There’s a reason why the coconut tree has earned the moniker “tree of life” in different cultures and languages, and that is because the tree is downright useful. Humans have utilized every part of the tree, from its leaves, which are still used as roofing material in some traditional houses in the tropics, to its roots, which is used as a source of dye. Its fruit is the source of edible coconut products like coconut water and coconut cream, which is used in various traditional dishes around the world. But perhaps, the most ubiquitous coconut product is the coconut oil.
Just like coconut cream and milk, coconut oil has earned its place in the kitchen. It is not only used as an ingredient in traditional dishes; it is also a component of various diets, including the currently popular ketogenic or keto diet. However, the uses of coconut oil is not limited to food stuff. Just like the coconut tree as a whole, coconut oil has a variety of uses in the home, not just in the kitchen. Here are just some of the non-edible applications of the humble coconut oil from Philippine-based suppliers:
1. Skin moisturizer – Coconut oil is slowly but surely making its way into various beauty products, particularly lotions and moisturizers for the body. It serves as a natural skin softener and moisturizer, plus it leaves the skin with a cookie-like scent. Aside from that, coconut oil also works as a hair conditioner due to its moisturizing qualities and because it penetrates hair better than most oils.
2. Furniture polish – Coconut oil can also revitalize the appearance of old, scratched up furniture. Use it to polish wooden furniture, or pair it with lemon juice and baking soda if you need to clean the furniture in question. In addition, coconut oil can be used to polish steel appliances like ovens and dishwashers. Clean the surface with vinegar beforehand, then spray the oil and wipe with a soft cloth.
3. Bath cleaner – Cleaning the shower area can be a chore, but it can be an easier chore by using a paste made of coconut oil and baking soda. Wipe the paste over scum and mildew, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and wipe off. That simple.
4. Solution to squeaky hinges – Squeaky hinges can be quite an annoyance, but you can easily get rid of it by dabbing a bit of coconut oil over the hinge.
5. Leather restorer – Despite the processes leather has undergone, it’s still prone to drying. To preserve its look, rub a bit of coconut oil on it, let sit for a few minutes, and wipe off the excess oil. Do this for shoes, belts, bags, and other leather articles to make them shine.
6. Cutting board preserver – Cutting boards also need a bit of maintenance to prolong their usefulness. After disinfecting the board using lemon juice or vinegar, wipe a bit of coconut oil over the surface and leave it overnight.
7. Mouthwash – Coconut oil and baking soda are a potent pair when it comes to cleaning things up. You can make a mouthwash out of these two, with a bit of peppermint oil for added flavor. Another practice, called oil pulling, involves swirling coconut oil inside the mouth for about 20 minutes, which helps reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth.
8. Gum remover – Got gum in your hair or clothes? Rub coconut on the spot to remove that sticky mess. The same can be done for jar stickers or sticky tapes that have come in contact with fabrics.
Think of these applications the next time you go shopping for coconut oil. Try using it as a cleaning supply next time and see if it will make the job easier for you.