8 Interesting Uses of Coconut Oil

Written by Brandon Garrett

Coconut Oil can be used in a wide variety of areas including cooking, gardening, personal use, and even in engines! It’s a great tool to have in your preparedness aresenal. Since it has so many uses, it can save you money and contribute to your overall natural health.

One of the great things about coconut oil is that it’s slow to oxidize. That means that it’s slower to turn rancid. This is due to the high content of saturated fats contained in it but also makes it very stable at high temperatures for cooking.

Below, we’ve listed some great things that you can do with coconut oil. Take a look and let us know what you think:

PLEASE NOTE: Many organizations including the FDA, World Health Organization, American Dietetic Association, and others have recommended against the consumption of significant amounts of coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fats.

Coconut OilNatural Lotion
Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal. That is great for your skin as a lotion! Rub it on your skin or face to prevent breakouts and keep things healthy and well-moisturized.

Natural Deodorant
Coconut oil can also be used as a natural deodorant. While it’s a little harder to apply than a stick of deodorant, it’s just as effective.

Mix ⅓ cup Baking Soda and ½ cup Arrowroot powder. Next add 5 tbsp unrefined coconut oil and 15 drops of grapefruit oil. Continue to mix and pour into a clean jar. If the mixture seems too oily, add little bits of baking soda and continue to mix until it comes to the desired consistency.

Furniture Wood Polish
Many people even use coconut oil to polish their wood furniture. But overall, coconut oil adds can add moisture and protection to your wood.

Now, before you whip out the rag and oil, test it out on a hidden surface first and make sure that it has the right effect on your wood surface. Different woods are affected differently.

Make-up Remover
Apparently, coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover. Just locate a cotton ball and dab it in the coconut oil. Wipe away makeup on your face and eyes.

Sooth Skin & Treat Infections
If you rub coconut oil on your skin, it can help treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, or other fungal or yeast infections. You can also prevent infections in a burn on your skin.

Natural Sunscreen
It might seem counterintuitive to use oil as a sunscreen but it works! Just apply a thin layer of coconut oil to your skin and you’re set to go.

Homemade Vapor Rub
A self-made vapor rub can save you some money and keep you home instead of running to the store. Simply combine 3 tbsp melted Coconut Oil with 3-5 drops of Tea Tree Oil and 6-10 drops of Rosemary Oil. Mix it all together in a container and apply to the chest and nose carefully.

Baking of Course
Lastly, coconut oil can be used as a baking substitute for butter or oil. Just use it as a 1 to 1 ratio substitute. Many people swear by the great taste it adds as a pan greaser.

How do you use it?
What do you use it for? Comment below to tell us what you’ve used coconut oil for and share your knowledge to help others.

Updated January 4, 2013

56 Comments

  1. Freddie wrote:

    Back in the day, people in India would use coconut oil for lighting. They would export it as cochin oil. I’d be interested to see how well it burns.

    January 4th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
  2. G Smith wrote:

    Recently saw a newly released ebook on Amazon.com called “The Coconut Oil Health and Beauty Book” by M.D. Fry, PhD. It is one of the more simple and complete books on coconut oil uses we’ve seen.

    January 6th, 2013 at 3:36 pm
  3. Wretha wrote:

    In winter, especially if you have a cold house, coconut oil can be too hard to use easily, you can whip it using a mixer, once air is whipped into it, it will be soft and easy to use in winter.

    January 7th, 2013 at 4:17 am
  4. Deborah Hanson wrote:

    I use it on my face and body everyday. Also brush my teeth with it, makes them whiter and smoother.

    It is great for eyelashes also, and any thing that needs healing, it speeds it up, on your feet is to die for, smooth and silky. And you can fry eggs in it, haha.
    I am 60 and people say i look younger, this stuff is wonderful. Hands look youthful and seems to also help lips look youthful.

    January 7th, 2013 at 4:43 am
  5. John wrote:

    In addition to help me tolerate cold better, I have noticed that the arthritis in my hands and fingers is less painful. Most of the time it is gone for hours.

