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Repurposing Ideas: 5 New Uses For Vegetable Oil

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We all know that vegetable oil is an incredibly useful tool in the kitchen. Did you know that there are countless household uses for vegetable oil? Here are some of our favorite uses for the neutral oil that don't involve cooking. As always, please share your favorite uses in our comments section.

Cottonseed oil, a type of vegetable oil. Flickr photo by Cottonseed Oil

KEY LOCK HELPER
Does the lock on your front door never want to give up your house key? Try wiping your key down with some vegetable oil. It acts as a lubricant, helping the key to get into the lock more freely.

HAIR MOISTURIZER
You can use vegetable oil as a deep conditioning treatment. Just take about half a cup of oil and warm it at 50% power in the microwave until it's just above room temperature. Massage the vegetable oil into your hair, shampoo and then rinse.

CAR CLEANER
Whether you are trying to get rid of the brake dust that accumulates on your tires and hub caps, or the bugs, dirt or pollen that always stick to your car's grill and wind shield, skip the special auto cleaners and use vegetable oil instead. Pour a tiny bit onto a paper towel or a rag, and wipe down these surfaces. The vegetable oil helps wipe the gunk away while creating a car-safe coating that future debris won't stick to.

NON-STICK SHOVELS
With all the spring/summer gardening and yard work, you can use vegetable oil to coat your shovels and trowels. This helps prevent dirt from clumping on your tools. You can also do this trick to your lawnmower blades so grass doesn't stick to them. If you are in a pinch, you can also coat the "working parts" of your hand tools with vegetable cooking spray.

SEASON YOUR POTS AND PANS
This might not be the most groundbreaking of tips, but you can use vegetable oil to season a new skillet. A light coating of vegetable oil helps protect the pan. Although there are very many different ways to season it, this is my preferred: After washing the pan for the first time, rub a little bit of vegetable oil over the surface of the pan and the sides. You don't have to worry about the bottom.

Want more clever uses for the everyday items in your home? Check out the previous installments of "5 New Uses For..." in the slideshow below.

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