (author)2015-12-02

Oh, Ice Cubes is what Mom used for gum in the hair.

allen.benge (author)JenniferL302015-12-03

My mom used peanut butter. The oils destroy the gum's stickiness.

Mihsin (author)allen.benge2015-12-04

Piff Paff does it also

roley1 (author)2015-12-03

Another old home remedy that actually does work is to rub butter on a young baby's head to soften up cradle cap and get rid of it, my daughter had horrid cradle cap and we tried this as a last resort. Although it does make the baby smell odd but a normal bath and wash fixes that.

ebeebe02 (author)2015-12-01

I've heard of that butter trick for burns along time ago. And disagreed with it when I tried it on a burn I had. Too this day people still pass that advice along! From a military friend he said to keep a bag of flour in the refrigerator. He said make a paste out of it and smear it on the burn. It works. Try it next time. Youl'll be amazed.

SallyC11 (author)ebeebe022015-12-03

putting butter on a burn is plain stupid, it increases the burning and the subsequent cooling time as it "cooks"

WATER only and a lot of it for at least ten minutes!

JoyM3 (author)ebeebe022015-12-01

First Aid always comes before treatment. water, Water, WATER.

pmshah (author)2015-12-02

I don't know what is the status of the product - Lock Ease - a graphite based dry lubricant - something I used quite often some 40 years ago when I lived in Chicago area. Never posed a problem with pest or collecting dust that others oils or butter would incur.

allen.benge (author)pmshah2015-12-03

I used a product for locks and such, made of molybdenum sulfide. A silvery powder that had a petroleum carrier that evaporated almost instantly leaving a slippery powder that would not attract dirt or freeze in cold weather.

Foaly the Centaur (author)2015-12-01

Oh, I wish I had kept the link. I once read a scientific paper from Princeton on consumer products containing no chemicals. The body was three blank pages.

Absolutely everything contains chemicals, you are just more comfortable with ones you regularly consume.

THANK YOU! I cannot emphasize how much I agree with your comment. Everything is made of chemicals!

allen.benge (author)KiranP22015-12-03

Absolutely correct. The body does not recognize or utilize 'food.' Everything the body uses is chemicals, whether natural or made in a laboratory.

allen.benge (author)2015-12-03

As far as the fish odor goes, you have the same problem if you work with photographic developer. If you make dinner with onions, no matter how well you soap wash it, as soon as it hits the developer, the odor comes back. There are several sources for a hunk of stainless steel that looks like a river rock, but any stainless steel can be used. Wash your hands with warm water, using a piece of stainless steel as you would a bar of soap, and odors will be a thing of the past.

kafkask (author)2015-12-03

"If you're out of WD-40, or don’t have any oil, you can stop a door from squeaking by rubbing a little butter on the hinge."

Just a quick note: WD-40 should not be used as a long-term solution for anything that squeaks or is hard to move. It's good at loosening things up, like a rusted bolt or hinge, and for cleaning off rust. But it shouldn't be used as a long-term lubricant - it begins to gel after awhile, and it collects dirt and dust, making the problem worse.

JeffT19 (author)2015-12-03

The pill one is pretty smart. I also can't wait to go put butter on my cat's paws!

cvkessel (author)2015-12-03

Another use for butter is to remove tar. Rub the butter onto the tar and it will disolve instantly. Then you can wash out.

kengamine (author)2015-12-03

neat. but can someone explain, why I would carve a sculpture out of butter? it would be easier to make a variety of sweet foods like cakes biscuits and of course bread and butter pudding.

JenniferL30 (author)2015-12-02

Learn to can. Can butter when it goes on sale. Butter is a FOOD, not a "Tool", so ...

PegH3 (author)2015-12-02

that is, rub grease on hands, rub, then wipe off with gunk on paper towels. I also found that swallowing gel encapsulated pills is much easier if wetted a few moments, in water or just in mouth before swallowing. Even swallowed with water, with water, a dry pill can sometimes be sticky.

PegH3 (author)2015-12-02

like dissolves like, so alkyd paint, tars, pitch, roof and driveway sealer.., many things that do not easily wash off w soap and water can be removed w grease or oil. I keep leftover bacon grease or othe fat or oil. I rub it on the spot and wipe with per towels or rags, repeat as needed.

pmshah (author)2015-12-01

For removing gum residue from labels I use plain old veg cooking oil. Coat and leave it for about 30 minutes and wash / wipe / rub it off with a non marring scrubbing pad and soapy water.

Floss1949 (author)pmshah2015-12-02

Eucalyptus oil is also excellent for removing sticky labels, bandaids and similar.

Where I live, if we were to put butter or any food product for that matter, on sticking hinges, we'd be providing the ants, roaches and bugs with a meal.

Leathaldose (author)2015-12-02

Every one here is wrong, Pasta and noodles migrated here from Mars 200,009 years ago.

wcamammoths (author)2015-12-01

It's important to know that there is no "heat trapped" in a burn. Within seconds, any heat is GONE. By the time you get to the refrigerator, there is no heat left. By the time you get to the burn center, forget it. I'm not saying that putting butter on a burn is good or bad, I'm just saying that any explanation that involves trapping heat is automatically wrong. Same with cold water or ice. If you're using them to get rid of trapped heat, you're wasting your time. Try touching a curling iron to the bathroom sink for a fraction of a second like you might do when you burn your hand. Wait 3 seconds and touch the sink. What do you feel? Nothing! Rub butter on it and what do you feel? Nothing!

