Flour is one of the most useful items in any cook’s arsenal. You can use it to make delicious breads and desserts, and use it to thicken creamy sauces. But did you know there are plenty of non-food related ways you can use flour, too? It’s true! Today I’ll be sharing 9 surprising ways to use flour all around your home. (And if you have a favorite use for flour that isn’t listed in this post, I’d love to hear about it! Simply leave your idea in a comment at the bottom of this post, and your response could be featured in a future blog post!)
9 Surprising Uses For Flour
1. Repel Ants
If you spot ants around the house, sprinkle a line of flour somewhere in the area. Ants don’t like the taste or feel of powdery flour, so they’ll usually avoid it if they can!
Related: 31 Natural Pest Control Methods
2. Clean Playing Cards
If you have a deck of cards that has seen better days, you can use flour to freshen them up! Just toss your cards into a ziplock bag with a handful of flour, and shake well. Then remove the cards from the bag and wipe them off with a clean, dry cloth.
The flour will help to absorb moisture, oily residues, and grime. Once you wipe them clean, your cards will be looking much better!
3. Fight Acne
If you need to zap a zit fast, try applying a paste made from honey and a bit of flour. Cover the paste with a bandaid and let it sit overnight to allow the flour and honey to work their magic.
In the morning, rinse the area clean. The blemish should be noticeably smaller, thanks to the healing action of the honey and the drying action of the flour!
Related: 8 Natural DIY Acne Treatments
4. Shine Stainless Steel
After cleaning your stainless steel appliances, you can use a bit of flour to really make them sparkle! Just sprinkle a bit of flour onto a clean, dry cloth, and use it to buff your stainless steel to a lovely shine.
5. Clean Copper
Did you know you can use flour, salt, and a bit of white vinegar to clean copper? Just add equal parts of flour and salt to a small bowl, along with enough vinegar to form a paste.
Spread the paste onto a brass or copper surface, and allow it to sit out until the paste dries. Then just rinse your item with warm water, and voila – clean and shiny copper!
6. Dry Shampoo
In a pinch, you can use flour to “dry shampoo” your hair and absorb excess oils. But first, you’ll want to grab a sieve and sift that flour. (Sifted flour is easier to apply evenly, and won’t look quite so clumpy!)
Apply the sifted flour to the roots of your hair using a fluffy makeup brush. Let the flour sit for 30 minutes, then brush or shake out any excess flour. (It’s best to do this step in your tub or shower so you don’t make a mess of your bathroom.) The flour will help to absorb oily residue, and your hair will look much fresher afterwards!
7. Cloud Dough
Flour isn’t all practical – it can be fun too! You can use flour and a bit of baby oil to make “cloud dough,” a moldable substance that kids love. Just combine 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil. It feels a lot like flour, but you can mold it into whatever shape you like!
8. Ripen Avocados
If you have an avocado that’s not quite ripe yet, you can use flour to speed up the ripening process. Place your avocado in a paper bag and cover it in flour, then place the bag on your countertop for 24 hours or so. When your wait is over, your avocado should be ready to use!
9. Make Glue
You can use flour and water to make a simple adhesive if you’re in a bind. (Keep in mind that this glue is not very tough and not very permanent, but it’s fine for kids’ arts and crafts projects!)
To make a simple glue, just combine equal parts of flour and water and mix until smooth. (The mixture should be about the same consistency as pancake batter.) Pour the mixture into a saucepan, and place on your stovetop over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool. Store it in an airtight container, and apply it with a craft brush!