Got coconut oil in your pantry? Believe it or not, it may be the most versatile item in your entire home — and it can help keep you fit and feeling peppy at any age! Often touted as one of nature's most potent and nutritious superfoods, coconut oil offers a high dose of essential fatty acids like medium-chain triglycerides, which help keep your body energized all day long and support an overall healthy metabolism. But in addition to its myriad health and weight-loss benefits, coconut oil can actually be used around the home for everything from caring for your pets to polishing old leather and soothing insect bites. Read on for 22 genius ways that you can use coconut oil to improve all areas of your life. We bet you never knew that coconut oil could...
Make an Overnight Hair Mask
If the summer sun and intense heat has left your strands looking dry, heal them with a DIY coconut oil hair mask. To do a hair mask: Before bed, warm 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil in the palm of your hands, massage into damp hair, and use a comb to distribute the oil throughout your hair and scalp. Cover with a shower cap. In the morning, wash your hair as you normally would. The fatty acids in coconut oil will penetrate your hair cuticles to provide deep hydration, leaving you with flowing, healthy locks.
Restore Shine to a Handbag
While going through your closet, you discovered a beautiful leather bag you haven’t used in years — but it looks a bit dull. To restore its rich, shiny finish, rub a small dollop of coconut oil into the leather, then buff with a soft cloth. (Test on an inconspicuous spot first.) The oil’s lauric acid will break down dirt and stains, while its fatty acids condition and moisturize the dried-out leather.
Healthify Your Baked Goods
The next time you make cookies, cupcakes, or muffins, try using coconut oil instead of butter. (You can swap them in a 1:1 ratio.) Since coconut oil is a saturated fat like butter, your treats will be as moist and rich as usual, but with the added benefits of coconut oil’s slimming medium-chain fatty acids and immunity-boosting lauric acid.
Line the Litter Box for Easier Clean Up
Clumps of litter always get stuck to the bottom of your cat’s litter box, making it nearly impossible to clean. What can help: Next time you replace her litter, use a paper towel to rub coconut oil on the bottom of the litter box before adding litter. The oil, which is safe for animals, will leave the pan’s surface slick, so litter won’t stick to it.