Coconut oil is a tremendous asset to your health, home, and farm. You can use it for so many things!
Because of its versatility, it’s one of the staples I purchase on a regular basis. In the kitchen, I use it for popping popcorn on the stove, stir-frying chicken, making cookies, and preparing many other recipes.
But coconut oil isn’t just a kitchen staple around here. It’s also my go-to oil for a variety of DIY projects. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, so it’s the perfect ingredient for health and beauty products.
Coconut Oil Basics
If you’ve never used coconut oil before, it’s important to know that it is solid when it’s cold and liquid when it’s warm. If you need to melt solidified coconut oil for a project, you can warm it up slowly on the stove, or give it a quick zap in the microwave. Experiment with your equipment to see what works best.
Make sure you purchase high quality, food-grade coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is unrefined. It still has a subtle coconut flavor and maximum health benefits. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, you can also purchase refined coconut oil that has been expeller pressed.
Coconut oil can leave oil stains on the fabric. If you rub it on your feet before bed, put on socks so you don’t ruin your sheets.
It can also clog your drains if you pour a whole bunch down. If you accidentally get some down there, run hot water to rinse it completely down.
So just be careful with it.
Now, it’s time to learn about a few of the things you can do with coconut oil.
DIY Projects with Only Coconut Oil
Once you have a jar of coconut oil, there’s so much you can do. Let’s start with a quick list of ten simple ideas that use only coconut oil.
- Oil pulling to clean your teeth (swish a tablespoon in your mouth for ten minutes and then spit it out.)
- Grease a squeaky door (add a small amount to the hinges, and then open and shut the door several times. In the morning, wipe off any remaining oil.)
- Deep conditioning hair treatment (apply a generous amount and put your hair in a shower cap. After an hour, shampoo and condition like usual.)
- Whipped body butter (place 2 cups of solid coconut oil in a stand mixer and whip on high for two minutes. Store in an air-tight container and use in place of lotion.)
- Makeup remover (use a small amount to gently rub off your makeup. Remove any excess with a cotton round.)
- Diaper rash cream (rub a small amount on your baby’s bottom after each diaper change.)
- Cuticle softener (use a tiny amount to gently massage your cuticles before pushing them back.)
- Body moisturizer (after showering, rub a small amount directly onto your skin.)
- Remove jar label residue (rub in a small amount and let sit for a few minutes before washing off.)
- Season your cast iron (add a liberal amount and rub it into the bottom of your cast iron pan. Place the oiled pan in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 300 degrees. Allow to cook for thirty minutes. Turn off heat and let your pan cool before taking out.)
When you start adding other ingredients, you can do so many things with this incredible oil. Here are ten more simple DIY projects with coconut oil.
If you’re ready to make your own natural toothpaste, coconut oil makes a great base. Here’s a basic recipe you can mix up and store in a lidded container.
- 6 Tbs. coconut oil
- 6 Tbs. baking soda
- 25 drops essential oil (I like peppermint and orange mixed together!)
- 1 tsp xylitol
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Make sure the baking soda and the coconut oil really get combined. Use a small amount to brush your teeth.
Looking for an easy way to get your fire started? Make homemade fire starters!
- Coconut oil in liquid form
- Cotton balls
Allow the cotton balls to soak up the liquid coconut oil. Store in a jar or Ziploc bag. The oil will drip off if you’re in warm temperatures, so these work best in the winter or on fall camping trips.
Coffee & Coconut Hand Scrub
Want a way to reuse your used coffee grounds?
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup coffee grounds
This one will take a little time. You need to completely dry out your coffee grounds. I recommend spreading them out on a cookie sheet and allowing them to dry for a day or two. Stir occasionally to ensure even drying.
Then, mix the two ingredients well. Store this in a wide mouth jar for easy scooping. When you need some, scoop a little out and scrub your hands well with it before washing like normal.
If you’re trying to use more natural products, this is a great recipe.
- 6 Tbs coconut oil
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 20-25 drops Essential oils of your choice
In a medium bowl, mix baking soda and cornstarch together. Use a fork to blend in the coconut oil. When it’s an even consistency, add essential oils. Store in a small jar and use your finger or a craft stick to apply.
Need a little extra light? Make some candles with just a handful of supplies.
- A jar or old candle container
- 3 cups soy wax chips
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 10-15 drops essential oils
- Hot glue gun
Use a drop of hot glue to secure the wick to the bottom of the jar. Combine your wax chips and coconut oil in a separate quart jar. Place in a pan of water. Heat slowly over medium heat until liquified.
Mix in essential oils. Carefully pour into a jar with wick, leaving about a ½ inch headspace. Allow to cool and harden before burning.
Here’s a simple dog shampoo you can make to keep your pooch clean, naturally.
- 1 cup of ground oatmeal (grind it until it’s the consistency of ground coffee)
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1 tsp. liquid Castile soap
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice
- 4 cups warm water
In a ½ gallon jar, mix the oatmeal and baking soda. Add in the coconut oil, soap, and essential oils. Stir until well combined.
Add the warm water and gently rock the jar to mix it all up.
When it’s time to bathe your pooch, massage the soap into your dog’s skin for a couple of minutes. Then, rinse well with warm water.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment
Take care of your feet with this quick anti-fungal treatment.
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 20 drops tea tree oil
- 10 drops peppermint oil
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub a generous portion onto your feet and put a pair of socks on. Leave overnight.
Store the remaining cream in a jar with a lid.
Need a way to keep kids entertained? Make a batch of playdough! This playdough is soft and lasts well in a Ziploc bag.
- 1 Tbs. coconut oil
- ½ cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp. cream of tater
- Food coloring (optional)
Place coconut oil in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the other ingredients, except for the food coloring.
Stir well and continue stirring until the ingredients form a ball. Remove from heat. Stir in the food coloring. You can either make it all the same color or divide it into different dishes and make a couple of colors.
When it’s cool enough to handle, knead it with your hands to ensure the coloring has distributed evenly.
Homemade Lotion Bars
If you’re looking for a great way to rejuvenate cracked heals or any dry skin, these bars are great.
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 cup of cocoa butter
- 1 cup beeswax
- 20-25 drops essential oils
Add the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax to a quart jar. Place this in a pot of water. Slowly heat, stirring occasionally until everything is melted. This will take some time, about twenty minutes.
When everything in liquid, remove from heat. Slowly stir in essential oils. Then, pour into tins, containers, or silicone molds. Allow it to cool.
I store these in a Ziploc bag in the fridge, so they don’t melt. When you’re ready to use one, just grab it and rub it on your skin.
Simple Cough Syrup
Have a sore throat? This soothing concoction can help. Since it has honey, it’s not appropriate for children under one year of age.
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- ¼ cup hot water
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, allowing the hot water to melt the coconut oil. Drink hot to soothe a cough.
Do you use coconut oil around your home too? What are your favorite uses for it? I’d love for you to chime in below.