Coconut is really having a bit of a craze lately, but this oil is far from trendy; it’s been around for centuries for cooking, health, and household fixes. Not only does new research confirm that coconut oil is indeed a better fat for cooking, but its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties are coming to light more and more as well.
Here are 101 uses for coconut oil in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garage—and even the first-aid kit.
Beauty uses for coconut oil
1. Dab a cotton ball with coconut oil for a chemical-free eye makeup remover.
2. Mix with sugar for an invigorating body scrub.
4. Mix in bath water for softer skin.
6. Make a hydrating anti-aging face mask.
7. Mix with salt to scrub dry feet [source]. Then slather oil on under socks overnight to deeply moisturize while sleeping.
8. Massage into hands for a soothing cuticle cream. Also thought to help nails grow.
9. Apply to skin to prevent stretch marks.
10. Make a DIY deodorant and then dab on baby powder for an antiperspirant.
11. Massage into hair for a conditioning hair rinse, and leave on overnight for an intense moisturizing hair treatment.
12. Avoid skin stains while dying your hair by rubbing coconut oil around your ears, neck, and hairline.
13. Lather into blonde hair before swimming to reduce the effects of chlorinated pools. It penetrates the hair cuticle and shaft [source] to protect them from chlorine-induced damage and prevents stripping of the natural hair oils.
14. Apply as a regular skin moisturizer that naturally includes a very light SPF protection [source]. Use in conjunction with sun protection creams when in direct sunlight to avoid sunburn.
15. Mix with avocado to make a 10-minute hair mask for treating brittle hair [source].
16. Rub on your legs in the shower for a moisturizing, antibacterial shaving cream.
17. Combine coffee grounds with coconut oil and firmly massage into your thighs and booty to increase circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
18. Rub on hands for a natural moisturizer that’s thought to reduce fine lines and age spots.
19. Fellas with beards can rub it in as a conditioner that nourishes the skin beneath.
20. Dab a thin layer of oil to soothe skin and remove residue from hair removal waxing.
21. Massage into legs to decrease the appearance of varicose veins.
22. Combine a tablespoon of coconut oil, sea salt, and hair gel with a cup of water and shake up in a spray bottle for DIY surfer hair.
23. Mix jojoba oil, coconut oil, and a fragrant essential oil together for a scented, concentrated detangler.
24. Combine with baking soda for an exfoliating facial scrub.
25. Massage into the soft skin in the eyebrows and under the eye area to reduce fine lines.
26. Some people have claimed success in getting skin tags and cherry moles to slide off by rubbing coconut oil on and leaving overnight.
27. Rub it into the dry ends of your hair for a leave-in conditioner that takes down frizz and split ends.
28. Combine with sugar for a simple DIY lip scrub.
29. Combine with honey and Castile soap for a homemade body wash.
30. Make moisturizing no-fail bath bombs.
31. Mix with natural fruit and vegetable powders to create gorgeous lip and cheek stains.
32. Combine with fragrance for a romantic perfumed body oil spray.
Food uses for coconut oil
33. Use coconut oil instead of olive oil and mix with balsamic vinegar and pepper for an instant salad dressing.
34. Grease baking sheets with coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
35. Reap the benefits of coconut oil’s fat-burning abilities [source] by substituting it for butter or shortening in recipes.
36. Add it when sautéing vegetables to caramelize them and create a richer flavor for soups and casseroles [source].
37. Keep a DIY coconut butter on hand for vegan baking.
38. Try using melted coconut oil with a dash of sea salt instead of butter on popcorn, toast, and artichokes.
39. Use refined coconut oil (which has a more neutral taste) as a slightly healthier base for homemade chocolates and peanut butter cups.
40. Since coconut oil can withstand high temperatures, it’s great for pan-frying foods (but not deep-frying, due to its low smoke point) [source]. Just keep an eye that the hotter oil doesn’t burn the food—and you, too.
41. Mix it with egg yolks, apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper for a homemade all-natural mayonnaise.
42. Brush it on seasoned coconut flakes to make coconut bacon.
43. Combine with turmeric and black pepper to make healing roasted vegetable recipes—a healthy way to get your comfort food fix.
Wellness uses for coconut oil
44. If you’re suffering nipple chafe from running, surfing, or breastfeeding, soothe them with a thin layer of coconut oil. (If you have nursing pets, this is safe for animal mamas too—use sparingly ‘cause you don’t want those little ones sliding around and missing the mark!)