    January 7th, 2013 at 5:18 am
  6. Bryan wrote:

    Coconut is also used to prevent or slow down altzeimers. It dorsnt cure it but your less likely to get it at a younger age or at all of you eat coconut oil with your food

    January 7th, 2013 at 5:47 am
  7. Bryan Kyler wrote:

    Possible Alzheimer’s Prevention http://blogs.cbn.com/healthyliving/archive/2012/09/04/coconut-oil-recipes.aspx

    January 7th, 2013 at 5:51 am
  8. Marlene Lauder wrote:

    Use coconut oil to pop popcorn. It smells like popcorn at the movie theater, and tastes fantastic. And if you pop more than you can eat, just put the leftovers in a plastic bag & seal it. The coconut oil keeps the popcorn tasting just as good as fresh for about a week.

    January 7th, 2013 at 6:15 am
  9. Laura wrote:

    A lady on Youtube used Coconut Oil and Butter Buds to make a Butter substitute. I tried it and it was pretty good. She purchased the Butter Buds from Myspicer.com. I didn’t try it with Butter powder..

    January 7th, 2013 at 6:44 am
  10. Pam wrote:

    I use it to soften my hair. I apply it after washing and rinsing with apple cider vinegar. It’s great!!!!

    January 7th, 2013 at 7:14 am
  11. Brandy wrote:

    We use it for everything! Lol. If your nose is stuffed up put a tablespoon of the cold pressed coconut oil in your mouth and hold it there for as long as possible. I don’t k ow why it works but it does. We also use it after brushing our teeth. We brush and rinse then get a little glob and rub it on our teeth. We have noticed no new cavities in our kids and you wake up with clean teeth. Would love to learn how to make it myself. Great article guys!!!

    January 7th, 2013 at 7:47 am
  12. Diane wrote:

    Oil pulling is a great way to use the anti-viral/microbial properties of coconut oil. Put a tablespoon in your mouth, let it melt and swish in back and forth, pulling it through your teeth for 5 minutes. Spit out the oil, do not swallow when through. You will be amazed how clean your mouth feels.

    January 7th, 2013 at 7:48 am
  13. Rebecca wrote:

    I use coconut oil for so many things. It has a natural SPF factor of 4 (you mentioned the sunscreen protection above, so I thought I would point out the SPF factor so people would know). It also works on sunburns.

    IT is a natural weight loss aid, too. It is filled with medium chain fatty acids, and one of the only foods that contains lauric acid. It boosts your metabolism and really targets stomach fat.

    It also can help Alzheimer’s patients and is considered a brain food.

    Many people still use olive oil to sautee veggies or fry things in. YIKES!! Olive oil does not have a high cooking point, it oxidizes and becomes toxic. Stop doing that,,,, for your health! Use coconut oil instead!!!!

    I use it in place of butter when I make grilled cheese sandwiches. I use it as fry oil when I am frying something. Either that, or my homemade tallow (lard) that is from grassfed beef, that is super healthy with tons of omega 3s.

    I use it on my face every night. It is a main ingredient in my homemade toothpaste. I put it in my smoothies. I also feed a teeny bit to my dogs and cats as a snack/treat.

    I use Nutiva, or Tropical Traditions. I buy it by the gallon and that lasts me about 3-4 months per gallon, depending on how many beauty products I make with it and give out as gifts. I have an amazing recipe for whipped body butter, oh my it is so awesome. I don’t put any of the toxic chemicals in my body anymore via lotion, shampoo, makeup etc. No thanks! (It also works as a great deep conditioning treatment for your hair, a couple times a month).

    January 7th, 2013 at 7:59 am
  14. Sheila A. wrote:

    Rebecca,

    would you care to share your wonderful recipes with us? Especially the toothpaste and deodorant sound awesome. Thanks in advance for anything you are willing to share with us. I know I would be grateful and would love to try some…..

    January 7th, 2013 at 8:14 am
  15. Brenda wrote:

    Rebecca, I would be interested in your recipes for toothpaste & your other ideas on how to use coconut oil. Thanks!

