9 Ways That Flour Is More Useful Than You Thought

Uses For Flour - collage: bag of Gold Medal Flour with a hairbrush and makeup brush in front of it, hand wiping down the front of a refrigerator, spooning flour over half an avocado in a bowl full of flour.

Flour is one of the most useful items in any cook’s arsenal. You already know you can use it to make delicious breads or desserts and thicken creamy sauces, but you might not know there are a surprising number of ways you can use flour outside of the kitchen too.

It might sound strange, but it’s true! See for yourself in this post, where I’ll be sharing 9 of the most surprising uses for flour all around your home. You’ll find some great ways to put expired and less-than-fresh flour to good use, too!

9 Surprising Household Uses For Flour

Surprising Uses For Flour - thin trail of flour on a window sill to repel ants

1. Repel Ants

If you spot ants around the house, sprinkle a line of flour in the area to help keep them at bay. Ants don’t like the taste or powdery feel of flour, so they’ll try to avoid it if they can!

Surprising Uses For Flour- playing cards in a ziplock bag with flour.

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.

After shaking, 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, and after you wipe them clean, your cards will look much better!

Related: These 12 Fun Party Games Are Guaranteed To Make You LOL

Surprising Uses For Flour - mixing flour and honey to fight acne

3. Fight Acne

If you need to zap a zit fast, try making a paste from honey mixed with a bit of flour and dab it onto the blemish. Cover the paste with a bandaid and leave it overnight to give the flour and honey time to work their magic.

In the morning, rinse the area clean. The blemish should be noticeably smaller, thanks to the healing properties of honey and the drying action of the flour!

Surprising Uses For Flour - collage: woman's hand spooning a bit of flour onto a cloth, woman's hand using the flour and cloth to polish a stainless steel refrigerator

4. Shine Stainless Steel

After wiping down 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, then use it to buff your stainless steel until it shines.

Related: The Best Way To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances And More

Surprising Uses For Flour - ingredients for copper cleaner: salt, vinegar, and flour

5. Clean Copper

Did you know you can use flour, salt, and a bit of white vinegar to clean copper items like pots and pans? Just mix up equal parts of flour and salt in a small bowl, then stir in just enough vinegar to form a paste.

Spread the paste onto a brass or copper surface and allow it to sit until the paste dries. Then rinse the paste off with warm water, and voila—clean and shiny copper!

Surprising Uses For Flour- bag of flour with a hairbrush and a makeup brush in front of it for dry shampoo

6. Dry Shampoo

If you find yourself out of your favorite dry shampoo, you can use flour as a substitute to absorb excess oils until you can get to the store! (You’ll want to sift the flour before putting it in your hair because it makes it much easier to apply evenly.)

Apply sifted flour to the roots of your hair using a fluffy makeup brush. Let the flour sit for about 30 minutes, then brush or shake out the excess flour (preferably while standing 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 afterward!

Surprising Uses For Flour - collage: bottle of baby oil next to a bowl of flour with baby oil being poured into it from a cup, hands making cloud dough from baby oil and flour for kids to play with

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 to play with.

To make a batch of cloud dough, combine 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil in a large bowl and mix well. It feels a lot like flour, but you can mold it into whatever shape you like!

Related: How To Play The Flour Game – Silliness Guaranteed!

Surprising Uses For Flour - half an avocado in a dish of flour with more flour being spooned over it

8. Ripen Avocados

If you have an avocado that’s a bit less ripe than you’d like, you can use flour to help speed up the ripening process. Place your avocado in a paper bag, cover it in flour, then leave the bag out on your countertop for 24 hours or so. After the wait, your avocado should be ready to use!

Surprising Uses For Flour - woman's hands using flour and water paste on a paintbrush to glue paper hearts

9. Make Glue

You can use flour and water to make a simple glue substitute if you find yourself in a bind. (Keep in mind that flour-based glue is not very strong and definitely not permanent, but it works fine for arts and crafts projects!)

To make it, just combine equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl, then mix until smooth. (It should be about the same consistency as pancake batter.)

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and set it on your stovetop over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the finished glue to an airtight container before using it.

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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


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