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Coconut oil is super versatile - I use it in baking, cooking, on myself and my pets, and even around the house! My absolute favorite thing to make with coconut oil is my beeswax and coconut oil lip balm - works great on dry lips and any dry skin - it's like an all purpose lotion stick. :D

Coconut oil has come to be seen as a miracle food by many bloggers around the web. While I can't claim it does all the things I've read online, I can say that it is delicious and has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

I've discovered loads of fantastic and unusual uses for it through the years. I've also tested out many of the uses for coconut oil I've seen online and compiled my favorite ones here!

Have a favorite unusual use for coconut oil? Let us know in the comments :D

P.S. Sick of coconut oil AMAZING MIRACLE CUREEEESSSS click bait lists? Me too! Eric linked me to a short New Yorker article about coconut oil while I was writing this. I highly recommend it if you're also feeling skeptical and unimpressed. ;)

Step 1: The Different Types of Coconut Oil

There are two major types - refined and unrefined.

Refined coconut oil is often darker in color and less solid. It smells and tastes much less like coconut than the unrefined oil. It's best for cooking - it can handle higher heat, so it's a great oil to use for sautéing, roasting or pan frying. It's also great for recipes that might not play well with a strong coconut flavor! I love Spectrum Naturals refined coconut oil - it has no discernible flavor or sweetness to it, so it's fantastic.

I use refined coconut oil for:

  • pan frying
  • roasting
  • DIY cleaning products

Unrefined coconut oil is normally a very bright white color and quite solid at room temperature. This type of coconut oil is often called "virgin" or "extra virgin". It smells and tastes very strongly of coconut! This is my preferred coconut oil type for all beauty/body/straight up eating it applications because it is less processed. My favorite unrefined coconut oils are Dr. Bronner's Whole Kernel and Ziggy Marley's Coco'Mon - Trader Joe's also has fantastic unrefined coconut oil if you live near one. :D All three of those are perfect when it comes to taste and smell.

I use unrefined coconut oil for:

  • baking
  • bath & body
  • pets

Step 2: Replace Butter With Coconut Oil for Dairy-free Desserts

This is my favorite use for coconut oil - yummy baked goods!

I'm lactose intolerant, which often leaves me feeling like I'm missing out when it comes to rich buttery foods. But coconut oil makes being lactose intolerant a little easier. :D

General tips for subbing coconut oil in for butter:

  • always measure the oil when it's melted - measuring when it's solid is much harder to get right, and 9/10 times you'll be melting it anyway!
  • scale back a little - coconut oil is fattier than butter, so your baking could end up a little more greasy than normal if you use the full amount. Sometimes just removing a tablespoon of coconut oil can make a huge difference! Play around with it and see what works.
  • unrefined coconut oil is always your best bet! It has a stronger coconut flavor as well, so it's best to only use it in recipes that will work with a coconut flavor.

Here are some tried and true recipes to get you started, too:

Step 3: Use It As an After-shower Body Moisturizer

This is perfect for wintertime, or if you live in a dry climate. Coconut oil is amazingly moisturizing and has also been found to offer a small amount of SPF protection - which is an awesome bonus! ( Though as a health educator I have to stress that you should be using a higher grade of SPF on top. :D )

I like to keep a small jar in the bathroom that's only for body use so there's no cross contamination.

Just warm up about a 1/2 teaspoon of it between your palms and rub it onto slightly damp skin right after your shower - it'll go on a little easier than way.

The only caveat - be careful using coconut oil on your face!

While coconut oil is perfect for sensitive skin, I can't 100% recommend using it on your face because it is highly comedogenic. I've used it on my face without any issues, but it can cause serious breakouts. It you have oily skin, it can also cause breakouts on the chest and upper back so be careful and don't go overboard. :)

Step 4: Smooth Split Ends

Coconut oil has been shown to effectively penetrate the hair shaft and help prevent damage.

It can be very heavy, though! I recommend warming up a pea sized amount between your hands and then rubbing it through the ends of your hair. It seems to work best when your hair is nice and dry - if it's wet the coconut oil will have a hard time sinking in.