    January 7th, 2013 at 8:22 am
  16. Prepper Daddy wrote:

    Not to mention that it makes the best popcorn ever! I buy the expeller expressed in 5 gallon buckets, melt and store in 1/2 gallon mason jars taht I have heated in the oven. The lids seal and into storage they go.

    January 7th, 2013 at 8:42 am
  17. Gabby wrote:

    I use coconut oil on my feet to clam them at night so I can sleep. My dog loves it too so it’s a fight to keep it on my feet before the socks get on. I also use it as a night lotion on my arms, elbows and hands to keep them very soft without chemicals. I love to bake with it and when I am making any kind of tropical meal (sweet or savory) I use coconut oil.
    Plus a tablespoon a day of coconut oil is showing signs of being able to combat memory loss.

    January 7th, 2013 at 8:43 am
  18. Pam wrote:

    I love using coconut oil. I use it as an eye makeup remover. I put some on my feet after getting out of the shower. I have it in my homemade toothpaste, I’ve made a body cream with it. I give a teaspoon of it to my dog and he loves it! I cook with it, and sometimes, I just take a spoonful of it myself. It tastes great!

    January 7th, 2013 at 11:08 am
  19. Michelle wrote:

    After being diagnosed with brain cancer 1yr 1/2 ago I started using it at the recommendation of a dietician, it helps with my memory. I am amazed at the uses I continue to learn about. God provided us with everything that we truly need in nature.

    January 7th, 2013 at 11:41 am
  20. Mark wrote:

    I use it to make our own toothpaste using this recipe, which is the best if several I’ve tried. I even piped it into travel squeeze tubes so it can be applied just as easily: http://j.mp/XYmmni

    And I’m fixing to make our own deodorant, too. Here’s a recipe that adds bees wax to make it firm and uses old stick deodorant cartridges so it’s just as easy to apply! http://j.mp/MQaBo0

    January 7th, 2013 at 12:52 pm
  21. Kathy Ellenberger wrote:

    It is too expensive to use for some of those things. I just cook with it. New research says it is actually very good for you.

    January 7th, 2013 at 7:50 pm
  22. Jeff wrote:

    I’ve used coconut oil for homemade deodorant by mixing equal parts coconut oil, shea butter and baking soda. That was a little too soft so I added more baking soda until it was siff enough to pack into an old stick deodorant container and use it that way. Worked great! I also made my own shaving oil using 3 tablespoons light olive oil, 1 tablespoon each of castor oil, shea butter and coconut oil. Put them in a small container and warm it using hot water and shake to mix. Once melted and mixed the coconut oil and shea butter will stay liquid. Warm it with hot water before using for a great shave!

    January 7th, 2013 at 8:24 pm
  23. Gayle Pulice wrote:

    Gayle (LMT} wrote:

    I sometime use it for massage, clients love it!

    January 7th, 2013 at 10:32 pm
  24. Cathi wrote:

    I give it to cancer patients as protein nutrition and anti-cancer therapy against parasites, candida etc..sometimes they drop their pain meds after taking coconut oil orally.
    Cathi

    January 10th, 2013 at 1:53 am
  25. Peter wrote:

    I’ve just discovered the delights of coconut popcorn!

    Quick and easy to make and is a healthy snack everyone can enjoy.

    Just add a teaspoon or 2 of coconut oil to a pan of popcorn seeds.

    January 13th, 2013 at 2:20 am
  26. donna wrote:

    Can anyone tell me if you use it in solid form when applying on your skin or do you have to warm it up first? I am trying to use all natural products on my skin and this information is very helpful. Thank you all.

    January 14th, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  27. penelope wrote:

    What does coconut oil do to your cholestrol?

    January 20th, 2013 at 1:55 pm
  28. christine wrote:

    I put solid in my hands then rub together to liquefy, then rub all over myself or now my doggie. Great lip gloss! Helping my skin! But I ate almost 1 full teaspoon and too much. Woke me up queezy, hence too much for my gallbladder. So little is better for me daily.

