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Super-handy household uses for coconut oil

Coconut oil is really popular right now for its beauty benefits, but you can also use it around your home to solve common household problems.

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Alina Bradford
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1 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

De-stick gum

Gum stuck in hair or in the carpet can be a nightmare to remove. Next time, put a dollop of coconut oil on the gum and around the affected area. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. The oil breaks down the gum, and it will be much easier to remove.

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2 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Reseason your cast-iron pans

While just about any oil will work to reseason your cast-iron pans, I like using coconut oil. Since it's a solid, it's easier to wipe onto pans and it has a pleasant scent. Here's a step-by-step guide for reseasoning your pans.

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Banish crayon

When your little Picasso goes rogue and decorates the walls with crayon, dab a little coconut oil on a cotton ball or a cotton swab and use it to wipe down the area. The oil breaks up the wax and removes the marks from the wall, no problem.

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A clean wall

See? Not a trace of the crayon is left. Don't try this trick on wallpaper, though. It may leave a greasy stain.

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5 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Remove rust

If you have a little rust spot on your pan and you don't have time to reseason it, rub the area with a little coconut oil then wipe it clean with a paper towel. The rust will come right off.

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6 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Ink, too

A little coconut oil also removes ink off of various surfaces, such as plastic, vinyl and walls.

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7 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Prevent stains

Before you fill a plastic container with a tomato-based food, rub down the inside of the container with coconut oil. It forms a barrier that prevents stains. Don't use too much, though, or your food will taste like coconut. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel before adding your food.

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8 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Make utensils easier to clean

Before measuring a sticky ingredient like icing, syrup or peanut butter, smear a little coconut oil inside the measuring cup. The ingredient will slide out much easier, leaving you with less to clean up.

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9 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Homemade furniture polish

OK, I didn't think this one would work, but the results are amazing. Mix 1 tablespoon of warm coconut oil with half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix well and buff onto the surface of your wood furniture. If you're worried, try it out in an inconspicuous spot first.

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10 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​After polishing

I know in the first photo it looks like the table may end up a goopy mess, so here's a photo of the finished results. It looks great!

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11 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

​Make your ceiling fans dust-free

The next time you dust your ceiling fans, add a little coconut oil to your dusting rag. A thin layer of oil will prevent static build up that attracts dust. Your blades will stay clean for longer.

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12 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Eradicate labels

If you want to get a price tag off of a new purchase or a label off of a jar or bottle, all you need is a bit of coconut oil. Dab a bit on the sticky offender and let it sit a few minutes. The oil will soften the paper and the adhesive underneath, allowing you to pull it right off.

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Rub away floor scuffs

Black scuffs on floors can be easily buffed away with a mixture of 1 part coconut oil and 1 part baking soda.

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14 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Wipe off paint stains

The baking soda and coconut oil also works great at removing dried paint from linoleum. Here's what the floor looked like before.

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15 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Paint-free linoleum

After a few seconds of scrubbing with the mixture, the paint spot disappeared. You can see the flakes of purple paint on the paper towel.

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