How about if we just use burn cream for burns, WD-40 for squeaky hinges, soap for washing hands, and ziploc bags for preserving foods? Burn cream is miraculous on minor burns. Don't believe the "it's natural, so it must be good" fallacy for aloe or other "natural" creams. The Mayo Clinic gave aloe a rating of "Unclear scientific evidence for this use" in using aloe to help burns ( It should be noted that they gave higher grades than that to ridiculous claims like treating genital herpes and preventing lung cancer with aloe. That's how bad the research on aloe for burns is.


JoyM3 (author)wcamammoths2015-12-01

NO No, no to burn cream. The only thing to put on any burn is cold running water for 20 mins. If the burn is on a child under 5 yrs, no matter how small, take the child immediately to the nearest doctor or nurse. A clean pillow case is ideal to lightly cover the burn. Burns smaller than a diameter of 3 to 4cm may be treated at home. That's where the burn cream is good. Any bigger than 3 to 4cm must be treated by a Health Professional.

carbonunit6 (author)2015-12-01

Never ever use the "ole wives tale" to apply ANY kind of fat on any burn! A burn is an 'inflammation' which causes instant tissue damage. When a 'fat' substance is applied to the burn, then the burn is 'insulated' and the heat retained will not escape, thus FASTER tissue damage occurs! The only way to reverse the inflammation is to instantly apply a 'cold' substance, aka; very cold water or a cold pack. That will definitely insure that tissue damage will be kept to an absolute minimum.

JoyM3 (author)carbonunit62015-12-01

lListen to an Emergency Dept. Nurse........... Never, ever put cold packs or ice on any burn. You are very likely to give the patient an ice burn as well as their heat burn. Don't waste time looking for ice or ice pack. Get cold running water on to the burn, fast. The water might even be beer, wine or even dirty ditch water! We can always treat any infection later. The important thing is 20 mins under cold, running water. The sooner that's done, the sooner the burning stops. Thanks to listening to my rave.

Mongoos (author)carbonunit62015-12-01

Agreed. When I was 5 I touched the side of a vast iron BBQ grill with both hands while it was in use.

Not knowing any better at the time, my mom but butter on my left hand. It hurt so much I refused to let her do the same to the right hand. Looking back I really should have been taken to the hospital.

My left hand can still feel pressure, most texture, and some temperature variations but not nearly to the extent I can with my right hand. The skin on my left hand fingertips has thicker skin.

On the bright side it makes working on cars easier since sharp edges don't bother it as much, and my fingertips don't get sore from playing the guitar. :)

carbonunit6 (author)Mongoos2015-12-01

LOL.....I didn't have to "burn" my fingers to play guitar....I just wore them out 'till they bled.

doo da do (author)2015-12-01

a,little olive works for the hinge

doo da do (author)2015-12-01

Have not tried butter, tooth paste will do if you have no butter.

RigelBlue (author)2015-12-01

Isn't it up to the individual to consider the expense of an item? I have no problem using butter for any of the ideas listed in the post! The expense is MY business!using

KROKKENOSTER (author)2015-12-01

Butter or margarine which is best for your health? Just first find out WHICH COMPANY SIGNED THE CHEQUE FOR THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE LAB!!!

Here in South Africa, the one week the "Lab"said "Butter is bad"and the following week it was stated that margarine is just one step from being plastic and thus "POISON"

I worked for a tanker transport company in Australia that carted the raw materials (crude veggie oil) of margarine in road tankers that had carried diesel as the prior load. Prior to the introduction of unleaded fuel we carted the crude seed oil in tankers that had previously carried leaded petrol - unleaded was considered worse than leaded!! The tankers would get a very basic hot wash before loading with no inspection as to how clean they were or whether all the residues from the prior load had been removed. At least with the dairy industry they have dedicated milk tankers - so its only butter for me and my family for the past 30 years.

dragon fllyer (author)2015-12-01

I once spent 5 1/2 hours jacking and digging my car out of a sandbank using butter to grease the jack when it got full of sand. (The forestry road had been graded very wide and there was no way to tell only the middle third was the actual road, and the only part that was solid...)

geris1 (author)2015-12-01

The "cat people" tip for butter on the paws was interesting...but letting your cat outdoors into a strange new world is not only frightening for the cat, it's just plain stupid for an owner to consider. Say farewell to your furry feline friend before he/she gets hit by a car or eaten by a coyote. Gruesome fate for your poor kitty.

metqa (author)geris12015-12-01

I found this butter paw tip funny and would not rely on it. If my cat has a tendency to bolt, I'm most likely not gonna stop to rub butter on it and then encourage it to bolt anyway hoping the butter stops it. I'm going to get it's harness, put it on the cat, attach the lead to the harness, and then hold the cat back while I open the door and let the cat move forward and the pace I designate and then allow the cat to search and become familar with the boundaries and surroundings in a controlled fashion. Save the butter for when I burn myself in the kitchen when the cat tangles my legs while making tea. LOL ( Joke about butter on burns. BURN!!!)

AnnabellaMarie (author)2015-12-01

Ridiculous and expensive tips. To the debate I add the Butter Bell. Keeps your butter fresh and soft, room temp on your counter top. I own several (for garlic butter etc.) and give them as gifts.

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Bio: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and ... More »
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