10 Ways to Use Up Expired Cooking Oil

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Written by Bernie Carr

It’s a good idea to include cooking oil in your food storage but there is always a possibility you’re not able to use your stored oils before their expiration dates.

I had a bottle of coconut oil that was two years past expiration. When I inspected the contents, I noticed the bottom of the bottle had some discoloration. Coconut oil normally looks white, but the bottom of the bottle had an orange tint to it. I knew it was no longer good to consume. I didn’t really want to throw it away, so I looked into other ways I could use it.

Let’s look at ways to use up expired cooking oil.

Is it no longer edible?

A lot of product reach their expiration date, but are still good. Many expiration dates are just a suggested date, or may be a “Best by” date, where the quality may start to lessen but are still fine to use. This article from a food safety researcher shares some interesting facts of expiration dates.

The bottle of coconut oil I had was no longer safe for cooking, as I saw it was discolored and the odor was “off.”

Household uses for expired cooking oil

Emergency light

Make a salt emergency lamp using that expired cooking oil.

Furniture polish

You can use cooking oil as a furniture polish and conditioner. Just rub a small amount into the wood with a soft cloth.

Hinge lubricant

Got a squeaky door or cabinet? Rub a bit of cooking oil on the noisy hinge and allow it to permeate. Wipe any excess with a rag or paper towel. Test the door by moving it back and forth. The squeak should be gone.

Lock lubricant

Do you have a key that always sticks when you use it on the lock? Rub a bit of cooking oil on the key and it will stock sticking.

Hand moisturizer

Got dry hands? You can rub cooking oil to soften it. Dab any excess with a cloth or paper towel to avoid getting oil on your clothes.

Hair treatment

I once got an oil treatment at a beauty salon. All they did was rub warm oil on my scalp with a cotton ball. They then wrapped my head with a plastic shower cap and a towel to let the oil get absorbed for about 15 minutes, followed by a shampoo and conditioner before rinsing thoroughly. I figure the same treatment can be done at home using olive oil or coconut oil.

Rust protection

Protect your gardening tools from rust by coating with expired cooking oil.

Protect leather

Leather can dry up and crack if it’s not conditioned. You can use cooking oil to condition leather.

Remove paint from your skin

Use cooking oil to remove paint from your skin. Just rub and leave for around five minutes. Wipe the oil off and wash the area. The paint will come off.

Plant pest control

Mix 1/2 cup of water and a cup of cooking oil. Place the mixture in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray of plant leaves that are infested with scale or mealy bugs. Scale bugs look like bumpy, brown, shell-like scales, mealy bugs appear to leave a cottony substance stuck to the plant. Spray the affected areas of the plant such as stems, tops and bottoms of leaves. The oil mixture will suffocate those nasty bugs.

How to discard expired oil

If the oil is too far gone and smells bad, just throw it away. Don’t throw oil down the drain. I pour the oil into a used water bottle or jar, seal and toss in the trash.

What do you do with expired cooking oil? Please share in the comments below.


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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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