If you have super fine hair, it might be a good idea to do it as an overnight treatment and wash your hair in the morning - that's what I do. Thicker hair can use coconut oil as a nice leave in conditioner, though!

Also: if you go multiple days between washings and you get frizzy ends, a teensy bit of coconut oil can help calm them down a bit.

Step 5: Soothe Rashes, Bug Bites, Burns and Sunburns

Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and can really help calm upset skin!

I highly recommend putting a tiny container of it in the fridge and using it for any bites or burns you get. You just need to chip off a tiny piece (it'll really harden up in the fridge!) and rub it on the affected area.

Photo by John Tann, via flickr

Step 6: Relieve Constipation and Hemorrhoid Pain

Coconut oil is well known for its laxative effects - but most folks find out about it by accident. ;) If you're fighting with constipation, coconut oil can be a great fix to get things moving again!

Start by ingesting 1 tablespoon in the morning on an empty stomach. You can increase your intake to 2 tablespoons if you don't see a difference in a couple days.

Coconut oil can also be used on both internal and external hemorrhoids to combat inflammation and itchiness. For external hemorrhoids, just apply to the inflamed area. For internal hemorrhoids, you can freeze tiny bits of coconut oil for use as suppositories.

Step 7: Remove Labels With Homemade Goo Gone

You can make a copycat version of Goo Gone at home using baking soda and coconut oil! I like to add sweet orange oil to mine as well. :D

Click here to see the whole homemade Goo Gone instructable!

Step 8: Dog and Cat Uses

Coconut oil has many uses for your pets, too! Our dog Roscoe loves it. I'm pretty sure we could bribe him to take a bath just with coconut oil. :D

  • soothe dry skin - our dog Roscoe suffers from dry, itchy skin. We give him a teeny bit of coconut oil (teaspoon or less!) with his glucosamine pills every day. We also rub the oil directly onto his belly and legs - wherever his skin has a tendency to get upset. Coconut oil really helps him relax and stop fussing once it's soaked in!
  • help defeat hairballs - apply a tiny bit of coconut oil to your cat's paws or feed them up to 1/2 teaspoon daily - they'll lick it off and it should help the hairballs to pass through the digestive system properly instead of coming back up. Try to avoid feeding them too much coconut oil - keep in mind that it is a laxative.
  • help with ear infections - our cat Dee deals with constant ear infections and has since she was little, but applying coconut oil after cleaning her ears seems to keep them cleaner for longer! I first clean them using an ear cleaning solution, and then apply a little melted (but cool!) coconut oil on the inside with a q-tip. My mom gave me this tip - she's also used it successfully to combat infection that stem from ear mites.
  • pupsicles - mix equal amounts of peanut butter (or your favorite nut or seed butter!) and coconut oil and freeze small amounts in an ice cube tray for chilled treats for your dog.
  • help with feeding when appetite is low - I smooth a bit of coconut oil (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) on my hands and then "toss" Roscoe's dog food if he doesn't feel like eating. He's been having issues with pain in his hips, so sometimes it's tricky to get him to finish his bowl, and he needs to eat before he gets his pain meds. This way all the food smells a little like his favorite thing - he'll finish the whole bowl. :D

And some obligatory and adorable photos of my babies are included.

I also have up instructables over growing cat grass and making custom dog beds!

Step 9: Vegan Butter Coffee

Bulletproof and butter coffees have been allllll the rage lately. The boy started putting butter in his coffee and I felt left out, but thankfully coconut is a nice substitute.

Unrefined coconut oil works great in coffee and tea, and so does coconut butter. I recommend doing 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of either. It makes black coffee taste great, and some teas (gunpowder, jasmine, anything green, floral, or chai!) taste lovely with coconut oil added too!

Step 10: Remove Gum From Hair

Peanut butter has long been the go-to, but coconut oil is a nice option for those times you don't have any peanut butter or perhaps someone around has a nut allergy.