    January 26th, 2013 at 12:22 am
  29. Barb wrote:

    I am so happy to find this site! I have some from Wal Mart but going to Coscto since they have a great deal on it.. I would love to know how to make the toothpaste and different things with it.

    March 28th, 2013 at 8:10 pm
  30. Margy wrote:

    Someone mentioned that it was really expensive and it is- in the supermarket. Online, we get a pail full of it (16 oz) for $8. We use Bulk Apothecary, but I’m sure there’s lots of other sources.

    April 8th, 2013 at 5:27 am
  31. Joann wrote:

    I would like the recipes that Rebecca was talking about.

    June 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am
  32. Marje wrote:

    I use the organic, extra virgin coconut oil make by Nutiva. I use a tablespoon full in my first cup of coffee every day. This is not scientific, but I am just getting over chemo treatments and have had no nausea and really bad sickness with these treatments and I am convinced coconut oil is the reason. I have had energy when others were just barely able to walk. Everything you have said in these comments and much, much more are available in a book COCONUT OIL by Cynthia Holzapfel and Laura Holzapfel. And it is just not the cosmetic values but health also. You can loose weight by going on a good eating plan.

    July 1st, 2013 at 4:27 pm
  33. "Mountain Mel" - Ret. Surv. Inst. USN wrote:

    THANKS for sharing- great info. !

    July 8th, 2013 at 8:29 pm
  34. Gene wrote:

    In 1965 I lived in the South Pacific for a year in the Gilbert Islands, I drank the juice of a green coconut every morning, and ate the soft pudding like flesh. During the day I ate the ripe or brown coconuts as a snack, at the dinner meal coconut was eaten instead of bread, along with the fish we baked in a pit in the ground, using coconut husks for fuel I watched the islanders grade the coconuts, then squeeze the white juice or mike out then cook it down to make the coconut oil. I used it as a sun screen, skin moisterizer, hair tonic, and I cooked with it. It was the best shape my body was in years. I am now 70 and just getting back to using it.

    July 13th, 2013 at 7:57 am
  35. HHowell wrote:

    I make soap, so I have the “solid” coconut oil, not a liquid. It has to be melted before I can use it. So which type of coconut oil do all these suggestions refer to? I wouldn’t want to start using my solid kind and then find it clogs pores, etc. Thanks!

    July 13th, 2013 at 9:20 am
  36. sheila b wrote:

    I would like more info receipe for using cocnut oil . Due to all the chemicals in prossesed food & in everyday stuff we use on our bodies & in the air. Had one cancer surgery know going on 2nd cancer surgery soon.Not sure yet if theres a third cancer surgery.My chemo has changed & I have’nt started it yet! Need any info to help me out. Thanks!

    July 13th, 2013 at 10:23 am
  37. Charles wrote:

    The list is very interesting. I’m curious where you found the facts to make each statement. Sunscreen that is not loaded with suspect chemicals? And at what SPF? When you produce your articles I would find it very helpful if the source of the facts was sited. There is so much mis-information on the internet, and especially in the area of preparedness. Thanks and keep the articles coming.

    Charles

    July 13th, 2013 at 10:46 am
  38. Penny wrote:

    Charles,

    I’ve personally used it for every purpose thuggery have listed on a daily basis for the past year & have no complaints, only positive resuts! I’m a holistic & natural fan
    vs any and all chemically toxic products so I have switched my family to all natural or homemade products. I know these things are good & true whatthey say because I’ve personally done countless hours of research into holistic & natural ways to take care of everyday needs the clean & safe way myself. This is a lifestyle, not a trend. :)

    I use coconut oil mixed with lavender essential oil as my sunscreen which helps booat SPF of 4 rating up a bit. Remember not to use any cold-pressed citrus essential oils for this purpose as they can cause damage from the sun. Ther are other essential oils said to help with or be good for sunscreen/sunblocking purposes but I think I only had lavender off of that list & I love it with coconut so I used it.

