9 Unexpected & Useful Things You Can Do With Vegetable Oil

uses for vegetable oil

If you’re like me, you always keep a bottle of vegetable oil on hand in the kitchen. You never know when a brownie craving is going to strike, after all, so it just makes good sense to be prepared at all times. ;-)

But vegetable oil isn’t only useful in a brownie-related emergency. In fact, there are plenty of other ways you can put your vegetable oil to good use in the meantime!

To show you just how handy it can really be, I’ll be sharing 9 surprisingly practical uses for vegetable oil with you in today’s blog post. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have 9 new reasons to make sure your own kitchen is never without it!

9 Surprising & Practical Uses For Vegetable Oil

uses for vegetable oil

1. Prevent Stuck Lids

Nothing can kill your progress in the kitchen like having to stop what you’re doing to wrestle with a jar whose lid just won’t budge. But there’s a simple trick you can use to prevent jar lids from getting stuck in the first place!

The next time you have a jar open, take a moment to apply a bit of vegetable oil around the outside rim. The layer of oil will prevent any sticky stuff from “sealing” the lid to the jar, making it much easier to open in the future!

uses for vegetable oil

2. Measuring Cup Hack

Similarly, you can also use vegetable oil to “lubricate” your measuring cups before using them to measure thick or sticky substances. Use your fingers or a towel to apply a thin layer of oil to the inside of the cup before measuring out honey, jam, syrups, and other sticky stuff.

When you’re ready to add whatever you measured to your recipe, the oil will help it slide out of the cup with ease!

uses for vegetable oil

3. Remove Paint From Hands

I don’t think I’ve ever managed to get through a painting project without getting paint on my hands. But I don’t sweat it anymore, because vegetable oil makes it easy to remove paint without scouring or scrubbing your hands to death!

Just pour a bit of vegetable oil into your hands, rub it in, and let it soak in for about 10 minutes. Then wash your hands as usual, and the paint will slide right off! (And an added bonus, your hands will feel softer and smoother too.)

uses for vegetable oil

4. Silence Squeaky Hinges

When squeaky hardware or tools are driving you crazy, grab your bottle of vegetable oil. Dab a small amount of oil onto the area where the squeak is happening, then move whatever is squeaking back and forth to help work the oil in.

The oil will help lubricate the metal parts, silencing the squeak and restoring peace and quiet!

uses for vegetable oil

5. Protect Wicker Furniture

While maintaining wicker furniture isn’t quite the same as it is for wood furniture, both materials are subject to drying out and cracking if they aren’t kept moisturized. One easy way to hydrate and protect your wicker furniture is by using a little vegetable oil.

Just pour a small amount of oil onto a clean cloth (a little goes a long way here), then rub it over the furniture and allow it to soak in for several hours. Buff the furniture with another clean cloth before using.

uses for vegetable oil

6. Remove A Splinter

While splinters are never fun, they’re even worse when they’re buried just deep enough that you can’t pull them out with tweezers! The next time you’re struggling with a tricky splinter, apply some vegetable oil to the area with a cotton ball and let it soak in for several minutes.

Your skin will absorb the oil and soften up, making it much easier for you to ease the splinter out.

uses for vegetable oil

7. Dissolve Sticker Residue

Want an easy way to remove the leftover adhesive residue after unsuccessfully tearing off a sticker or label? Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil over the remaining residue, then allow the container to sit undisturbed for an hour or so.

The oil will loosen the adhesive and help break down any remaining paper. When you come back to it, that stubborn sticker adhesive will slide right off.

uses for vegetable oil

8. Care For Cast Iron

Oiling your cast iron pans regularly will help maintain a “seasoned” layer that prevents your food from sticking to it. Vegetable oil makes a great candidate for the task because it’s inexpensive and doesn’t have a strong taste or odor.

For much more detail on maintaining cast iron, read my full blog post on the topic here.

uses for vegetable oil

9. Soften Dry Skin

Soften and moisturize dry feet overnight by rubbing on some vegetable oil and then pulling on a pair of clean socks before bed. While you sleep, the oil will moisturize and soften the dry skin, and you’ll see marked improvement in the morning!