Apply it liberally to the area the gum is to gently coat the hair and gum. Try to gently pull the hair away from the gum. It will take a little while but it'll work and might save you from cutting off several inches of hair. :)

Step 11: Make Homemade Magic Shell

Just because you needed another excuse to eat sweets. :D

Check out scoochmaroo's homemade Magic Shell recipe here!

Step 12: Shine Stainless Steel

Coconut oil is a great fix for sad, splotchy stainless steel.

You'll need a microfiber cleaning cloth or a scrap of t-shirt/jersey fabric for this to work the best - paper towels and fuzzy fabrics will leave fibers!

Clean the surface and then apply a teeny amount of coconut oil and rub it on using nice long strokes - buff it out using the cloth and enjoy super shiny stainless steel. It really doesn't take very much at all - it should look glossy but not wet. :D

The only place I don't recommend this is the stovetop - the heat can cause the oil to discolor!

Step 13: Personal Lubricant

Coconut oil has long been known as a fantastic lubricant, but comes with one major warning: NEVER use coconut oil with latex condom. Oils weaken the latex, so the condom will have a higher chance of breaking.

If you're interested in trying coconut oil, it's a good idea to invest in some latex free condoms (polyisoprene or lambskin).

So why is it known as an awesome lubricant? It's not water based, so it won't begin to dry out and get sticky like many lubricants - it' s long lasting! Coconut oil also has anti-fungal properties so it's great for folks that are prone to yeast infections. Last but not least - it tastes and smells about 100% better than standard lubricants.