    July 13th, 2013 at 11:12 am
  39. Penny wrote:

    As for makeup remover, I don’t even waste a cotton ball to do it. I just get a tad on my fingers & rub it over my eyelids then grab a wet washcloth to clean it off.
    I have used it as a natural deodorant with beeswax, corn starch & baking soda but have found that since switching over to my homemade all natural deodorant 6 months ago that I no longer sweat to stink point anymore unless I’m outside doing rigorous yard work after which I shower anyways so I don’t mind. But I’ll often use just a tad of plain coconut oil as my deodorant & on low activity days, it on its own works great!
    Chest rub, I add eucalyptus essential oil to that mix as well. Works great. I also use it tons for hair treatments, leave it in overnight with a towel on then wash off in the morning. I’ve used it with baking soda in my hands to make a paste and use that to exfoliate rough areas on my face or knees/feet/elbows then rinse it off & put a clean layer of coconut oil to moisturize & heal. I love cooking with it & also use it in place of butter when making grilled cheese sandwiches. I sub it out for other oils or butter when baking & make my own lip gloss/lip balms using it. Love those! I use a tad as my face lotion with a few essential oils for added benefits & love it. I use it as my all over body lotion & will never go back to commercially processed lotions or beauty products. Thank you Ready Store for this article! I love them all.

    July 13th, 2013 at 11:26 am
  40. CT wrote:

    I use it for nail health for both fingers & toes. It softens & heals rough spots cuticles & increases nail growth & strength.
    Also it gets rid of those little bumps on the back of the arm.

    July 13th, 2013 at 12:20 pm
  41. Bonifide wrote:

    I smoke cigars and I take coconut oil with coconut butter and coat my mouth with it to prevent cancer of the throat and mouth.

    July 13th, 2013 at 12:54 pm
  42. BimBam wrote:

    I am SHOCKED you do not mention it has a hair thickener and “strengthener”. It is AMAZING for that.

    July 13th, 2013 at 12:59 pm
  43. BoomBoom wrote:

    I smoke cigars and use it to prevent throat and mouth cancer. I eat coconut butter with coconut oil and make sure to swirl it around my mouth.

    July 13th, 2013 at 3:22 pm
  44. Mountain Mama wrote:

    I use it for many things as described by lots of people here and agree it is FABULOUS! …I DO Not like it as a deoderant, it is a bit too greasy for me. I have tried tweaking the recipe by adding more baking soda or trying arrowroot instead of cornstarch, it was still too much of an oily feeling. All I am saying is don’t mix a huge batch until you try it to see if you like it and if it works for you. I find that just plain baking soda, with either purified water or even fresh aloe and a drop of essential oil (can be whatever you like, I usually use tea tree, but sometimes I add rose absolute or other sweet smelling fragrance) I get the deoderant effect and no oily residue on me or my clothes.

    July 13th, 2013 at 5:55 pm
  45. skeedaddle wrote:

    We use coconut oil on our granddaughters’ bottoms after a bath and between diaper changes. They have never had any diaper rashes or irritations and it never stains clothes.

    July 13th, 2013 at 8:28 pm
  46. redgypsy wrote:

    to HHowell–I don’t know that it comes in “solid” vs “liquid” forms, it’s just that at cool room temps it is a nice white solid. Warm temps, and it melts to a clear liquid.

    July 14th, 2013 at 12:45 am
  47. Namereid wrote:

    we used it to fry small corn tortillas to make Taco shells the results are a much more flavorful taco.

    July 14th, 2013 at 5:42 am
  48. Molly Gordon wrote:

    These are very interesting. I have two containers of coconut oil I purchased from Costco…didn’t know all these things you could do with it besides cooking. Keep these ideas coming they are very helpful.

    July 14th, 2013 at 11:07 am
  49. Cecelia wrote:

    Coconut is a very hardy and versatile fruit. The fruit itself can remain fresh without any form of preservation. The natural juice (called water) is said to be good for the functioning of the heart and stabilizing high blood pressure. It is also good for re-hydration after loss of excess body fluids and recommended for infants.