45. Slather it on for relief from chickenpox and shingles.
48. A natural, uh, personal lubricant for sexy times. Just don’t mix with latex.
50. Mix with hot water and gargle to soothe a sore throat and relax your pipes before public speaking or that important job interview.
51. Rub into bug bites to relieve the inflammation that causes itching and burning [source].
52. Rub into scalp in the shower to cure dandruff.
53. Makes a great salve for treating and helping to heal minor burns and scrapes [source].
54. Use as a natural diaper cream to ward off bacteria [source], even with cloth diapers.
56. Squeeze a little between your toes to prevent and help clear up athlete’s foot [source].
57. Dab on the inside of nostrils to prevent nosebleeds, particularly on long flights and overnight, to counteract the heater’s dry air.
59. Mix with rosemary essential oil blends to make a breathe-easy aromatherapy roll-on.
60. Add peppermint essential oil for a headache soother.
61. Some people claim that oil pulling can whiten your teeth, but it has been shown to treat gingivitis [source] and help prevent plaque formation [source] when swished around for 20 minutes in your mouth first thing in the morning.
62. Coconut oil makes a non-staining, all-natural massage oil.
63. Some people swear by coconut for reducing the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
64. Dab it on topically to reduce rashes, chickenpox, and shingles.
65. Infuse with ground cayenne pepper and ground ginger for a sore muscle rub.
66. Follow up an apple cider vinegar rinse with a coconut oil scalp massage to treat lice. Let the oil sit for 24 hours and brush through with a fine-tooth comb to beat the nasty little buggers.
67. Spread on a nail brush for an antifungal cuticle-moisturizing scrub.
68. Doubles as a mosquito repellant when used on the skin for short exposure periods [source].
69. There is some evidence that it works as an antifungal oil that fights the organism causing yeast infections [source].
70. Combine with essential oils for a simple mood booster or concentration fix.
71. Burned the roof of your mouth? Coconut oil helps it heal and eases some of the irritation.
72. Mix with oregano oil for a natural antiseptic.
Home uses for coconut oil
73. Season a cast iron pan.
74. Lubricate sticking gates and key slots.
75. Shine a leather couch.
76. Clean food grease off the oven range.
77. Combine with Castile soap for a simple foaming hand soap recipe.
78. Mix with baking soda for natural Goo-Gone to remove labels and stubborn price stickers. Spread on a film of coconut oil and baking soda, leave it for a while, and scrub off. It should take the paper residue with it.
79. Remove gum from hair.
80. Use as a natural shiner and spreading agent for herbal remedies for household plants.
81. Use it to condition wood cutting boards, butcher blocks, and cracking wooden knife handles.
82. To make a stainless steel sink shine, gently rub in a small amount of coconut oil using a soft microfiber towel.
83. Remove ink marks and scuffs from leather, vinyl, and pleather shoes, bags, and furniture.
84. Lubricate guitar strings.
85. Clean engine grime and the tire rims on your car.
86. Rub a little on a dry bike chain to grease it up in a pinch.
87. Mix with lemon juice for a non-toxic furniture polish.
88. Polish your shoes to a shine with a dab of coconut oil.
89. Use it to oil the blades of a lawnmower or hedge trimmer.
90. Combine with equal parts vegetable oil and spray directly on weeds until they wilt and can be pulled up easily.
91. Mix with lemon essential oil and rub along the inside of cabinets to repel cockroaches in food cupboards and silverware drawers.
92. Rub a dab on the joints of home gym equipment to stop squeaking.
93. Remove the damage from a crayon through a clothes dryer. Just dab it on, wait 10 minutes and scrub off the softened crayon spot. This works for chalkboards and car dashboards too.
94. A tiny bit of coconut oil will go a long way on a stubborn zipper.
95. In the winter, a thin coat of coconut oil on an outdoor satellite will help prevent snow from sticking to it.
96. Outsmart squirrels: rub a coat of coconut oil over the poles and wires they use to climb.
97. Dab a little on a rag to cut through soap scum in the shower. Spray the area with white vinegar afterward.
98. Use solid coconut oil and white vinegar to buff scratches in hardwood floors.
99. Clean paint brushes of all types. Use it instead of mineral spirits for artist brushes, and rub into mascara brushes to break up clumps and increase the longevity of your makeup.
100. Melt coconut oil with beeswax and essential oils to make natural bug-repellent candle diffusers. Caution for people with a history of contact allergy or uncontrolled eczema as this may trigger an exacerbation of dermatitis.
101. To help prevent rattan and wicker furniture from cracking, gently rub some warm oil into the furniture periodically with a soft cloth.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.236