<p>Hey- great 'ible, thanks for some new ideas. I wanted to share one more with you. Both me and my dog Kanji suffer from arthritis as well and we have been using &quot;golden paste&quot; with some excellent results. It's coconut oil and turmeric. <a href="http://www.turmericlife.com.au/turmeric-recipes-golden-paste/" rel="nofollow">Here is the recipe</a></p><p>Maybe it can help Roscoe out as well. :-)</p>
<p>This sounds fantastic! I'll definitely look in to that. Thank you!! :D</p>
<p>I'll second the use of golden paste. I strongly recommend the use of cold pressed coconut oil for the golden paste though as it's much better for the inside of ones body with its anti inflammatory properties. I use it myself for arthritis and within 24 hours of the first time of taking it I noticed a difference. Four weeks later I feel very different, much better than I did before. </p>
<p>The recipes sound delicious, but unfortunately, coconut oil is not good for your cholesterol. </p>
What can I use coconut shaft for?
<p>I mix with baking soda for toothpaste and deodorant (each in its own container of course!) I add drops of mint oil in the toothpaste and Purification Oil (brand name blend, Young Living Oils) to the deodorant. Commercial deodorant has aluminum nitrates which are unhealthy. This homemade deodorant works BETTER than commercial deodorant also!</p>
Storm_Watcher_69. I'm a Person who Showers at least 3x's a Day &amp; i Still have bad BO i live in a really hot place i went &amp; worked all day it was over 100 outside my friend told me about the Deodorant she had made it out of Coconut oil i tried it &amp; I Couldn't believe it by the end of the Day i didn't smell at all. It worked i have tried so many things just about every deodorant out there I've tried it. But the Coconut oil one actually worked!. Amazed for me to say that is a big deal!!!
Yay isnt it great not to stink anymore! It was 100 degrees here also today. Maybe we're neighbors lol
<p>Great 'ible, but for one little bit... I would never use anything &quot;oil&quot; as a personal lube. This goes x100 for petroleum jellies. They don't wash out, or get washed out.. Bacteria can live under them and you can't easily clean them out.. This can allow bacteria to grow protected by the warmth keeping jelly or oil. This is particularly important if you do &quot;butt stuff&quot; Oils can find their way deeper inside, particularly the Urethra where not only will it hurt if infected, but harder to treat. Be safe out there, use only productes that are designed for &quot;personal use&quot; or at least water based.</p>
I'm using it on surgical scars and it has been working better than anything I have tried before. I usually have to get the scars treated by a dermatologist.<br><br>Also, good doggie treats are coconut oil and brewers yeast mixed and frozen.
<p>I used coconut oil with Epsom salt, sugar, and peppermint oil to make a soothing bath scrub. The magnesium in the Epsom salt can ease muscle strain if allowed to sit on the skin for a few minutes.</p>
<p>Please, can you give me an idea of the proportions you use for that mix? Thanks!</p>
<p>As I recall, about 1/4 cup of coconut oil to 1 cup of sugar or Epsom salt - melt the oil first and then see how much other it will hold. The Epsom salt had a larger crystal structure than the sugar, so you might want to run it through a blender to make it smaller first. Then add enough peppermint oil to give a nice fragrance, maybe 1 teaspoon, and mix in.</p>
<p>Very nice instructable!<br>Learned some more uses for the coconut oil my dad makes.<br>On addition though: It may be wise to add what you mean with 'room temperature'. In the tropics room temperature is 30 degrees Celsius plus......</p>
<p>Great collection of tips. &quot;PUPSICLE&quot; advice: Please remember that some peanut butters are using xylitol instead of sugar (neither necessary!) and dogs can not take it;it will make them ill. Please check to see that this is not an ingredient in your peanut butter. </p>
<p>I've recently noticed an upswing in coconut oil availability and use and it had me wondering. . . Anyone remember the movie popcorn scare that resulted in the death of good popcorn? Just a moments search turned up: <a href="https://www.consumerfreedom.com/2011/03/4397-pulling-the-curtains-on-another-cspi-scare-campaign/" rel="nofollow">https://www.consumerfreedom.com/2011/03/4397-pulli...</a></p><p>Think about all the things that have been banned over the years for 'our health' that eventually become unbanned later with no apology or fanfare. Sweeta (I think) was villianised by the sugar industry and all but disappeared, bacon was a SERIOUS health hazard but the people like their bacon and it stayed. </p><p>Marketing and the dollar vs the people!</p><p>I love coconut and when living in tropics where they grew I climbed the trees to get fresh ones. I don't eat the copra candidates they sell in the USA, sigh. I like them when the juice is slightly carbonized and the meat still soft and jelled.</p>
Coconut oil is best used for drilling in stainless steel. No coolant required.
<p>Make a healthy toothpaste with coconut oil, turmeric, optional oil flavoring like peppermint or fruit flavoring. That's it and it naturally whitens, is an anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory. You can add clove oil if you have gum and tooth pain.</p>
<p>Also great for making, Non-bake, Chex-mix, using Chex cereal only, or oven bake at 250* for 30 min. </p><p>as for spice; try chili powder &amp; Ranch dressing powder....yum </p>