You can also use vegetable oil to soften dry skin elsewhere, like your knees, elbows, and ankles!

Do you have any favorite uses for vegetable oil?

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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


Bright Ideas

  • Mineral or vegetable oil will also work for loosening the glue in glue traps. It works amazingly fast to free something you didn’t want to trap, like your dog or cat or to free a mouse outside far away from your home. Just make sure you pour oil on all the sticky parts of the trap, not just the area near the critter to make sure it doesn’t get restuck.

  • I haven’t tried the Veggie (etc oil) to keep food jar tops from sticking, but thank you I can use that for my Garlic oil jar and my Lingonberry jelly (or whatever its called)…
    But I have been doing this with a couple beauty items…..

    I do my own waxing mostly eyebrows (but sometimes I’ll be brave and try my legs or underarms) …

    By the time I finished the last container of it, it was hard to get the top off, there was dried wax on the tiny handle, and along the sides along with a little tissue I had wrapped around it to keep getting my fingers sticky.

    So I started using some of my baby oil around the outside and inside rim as well as letting it drip down the inside a bit so that it doesn’t build up, and if some gets on the rim i can just get it off eaily with a tissue and my nails.

    1st off Its hurts less than when the salons do it. Because you don’t know when they are going to rip it off

    2. You need to time your breathing for when it will be ripped as if you inhale as they do it, it doesn’t hurt as much as when you try to breathe normally or breathe out (and you can’t scream that way)

    3 It costs a HECK of a LOT less. For the price of getting it done once (or twice depending how much they charge where you go) You can buy your own Wax…I suggest the GIGI brand, All Purpose Honee. Yes you will need sticks (I usually recycle my icecream sticks and just clean them off and soak them a bit in alcohol. me of the wooden stirrers from Starbucks for shaping then just need to find stiff waxing strips. (those hurt much less than when you find the soft kind (which is what i had before… its like using a cotton ball) Firm strips are best to use.

  • another wqy you can use veg oil is on your wood spoons and utensil handles.the wood part.
    I just put some on my wood spoons and other handles, then put it in a gal ziploc and let it sit overnight. Good as new in the morning! It’s the same consept that you have to oil (not with veg oil) your wood furnature once a month.

  • I’ve actually used it for when our doors are hard to open. It can be humid where I live . The humidity can make doors stick . This really helps. I just put some oil on the door frame and hinges when our doors start sticking. I’ve also used cooking spray or WD40 to lubricate it.

  • I remember the first time I used a thin wipe of oil in a measuring cup I was measuring Molasses in. Was simply amazed how the molasses just slid right out without leaving any residue.

    Now I use oil when measuring honey as well.

  • I make a lot of my own products at home, and to keep from having to buy bottles, honey jars, etc., I always rescue those I have received with other products. I discovered this trick for taking labels and residue off several years ago, and it works so well. Thank you for the other suggestions too. I had never tried it to remove paint, but I will in the future! Thanks Jillee

  • The tips are excellent uses for ‘Vegetable’ oil. It doesn’t surprise me that it has a multiplicity of household uses….given that this stuff is basically re-marketed lamp oil. It has never been anywhere near a vegetable ….that is just marketing…but is chemically extracted in a plant that is actually an oil-refinery. It is terrible for your digestion, is highly inflammatory, and is in great part responsible for the surge of chronic illness ever since we foolishly started eating it instead of burning it.
    So….great tips. But find something else to put in your brownies. Try butter instead. Or avocado oil. Much much healthier.

    • In the UK at least, the source of the oil is listed as ingredient. Even cheap veg oil is actually rapeseed, which costs pounds more to buy by name. It’s produced in the uk, from … pressed rapeseed!

    • What brand(s) of vegetable oil is made from non-vegetable sources? In Canada where I live, all oils have vegetables or grains listed as the main ingredient.

      • They are actually seed oils, and oil is extracted and then bleached and put through about 17 different processes.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. It might be made from, usually, a grain but the process destroys it and leaves it rancid and highly inflammatory. Pressed rapeseed is probably a good alternative but most of what is on the shelves is best left there.

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