50+ Everyday Uses for Coconut Oil
There are few things that are more talked about right now than coconut oil. It seems as though every time I open a magazine or browse my timeline on Facebook, I am reading about it. I first started using Coconut oil when I decided to try a Paleo Diet. For many who follow this regime, it is the #1 used oil for cooking. But this healthy oil is not just used as a great cooking oil source. There are so many other uses for coconut oil that you not have thought of.
Types of Coconut oil.
Not all coconut oil is the same though. There are many terms used to describe it. I will touch just a bit on the varieties (that info is enough for a whole article on its own!)
- Organic Coconut oil – like other organic products it identifies special growing conditions. In this case, means that the coconuts used for making the oil were grown without the use of pesticides.
- Refined and Unrefined Coconut oil – refined coconut oil has been more processed than non refined. Refining also makes the oil lose some of the coconut flavor and also has a higher smoke point. (great for recipes that need a high cooking temperature!)
- Virgin and Extra Virgin Coconut oil – this is a case of “it doesn’t really matter.” Unlike olive oil, either is fine and there is no big difference between them.
- Cold pressed Coconut oil. – This oil is made from coconut flakes dried at a low temperature and it has a stronger coconut flavor. It is considered a “raw” product which retains many of the original nutrients.
- Centrifuge Expressed Coconut oil – considered raw coconut oil. It is made from freshly pressed coconut milk, which has been chilled and then separated by centrifugal force. Has a strong coconut flavor.
- Expeller Pressed Coconut oil – no chemical processes were used in making this oil. Does not have a strong coconut taste and has a high smoke point. Great oil to use for cooking.
- Hydrogenated Coconut oil – sounds nasty and it is. This is one to stay away from if you want an edible oil. The small portion of unsaturated fatty acids are hydrogenated, creating some trans fats.It stays solid at higher temperatures.
- Fractionated Coconut oil – as the name would suggest, this oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, which makes it a very saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very, very long shelf life and greatly increased stability. Fractionated coconut oil is used for aromatherapy, beauty and other uses rather than cooking. (affiliate link)
And on, and on. So what is a person to do? Basically, like everything else, just read about the different varieties and see what will work for the use for which you need it. Some are used more in the cooking arena and others used in other ways in the home.
I’ve divided my list into areas of the home so that it makes it easier for you to jump to the section that you would like to read about.
Uses for Coconut oil.
In the Kitchen.
1. For cooking at high heats. You can’t beat coconut oil for cooking at a high heat temperature. It will not smoke or burn like butter and other oils do.
2. For popcorn. I recently purchased some Franklin’s popcorn on Amazon and loved the taste of it. The oil that is used with it is coconut oil. After eating this, I am a convert. It makes the BEST popcorn. (affiliate link)
3. As a substitute for butter. Coconut oil is much healthier for you than butter and can be substituted 1:1 in any recipes. Use it on toast, for baking, for frying or in other recipes that call for butter.
4. In your coffee. Instead of high calorie creamer and sugar in your coffee, add a bit of coconut oil. It will add a sweet (but not “too sweet”) taste, and healthier touch that cream and refined sugar.
5. For Cast iron pans. Use coconut oil to season cast iron pans before using them for the first time.
6. For baking pans. Use coconut oil before adding ingredients to baking pans so that they baked goods will release well. Much healthier than butter.
7. For cutting boards. Wooden cutting boards need treating from time to time with oil. Wipe and dry your cutting board, then use a soft cloth to rub in some coconut oil, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Buff the board with a fresh soft cloth. In the Bathroom.
1. After cooking, my top use of coconut oil is for my skin. I suffer from eczema and using fractionated coconut oil as a hand moisturizer does wonders for my finger tips. It is not greasy the way normal coconut oil is and the moisturizing effect of it lasts a long, long time compared to normal hand moisturizers. (affiliate link)
2. To soothe dry lips. Use Coconut oil as a modified lip balm. It will soothe dry lips and protect them in harsh weather.
3. As a hair conditioner. Use fractionated coconut oil or normal coconut oil as a conditioner. It can be used all over the head or just on the ends. It leaves them soft and shiny. Similar to an olive oil hair treatment!
4. As a face or body scrub. Use liquid coconut oil, or cooled and melted solid coconut oil mixed with sugar as an exfoliating face or body scrub.
5. For cuticles. Rub on coconut oil to help with rough or inflamed cuticles to help them heal and soothe them.
6. As a bath oil. Add coconut oil to your bath water to help to soften your skin.
7. For your eyes. Use coconut oil under your eyes to relieve dark circles and puffiness.
8. On your elbows. Nothing works quite like coconut oil on rough and dry elbows. Try it!
9. Cracked heels. Don’t stop at the elbows. Use the coconut oil on your cracked dry feet for relief too.
10. For Acne. It seems counter intuitive to use oil to fight oil, but it does seem to help my skin. I have many more outbreaks of acne when I do NOT moisturize regularly. Use coconut oil for this.
11. After shaving. Whether is it whisker burn or irritation from shaved legs, coconut oil will help to soothe it.
For your Heath.