<p>nice list, but these all are very common uses for coconut oil. I expected to hear something more like oil pulling maybe which is not as common or well known. Some use it as a basis for toothpaste by adding scouring agents like salt or baking soda or DE and xylitol. I've used it to quiet a squeaky hinge instead of smelly wd-40. Years later still no squeak. Ive used it as a base for a solid blended balm of beeswax, coconut oil, and magnesium oil that goes on like a lotion without being wet like lotion cause the fluidity comes from the melting oil, not from extra water. Coconut oil is good for the paper craft of making oiled paper. It doesnt yellow or become sticky like vegetable oil, not as goopy as vaseline, and seems to attract less dust than baby oil. To comments: Fractionation CO is fine for mixing essential oils . Adding more bulky fiber to an already constipated colon is the WORSE idea, coconut oil is much safer. Avoid senna, it's a strong purgative- that harms and wakens colon muscles. </p>
<p>My mother is 86 years old. We just assumed she was getting senile when she started having trouble remembering things. Someone suggested coconut oil as a supplement to help with memory, and the effects were remarkable. </p>
<p>I add white sugar to coconut oil to make a drizzily paste, put it in a covered container and leave it by the sink. After washing my hands I take a small amout and rub it over my hands and rinse with warm water then pat dry. THe sugar acts as an exfoiliant and the oil is just enough to make your hands feel wonderful!</p>
<p>SO SMART!</p><p>I have a little jar of coconut oil in the bathroom as a moisturizer, but I never thought to do that. :D</p>
<p>I've heard it's good for seasoning cast iron. I've yet to try, so I can't vouch for the quality.</p><p>Also, while it may be a good laxative, your best and healthiest option for relieving constipation is by eating more fiber. Get a blender, put in green leafy veg, so fruit, some water, turn on and drink it down. You'll get vitamins, nutrients and clean yourself out. This method is great - you'll get more than your daily dose of fruit/veg in one go and it takes little prep work. Plus, you won't add oil, butter, salt, etc like you would if you cooked it - though you should still eat your cooked veg.</p>
I'm shocked that nobody in the comments mentioned &quot;oil pulling&quot; for oral hygiene. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3137807/Would-clean-teeth-coconut-oil-Study-finds-ancient-Indian-technique-really-DOES-benefit-mouth-health.html Thanks for all of the other great ideas!
<p>DailyMail.co.uk articles should be viewed with a healthy dose of mental reserve.<br>Other articles appear to prove &quot;oil pulling&quot; has no benefit.<br>Your mileage may vary, of course. :)</p>
Agreed! I debated adding a link at all. I have had positive experiences with pulling, but didn't think my suggestion would suffice. I should hope people would do their own research before trying something new that involves their teeth! Thanks for pointing out the other side.
Tried this and yes it does work.. i checked this article just to see if that was mentioned actually!
Ticks don't like coconut oil! I love this! I made an essentiL oil bug repellant for both myself and my dog - before I put it on her I put some coconut oil in my hands and rub hands together to melt it, then spray my bug repellant on my hands and wipe her down! It works excellent! - we hike a TON....?
Could you please share the repellent recipe you're using. We have lots of wild ducks in our backyard who are cute as hell but they bring fleas, and regular once-a-month treatments of our elderly dog (frontline and advantix) don't stand up to the expectations. Also, I feel so bad using chemicals on her, natural oils would be so much better. Thank you.
<p>IPA (isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol)is an instant flea killer. In the past I have tried all sorts of flea killers and repelants but nothing was effective. I read about IPA as a flea killer and that worked wonders.</p><p>I used 70% IPA, put it in a spray bottle and sprayed all over the house. I also sprayed my dog (away from his face and I kept an eye on him until the IPA had dried to make sure he did not lick any of the IPA areas) After spraying doggy I left the IPA to dry (about 10 - 15 mins) then washed him. All the fleas were dead and easily washed off (well most washed off, he is a very fluffy long haired dog, so I had to hunt for a few fleas to get them off, though they were all dead from the IPA). I then left it a few days and repeated the process. As there was bound to be some fleas who escaped the first dose of IPA around the house and end up back on doggy. I did this process about 4 - 5 times to make sure I got them all from the house. We have not had fleas since.</p><p>IPA may work on other bugs/pests. It works by drying the bugs outer waxy layer. Without that layer they can not survive, so they just dry up and die.</p><p>IPA will of course also dry your skin and you pets skin, hence why I washed him after each IPA spray. Also the smell is a bit strong so you may wish to spray your pet either outside or in a well ventilated room. Plus you can either spray all over, or you can target spray (only spray when you see a flea and spray it directly on the flea, within seconds, once the IPA starts to dry, the flea will also dry and die, you can then pick it of and put it in the bin or wash it down the drain.)</p><p>IPA id definitely a flea killer but I am unsure of IPAs use as a repelant, though you could always pour some into a flea trap or bowl, and leave them about your house, so any fleas that jump in will die almost instantly.</p>