    The “milk” derived from grating the flesh and squeezing through a fine sieve can be used for a rich moisturizing warm bath, just rinse off any no body lotion/moisturizer is needed. It also makes a wonderful desert by adding gelatine, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and sugar to taste, place it in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours and wolla! Desert is ready. The milk may be added to soups and cereals instead of other forms of milk. The flavour is wonderful. The milk can be frozen and thawed out when ready to use. There are many tasty snacks made from the flesh of the coconut and they assist in preventing constipation.

    The OIL is the most versatile form of making use of coconut. It is sensitive to high and low temperatures – liquid when the time gets warm or hot and hardens as the time gets cool or cold. If you need it to be creamy or hard, just put it in the refrigerator. If you need it to be liquid, just leave it on the counter, either near the stove, refrigerator – the warmest spot in the kitchen or in the sun The best oil is home-made, made by boiling the grated hard flesh because the flavour is richest there. It should be kept unexposed to light in a dark container to preserve the natural nutrients. The commercial brands, most often, do not package the oil this way. The best form of manufactured coconut oil is cold-pressed/extra-virgin but it is more expensive than regular. It is the best oil for cooking and it does not cling to your stove or cookware as other oils.

    Another benefit of the oil used as a mouthwash (not gargle) is that it improves gum health. I had a small boil under the gum and after one application is was considerable reduced and by the second application is completely disappeared. It pulled out the impure blood. I continued until swishing 1 tbsp for 20 minutes every morning until the swish was no longer discoloured but milky white.

    The husks are also great for growing orchids and keeping around the roots of plants that like a lot of water moist. These are just some of the uses of coconut.

    July 15th, 2013 at 11:27 am
  50. cat wrote:

    A bit furher on Deborah’s comment on use of brushing teeth… I had been a frequent bad cold sore for decades, having at least one a month.
    Since using coconut oil to bush/swish in mouth for over a year, I have NOT had a cold sore!!!
    PS: no greasy feeling in mouth afterwards, just clean and whiter teeth to boot :)

    July 16th, 2013 at 4:24 pm
  51. Misty wrote:

    HOW TO KEEP YOUR COCONUT OIL LIQUID IN THE WINTER

    I have used all the above applications. Right now I give it to my dog and put it on her gums to fight inflammation on her gums.
    But the reason I am responding is to let you know how to keep Coconut Oil liquid during the cold season:
    I went to a thrift store and found a coffee cup warmer, the kind that activates when you put weight on it. When I get up in the morning I place it on my coffee cup warmer (I keep my oil in glass bottles with a spout) and it is ready to use all day long…… Happy Oiling! P.S. Make sure you use only Pure Organic Cold Pressed C.O.

    August 4th, 2013 at 4:43 pm
  52. Joanne wrote:

    solid coconut oil is just coconut oil below a certain temperature. read tropical traditions site they will give you info on coconut oil overly processed coconut oil not as good for you.

    August 11th, 2013 at 8:25 am
  53. Connie wrote:

    I buy unsweetened coconut chips in bulk and simply put that into the Cuisinart for about 20 minutes–and pour it into a glass container. Use a tablespoon of that in my breakfast protein shakes. Likely not a good idea to use it in this form for topical uses such as taking off makeup as it has fiber in it, but I find this to be the best way to get this great, healthy food into my diet first thing every morning! And the most inexpensive.

    March 8th, 2014 at 8:12 am
  54. Kaylynn wrote:

    have been into using coconut oil for about 6 months now…love it. use it to make soap, lip balm, diy vaporizer…oil pull, cook with it. A great source is TropicalTraditions.com

    March 8th, 2014 at 9:08 am
  55. Jem wrote:

    Excellent article, I use coconut water from Trader Joes every morning in my green smoothie, excellent source of potassium, also use the oil (Costco and Nutiva brand) in cooking, very good stuff.

    April 29th, 2014 at 9:50 am
  56. Helena wrote:

    I have diabetes and have to watch my cholesterol among other things. I find the coconut oil to bee soothing and re-hydrating to my body. Diabetics suffer from dehydration and extremely dry skin, the oil helps so much.It gives me hope for a normal life.

    September 16th, 2014 at 6:42 am

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