1. To raise your HDL. For optimum health, you want to try and raise your HDL cholesterol level. Heart healthy oils, such as coconut oils, instead of saturated fats like butter, will help with this.
2. Insect bites. Got mosquito or fly bites? Rub on coconut oil to soothe them.
3. For your nose. Got a cold that has resulted in a sore nose from blowing it with tissues? Rub on some coconut oil for relief.
4. For minor wounds. Because of its antibacterial and anti fungal properties coconut oil is ideal for use on minor scrapes and scratches.
5. For arthritis. Coconut oil has slight anti inflammatory properties. Rub it on sore joints a few times a day and massage in to relieve minor arthritic pain.
6. For constipation. Coconut oil acts as a natural laxative. Use unrefined coconut oil for this purpose, since it will still have some fiber. Amount can vary from 2 tsp to 2 tbsp. Your body will tell you which!
For your Pets.
1. Does your dog or cat suffer from dry, scaly skin? Add coconut oil to his care routine. Coconut oil can help to nourish their dry inflamed skin. It won’t treat allergies, but will be a great help for normal dry skin that bothers them from time to time.
2. Use coconut oil to help your dog or cat if they have a lot of flea bites.
3. Summer day treats. Mix some peanut butter and coconut oil and freeze it in a silicone ice cube tray. After frozen, take out and feed it to your dog as a special treat on hot summer days.
4. Dogs ears. Add coconut oil to help clean your dogs ears and leave them soft after. Just rub out the dirt with a cotton ball and add the coconut oil after and rub again.
5. For cracked pads. Dogs get sore feet just like we do when they are dry. Rub on some coconut oil to make Fido’s feet feel soft and help to heal them.
6. As a coat tail conditioner. Dogs hair gets matted and tangled just like ours does. Use coconut oil to remove tangles from a dogs tail and coat.
7. DIY dog shampoo. Combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap, a cup of vinegar, and four cups of hot water. Perfect for a dog with sensitive skin!
8. For hairballs. Adding coconut oil to your cat’s diet in small amounts can help to lessen hair balls.
Around the house.
1. On furniture. Use coconut oil as a substitute for furniture polish. It will sink into the wood grain and keep it “healthy looking” longer. A nice way to keep furniture looking its best.
2. For leather furniture. Use pure coconut oil as a cream for leather furniture. Remove the dust first and then rub in a small amount and buff to get a nice shine for the leather.
3. As a metal polish. Rub some coconut oil on metal and leave for a few minutes and buff with a soft cloth for a lovely shine.
4. Unstick a zipper. Got a stuck zipper? Put on some coconut oil to make it slide more easily.
5. For house plants. Coconut oil added to leaves of large plants makes them really shine.
6. Rust remover. Use coconut oil on rusty tools and leave it for a while. The rust should wipe right off. (This makes perfect sense to me, since gardeners recommend storing winter tools with oil on the edges to prevent rust.)
7. To remove label residue. Add baking soda and coconut oil to sticker remnants. The residue will come off more easily.
8. In the closets. Hangers stick on your rods? Grease them with a bit of coconut oil and the hangers will move much more easily.
9. For stuck Gum. Coconut is one of the best things to loosen stuck on gum in hair or on carpets.
10. As a fire start. Soak cotton balls in coconut oil and use them as fire starters. They work great!
In the bedroom.
1. As a massage oil. Nothing beats the feel of liquid coconut oil when used as a massage oil. The benefits of massage are great but massage oils are very expensive. Use coconut oil instead.
2. For aromatherapy. Feeling stressed? Add your favorite blend of essential oils to some coconut oil to dab on your temples and the back of your neck. Have a rest and you will feel more more relaxed after.
3. As a personal lubricant. Coconut oil makes a great personal lubricant. (don’t use it with condoms, though, it can cause latex to break down.)
1. As a diaper cream. If you have a baby with diaper rash, look no further than pure coconut oil.
2. For breastfeeding. If your nipples are cracked or sore, rub in coconut oil to soothe them.
3. For Morning Sickness. Reports show that having coconut oil during pregnancy helps greatly with bouts of morning sickness. (Wish I had known this when I was pregnant!)
4. For bath time. Add coconut oil to your baby’s bath to soothe and moisturize his skin.
5. Frizzy hair relief. Tame frizzy hair in babies with just a bit of coconut oil.
6. Easy diaper changes. Rub coconut oil on baby’s bottom when it is clean. This will make clean ups much easier.
7. Nursing mothers. Many nursing mothers say that consuming coconut oil in small amounts helps with both the flow and quantity of milk.
Where to buy Coconut oil.
You can buy coconut oil in health food shops, in the organic section of the grocery store and also in the cooking aisle of most grocery stores. Many places also sell it online. Amazon is one of them: (affiliate links)
Note: I received a bottle of fractionated Coconut oil for free, in exchange for mentioning it in this article. I only review products that I feel are beneficial to my readers. I recommend this product highly (especially for skin problems. I have had great relief from using this on my cracked skin.)
These are some of my ideas for the most common uses for coconut oil, but I am sure that there are 100s of others. What have you found coconut oil useful for around your home? Please leave your suggestions below in the comments.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."