<p>Checkout this, especially the bit about removing ticks.</p><p><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4177191.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4177191.htm</a></p>
<p>Great video, thanks!</p>
<p>I had chewinggum in my hair once and we used ice and viegar to remove it , so his is a nice smelling way to remove it thanks</p>
Equal parts of coconut oil and cider vinegar applied to the upper arms, leave on 5 minutes, shower. Gets rid of &quot;chicken skin&quot; on your arms!
<p>I don't know whatever happened to a product called &quot; Breck Cream Rinse&quot; It was coconut oil based and was excellent as a after bath rinse to actually prevent tangled hair. My wife used it regularly and her hair reached down to her knees. BTW she is 5'-6&quot; tall. </p>
<p>I've tried it on my face and I had a bad reaction. I can't imagine it would be comfortable for a persona lube.</p>
<p>It probably is contaminated with stuff you are allergic to. It prevents sunburns too. Ask any fisherman in any coastal region of southern Indian states. </p>
<p>Is it possible you are mildly allergic to coconut? I use coconut oil on my face everyday as a shaving lubricant and haven't had any problems, in fact, I haven't had any ingrown whiskers for a couple of years!</p>
<p>Keep in mind that the skin on areas the in question is very different. I and many friends have used coconut oil as a personal lubricant for quite some time and it works wonders. I highly recommend you give it a try.</p>
<p>Coconut oil is very widely used in Southern Indian states as it is available in plenty at very reasonable price. There is only one problem with it though. Food cooked in it, even ones that are supposed to keep for longer periods, go rancid pretty fast. Although it has only saturated fats it is a whole lot healthier than any poly unsaturated fats like corn, sunflower, safflower oil or the like. Does not degrade to carcinogenic even at high temperatures.</p>
<p>I heard that cooking with coconut oil reduces the fat absorbed by the food. I couldn't find that information, but I found this interesting article on the amazing health benefits of coconut oil for heart health and weight loss. Since I read your instructable, it has rekindled my interest. I will let you know if it works. </p><p><a href="http://dietrebel.com/is-coconut-oil-healthy/" rel="nofollow">http://dietrebel.com/is-coconut-oil-healthy/</a></p>
I think the claim is based on coconut oils high flash point. Very hot oil seals the food quickly and as a result no further oil is absorbed by the food. This will not happen unless you make sure that the oil is properly heated before you add the food. <br>An easy way to gage how much oil is absorbed by food during cooking, if you need to count calories, is to measure the oil, either in a measuring jug or by placing the entire deep frying pan on a set of scales, before and after cooking. The difference between these two values is the amount of oil absorbed. Divide this number by the number of servings made and you have established how much oil has been absorbed into each serve.
<p>I used lighting gas for label removal until now. Never thought of coconut oil. Lighting gas works great, only, it smells awfully. Will try coconut oil.</p>
Coconut oil can be used as a wood finnish, especially for items that will come in contact with food like cutting boards and tool handles.
<p>For years my sister has suffered with psoriasis. She has used all kinds of prescriptions that really didnt help. I read about coconut oil and its benefits and I suggested she try it. She is clear now for the first time in years and all she uses now is coconut oil that we buy at Wal-Mart. It has done wonders for her. I use it for rosacea and it helps.</p>
<p>I have a friend with rosacea. How do you use it for that? Thanks for your reply.</p>
Thanx 4 all the tips, my poor old dog suffers terribly with skin fungal infections, dry itchy skin and, ear problems. I have been bathing him every week and yes had cortisone, medicated shampoo, ear drops of every type, he permanently has to wear a cone and smells terrible, as of course do we after touching him etc. spent most of 2day researching coconut oil and, am about to give the dog his first treatment so wish me and little Ben luck, he is 15 or 105 this year! <br>In keeping with my new years resolution to be healthier and lose some weight etc, I shall be doing the human side of our experiment! <br>Along with riding a bike(haven't been on one 4 40yrs...‼ really excited about it all! So....No more on line time to till I put it all into practice..B-) <br>Thanx again love this app! &hearts;➡❇
Tina, I am a vet can help your dog. The dog' s skin has a lipid layer for protection againsr micro organisms and other aggressions. If you wash the dog with soap every week you ate removing this protection. Don' wash your dog any more. You will see that the skin will recover by itself . And don' apply any medication whatsoever on the animal's skin. After 2 months you will be surprised. The dog' skin is more sensitve than baby skin Should you need mor information call rossger at gmail.com .Good luck!<br>
By the way cortisone only temporarily relieves the issue, but, the because it acidic it will just feed the fungus which can only thrive in an acidic environment.

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