Alternative Uses for Vegetable Oil You Never Knew

Alternative Uses for Vegetable Oil You Never Knew

Vegetable oil is not just for cooking. You may be aware of all the wonderful things in the kitchen you can do vegetable oil–from deep frying a Three Musketeers bar to baking a cake–but are you aware of all the other ways in which that bottle of vegetable oil can come in handy?

Car Wash

Adding just a few precious drops of oil to the water you use for washing your car can be of surprising help. Oil and water may not mix, but that doesn’t mean you can stir the bucket. Doing so will lend your cleaning efforts extra power in stripping away dirt that accumulates on the exterior of your vehicle.

Splinter Removal

Soak any body that will fit into a container filled with vegetable oil to assist with removing splinters. The vegetable oil will grease the machinery, so to speak, thus making removal of any splinter easier. The easier the removal of a splinter, the less painful and traumatic it will be. For the kids, I mean. For the kids.

Averting Barbecue Disaster

You’ve got the charcoal bricks all perfectly built into a pyramid and heaping helping of food just waiting to be grilled. What’s that? You just now realized that you ran out of lighter fluid! Put down those car keys and stay off the road; you already have a perfectly good alternative to lighter fluid in your kitchen. Douse the charcoal liberally with vegetable oil and strike a match. Voila! Your barbecue party is ready to go.

Winter Weather Helper

If you live in climates that get cold enough during the winter that your car door actually freeze shut, you can use the power of vegetable oil to make waking up to snow much less irritating. A light massage of the rubber gaskets that help prevent shutting car doors from doing damage to the frame will keep them from freezing shut. The vegetable oil will acts as a lubricant that obstructs the process of cold weather causing car doors to stick. The same principle can also be applied to your snow shovel. A coating of vegetable oil should make shoveling snow easier by reducing the tendency of snow sticking to it and weighing you down.

Egg Yolks Preservation

If for some reason you find yourself with a surplus of egg yolks–for instance, if you only needed the egg whites for cooking purposes–you can keep them fresh and healthy for use for a few more days courtesy of vegetable oil. Place the egg yolks into a bowl and then apply a thin coating of vegetable oil over the top and then place in the refrigerator. You may still be able to use these egg yolks with no serious concern about contamination as long as four days later.

Sticky Locks

A lock that has become difficult to open with your key may be fixed by dipping the key in vegetable oil. Lubricating the key in this way can help with an older lock that has become more unforgiving than it used to be. Keys and locks can get worn down over time and create more friction during insertion. Vegetable oil can give the key a smoother ride into place.


Birds really don’t mind a slick layer of vegetable oil on top of the water in your birdbath. Some may mind it more than others, but no bird is going to find the addition of vegetable oil as distasteful as mosquitoes will. If you find you are having trouble enjoying the yard as a result of mosquitoes, try adding a little vegetable oil to your birdbaths and any other spots containing still water as an effective mosquito repellent.


Whether the problem is getting the zipper closed or pulling the zipper down, vegetable oil can come to the rescue. Use a cotton swab or a balled up piece of paper towel to apply the oil to your zipper, making sure as best you can not to stain the nearby fabric. Slowly work the zipper up and down, applying more oil as deemed necessary.

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