13 Amazing Things You Can Do With A Can Of Cooking Spray

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

I’m sure most of you have a can of cooking spray in one of your kitchen cupboards. That handy little spray can makes it quick and easy to grease baking pans and cookie sheets! But when it comes to useful ways to use cooking spray, it turns out that greasing your brownie pan is just the tip of the iceberg!

Related:  9 Unexpected & Useful Things You Can Do With Vegetable Oil

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

Today I’ll be sharing 13 additional ways to put cooking spray to good use, both in the kitchen and beyond! These brilliant tips will save you both time and effort, so much so that you’ll wish you had known them sooner! And if you have a use for cooking spray that isn’t listed here, I would love to hear about it! Drop me a line in the comments on this post, and you and your tip could be featured in a future blog post.

13 Ways To Use Cooking Spray

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

1. Silence Squeaks

Any sort of oil can help silence squeaky hinges, chains, and other metal parts. But not all of those oils come in a handy spray can like cooking spray does! Just spray a little bit of oil onto the squeaky area, then enjoy the silence that follows. :-)

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

2. Remove Bugs

You know those bugs that get splattered on the front of your car? Sometimes they can seem downright impossible to remove! But instead of struggling and potentially damaging the paint, go grab your can of cooking spray! Spray a bit onto the stubborn bug, wait a few seconds, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe the area clean.

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

3. Loosen Locks

Sometimes locks get stiff and hard to turn, but there’s an easy fix for that. Just coat the key to the lock in a bit of cooking spray, then use the key to lock or unlock the door. The cooking spray will transfer to the mechanisms inside the lock, and it will help make things glide a little easier!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

4. Make Popcorn

Instead of buying a special popcorn oil for making homemade popcorn, just use your can of cooking spray! It makes it much easier to achieve an even coating of oil on the kernels, which is one of the keys to perfect popcorn!

Related: 2 Ways To Make Amazing Homemade Popcorn In Your Microwave

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

5. Prevent Stains

I’m sure many of us have a few food storage containers that are now slightly orange due to tomato sauce stains. But here’s a tip that can help you keep it from happening again! Before filling the container, coat the inside with a bit of cooking spray. When you put your leftovers inside, the cooking spray will act as a barrier between the plastic and the food, which should prevent the reaction that stains your containers.

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

6. Go Fish

A light coat of cooking spray on your fishing line can help you cast farther. The oil will keep the line from getting snagged on itself, so there’s less resistance as it unspools.

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

7. Grating Cheese

At one of our recent planning meetings, someone mentioned how hard it is to clean dishes that have cheese on them. So this is a very timely tip! The next time you go to grate cheese, coat the inside and outside with a bit of cooking spray first. The cheese will slide easily, you’ll get fewer clumps, and clean-up will be MUCH easier!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

8. Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow is already hard enough, but it can be downright infuriating if you’re struggling with a stubborn shovel! One way to make it easier is to spray both sides of your snow shovel with cooking spray. The light coating of oil will help your shovel slice through snow and ice, and the snow will slide right off the shovel! Your driveway will be clear in no time.

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

9. Paint Your Nails

After painting your fingernails, give them a quick spray with cooking oil. Not only does it help set the polish and help it dry faster, but it will also moisturize your cuticles!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

10. Clean Soap Scum

Cooking oil can help break down stubborn mineral deposits and soap scum in your tub or shower. (Just make sure to wash the area thoroughly afterwards – you don’t want anyone to slip and fall!) A tiny spritz of cooking spray can also make your faucets and fixtures really shine!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

11. Shape Patties

Your hands are often your best tools in the kitchen, but sometimes it turns into a sticky situation! You can make many hands-on tasks (like shaping burger patties) easier by coating your clean hands with a layer of cooking spray. No more sticking!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

12. Measure Sticky Liquids

Measuring honey, molasses, and maple syrup can be a pain, because once you put them in the measuring cup, they tend to want to stay there. So next time you’re measuring out something sticky, coat the measuring cup with cooking spray first. The sticky liquid will slide right out!

Ways to Use Cooking Spray

13. Slicing & Dicing

How is anyone supposed to dice or mince foods when they won’t come off your knife? The easy answer is to coat your knife with cooking spray first! The food will slide much more easily off your knife, so you can finish faster. (This is especially helpful for sticky stuff like garlic!)

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Will be trying coat my hands tip when I made the dogs meatballs. I buy several pounds of ground beef and break it down for Doogie’s meals. I hope it works great for ease of cleaning the fat from under my mail!

  • I would NOT recommend using cooking spray for anything other than food uses. If you use it on a squeaky door hinge, for instance, it will work for a while but eventually, that spray will congeal because it’s an edible fat, not a non-edible mineral oil. You know how grease splatters in your kitchen harden if you don’t scrub them off right away? Well, that’s what will happen to the cooking spray in your door hinge. It will congeal and harden and then the hinge won’t work properly. You should ONLY use oils such as 3-in-1 for mechanical lubrication because they are designed for that use. Cooking spray is NOT. Sure, it’s a “quick” fix but not a very good one.

