10 Uses for Peanut Butter Outside of the Kitchen
The pantry staple is good for more than just making sandwiches.
Think Outside the Jar
If you have a jar of peanut butter in your pantry, you might be surprised to learn that you can use it for a lot more than just making delicious PB&J sandwiches or a scrumptious dip for apples. Just as using peanuts as a cover crop can benefit a vegetable garden, a jar of peanut butter can actually help you with a surprising range of household tasks, including cleaning, maintenance, and other home and personal care-related chores. Ready to go nuts? Read on.
1. Removing Gum From Hair
Peanut butter can be a true lifesaver when it comes to getting gum out of hair. Peanut butter and gum have oils and fats that are hydrophobic, so the gum will stick to the peanut butter more readily than it will to hair. Let the peanut butter sit over the stuck-on gum for a few minutes. It will stiffen the gum and make it easier to get out of the hair.
2. Attracting Birds to Your Garden
If you want to attract blue jays, woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees, and other birds to your garden, peanut butter can help. Many birds enjoy peanut butter, and its high protein content is good for them. Encourage birds to visit your garden by mixing peanut butter with corn meal and filling a hanging log with the mixture.
Alternatively, you could spread some peanut butter over pine cones and leave them around your garden for the birds. Full-fat peanut butter is best for birds because of its higher nutrient content. It’s also a good idea to use organic or natural peanut butter, since they have fewer additives.
3. Cleaning Leather
You won’t often find yourself rubbing food into your upholstery rather than trying to rub it out, but believe it or not, peanut butter can also be used as a leather cleaner. If you notice a stain on your leather-upholstered sofa, apply a little bit of creamy peanut butter to a clean and soft cloth. Rub the cloth over the spot in a circular motion. As the natural oils from the peanut butter come into contact with the spot, they’ll dissolve it. The oils can also improve the sheen of the leather.
4. Lubricating Tools
Part of keeping a well-stocked tool box ready to take on spontaneous DIY projects is making sure that the tools are lubricated. Rather than running out to your local hardware store when you discover you’re out of lubricant, just grab the peanut butter. Its natural oils can help reduce friction and improve the performance and lifespan of your chainsaw, lawn mower blades, and other tools.
5. Catching Mice
If you have mice in your house—but want them out of your house—you can use peanut butter as bait. Mice are attracted to the smell of peanut butter, so spreading a little bit inside a trap can help you eliminate your mouse problem. Peanut butter isn’t just a favorite food of mice, it’s also sticky. This means that mice won’t be able to sneak it out of the trap easily and evade capture, which they might manage with chunks of cheese or other foods as bait.
RELATED: How to Get Rid of Mice for Good
6. Removing Sticker Residue
It can be challenging to peel stickers off from some surfaces. Sometimes, a little of the sticker residue gets left behind. Rather than ruining your nails or giving up in frustration, try using a little peanut butter. Apply a spoonful of peanut butter to the adhesive and leave it to sit for about an hour. The peanut butter will soften the sticky residue, making it easier to remove.
7. Getting Dogs to Take Their Medicine
One of the few instances in which a dog is not man’s best friend is when said dog realizes that their human is trying to medicate them. A trick humans can use to our advantage is to use peanut butter to make the medicine go down. Dogs like the taste of peanut butter, and can’t easily lap up a sticky helping of peanut butter without also ingesting a pill that’s hidden inside.
Two caveats: When using peanut butter to help medicate your dog, choose a creamy variety rather than a chunky one. More important, make sure that the peanut butter you serve your pooch doesn’t contain sugar substitutes such as xylitol, which are toxic to dogs. Instead, stick to a natural nut butter.
8. Fixing Creaky Doors
No WD-40? No problem. That jar of peanut butter in your pantry can act as a substitute for WD-40 and other lubricants to stop doors from squeaking. Rub a little peanut butter over the door’s hinges, and the oils will lubricate it and stop the creaking.
9. Eliminating Fishy Odors
Fish is a delicious and healthy addition to a diet, but that doesn’t mean we want to smell it for days after eating it. As weird as this sounds, adding a little peanut butter to the frying pan after preparing fish will keep your kitchen from smelling like Pike Place Market. Leave the pan over the heat on the stove for a few minutes, and the peanut butter will absorb the fish odor.
If you’re in a pinch and have run out of shaving cream, use peanut butter instead. The natural oils in the butter work to create a barrier to protect your skin against sharp razor blades. What’s more, these natural oils can also leave your skin moisturized, and you might not even feel the need to apply lotion after shaving. Once you rinse the peanut butter off of your skin, there will only be a pleasantly nutty scent left behind.