  • I use butter flavored cooking spray on air-popped popcorn as a butter substitute. I spray the popcorn in the bowl, salt, and then stir. I repeat till it’s fairly well covered.

  • I would start by addressing you by your name, but iPad has changed it 3 times now
    If I may say, I find that cooking spray leaves a sticky gunky greasy build up when allowed to cook on or dry, including baking pans.

    I think WD40 would be a better use for all these non-food hints.

  • Pouring water or other liquids from a pitcher to fill glasses for a crowd, a spritz of Pam on the lip of the pitcher keeps it from dripping between pours.

  • Our garage door faces NNW. When the really wet, freezing rain/slush storms hit, the bottom seal of the door will stick to the garage floor. We never seem to get the bottom seal of the garage door properly oiled before that first winter storm. A quick spray with PAM on the seal and the door does not freeze to the floor. Depending on the severity of the winter it might need a touch up mid-winter.

  • I came up with the idea to use cooking spray on my snow shovel many years ago. It worked great…. for the first couple scoops. Then the spray was gone, and I would have had to respray about 50 times to finish our sidewalk. Darn. And I second the commenters who advise against using cooking spray on locks, hinges, etc. It will work at first but create problems in the long run.

    Another use for cooking spray that I recently invented for myself was to spray my bowl of popped popcorn before I salt it. The microwave popcorn we buy doesn’t have quite enough salt, and added salt never stuck; it just ended up in the bottom of the bowl. By lightly spraying the popped kernels before adding the salt I made them sticky enough to retain the salt.

  • Using cooking spray on a door lock can cause you heartache in the form of a gunked-up lock. I learned this the hard way and now keep a tube of graphite handy.

  • The problem with using cooking spray on hinges is that vegetable oil deteriorates and gets sticky over time. Do yourself a big favor and go get a small needle-tipped container of silicone lube instead. One tiny drop and your hinges squeak no more.

  • When the sliding glass deck doors start to stick and tough to open, I use Pam spray instead of WD40. Slide it back and forth a few times and it is good. There is no strong smell like the WD40 will leave, and it glides easily.

  • I have a two tier steel mesh slide out organizer under my bathroom sink and it was getting tough to slide out, I used my sprayer, and now it does what it is suppose to do.

  • I bought a Miso sprayer and put in my coconut oil. I use it instead of bought cooking sprays. I know what is in my spray. Coconut oil doesn’t go rancid, and works great on and in everything. It is my go to for cooking and such. Just my humble opinion.

    • The miso sprayer method is better! No propellent, no chemicals, no metal can to recycle. One note though: coconut oil can become contaminated and get moldy, as has happened to me when I buy the xlarge jars at Costco. It should stay sterile in the sprayer though. I have coconut oil, but not a miso sprayer, so I’ll look for one. Thanks.

      All of these tips are absolutely wonderful! My bathroom sink is always grody, so will use it there. Most of these tips can be done with a paper napkin and a swipe of cheap vegetable oil, while others do lend themselves to the spray.

      The comments are a treasure trove, as usual. Thanks Jillee!!! I need all the help I can get. :)

  • If you pour your drinks or water from a pitcher, first spray a dab of cooking oil onto your finger and then wipe the spout of the pitcher. When you pour that first glass of water from the pitcher, it won’t be as apt to dribble.

    • Also I would recommend just using glass instead of plastic for your leftovers, especially liquids. That way you’re not eating the chemicals in the plastic. Great article though and I do plan on making my own spray and using a lot of these tricks that you posted!

    • Great advice and article, thank you! I have heard that they eventually gunk up items because of the chemicals. Now I can use the advice of the article, and use Jilliee’s tips :)
      The article said that they, “bought an oil mister spray bottle. Then, I added my own oil (avocado is best for high heat) and the mister worked beautifully, adding a light spray of oil to my pan.”

  • I use cooking spray when making homemade pizza. Spray a little on your hands to prevent pizza dough sticking to your hands while spreading dough on pizza pan. (works with any kind of dough).

  • I’ve used WD 40 on locks before when doors locks started to get sticky. I’ve use a small amount of oil on a paper towel when we were out of the WD40. Where I live the humidity in hot months can cause the doors to stick. I’ve using the cooking spray for years on my plastic containers. I have a set that will fit just perfectly in my lunch bag for work. It does help a lot to do this with foods containing tomato sauce.The containers have gotten slightly stained when we’ve run out of spray or another family member gets their hands on them.

  • I would caution your readers about using any type of oil on a lock. That little bit of oil on the key will attract dust, dirt, lint from your pocket or purse and deposit it in the lock mechanism. Vegetable oils are particularly troublesome because over time they react with oxygen and polymerize (become thick). The best lubricant for a lock is powdered graphite. Found in the hardware store, this small plastic tube will have a thin tip which will fit in the lock. A single $3 tube will probably last a lifetime.

  • Spray the olive oil flavored spray on lettuce — directly onto the leaves and shake up & down. It will coat them and is far fewer calories than actual olive oil. Do the same directly onto cooked vegetables. Very good substitutes.

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