Clever Ways You Never Thought To Use Crisco Around The Home

Crisco comes in handy for many cooking and baking recipes. It helps you to make a perfectly flaky pie crust and deliciously soft cookies, but did you know its benefits extend beyond the kitchen? It was originally created over a century ago, and not much has changed of the first-ever shortening made of entirely vegetable oil. It's become a staple you can find in nearly every household. Made primarily of soybean oil and hydrogenated palm oil, this shortening can be used in several clever ways around the home, beyond just in recipes.

While Crisco has more benefits than you'd think, there are a few precautions to keep in mind before exploring its unconventional uses. Shortening can catch fire if overheated, so keep it away from direct heat sources and open flames. Additionally, it has a shelf life of up to two years when stored properly, though it should be used within a year after opening. Check for signs of rancidity, like changes in texture or unpleasant odors, before using it for either cooking or one of the tips below. Lastly, be careful when using Crisco near certain fabrics, as it can cause staining to some. With all that in mind, let's dive in and go over all the ways you may not have thought to use this popular tub of cooking oil around the home.

Unstick gum from hair and fabric

Gum is a nice treat that also gives you fresher breath, but it can also be a nuisance. Getting this chewy material stuck in your hair and clothes is enough to stress anyone out, especially when you don't know how to remove it without making a bigger mess. However, a simple can of vegetable shortening can be a lifesaver for this frustrating incident. This hack works because the oils in Crisco can break down the stickiness, making it easier to remove. Not only does it work on your sensitive tresses, but it can effectively get this candy out of clothing.

All you need to do is apply a generous amount of Crisco to the affected area and let it sit long enough for the oils to work their magic. Gently peel the gum away, adding more shortening if needed. Once you're finished, make sure to wash the now-oily hair or clothing thoroughly to remove any residual Crisco. Although Crisco is generally safe to use, it's a good idea to test a small, hidden area when applying it to fabric to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration.

Grease your snow shovel

While most enjoy the view of a winter wonderland during the cool holiday months, dealing with the snow isn't as magical. Shoveling snow requires much painstaking work, so you'll want to do what you can to make the job easier. One way to simplify the task is to grease the shovel before you get started. Snow tends to stick, so the time it takes to clean it off can add up. Like using Crisco to keep food from sticking to your pans, shortening can make the snow slide right off after each scoop.

Apply a generous layer of Crisco to the head of your shovel before going outside. If the snow starts to stick again, you may need to put on another layer. Although you can use any lubricant like WD-40 or non-stick cooking spray, anecdotal evidence suggests Crisco works even better. Unlike most oils, the grease will latch onto the shovel more efficiently, so you shouldn't need to reapply as often. However, being careful when spreading slippery products onto your tools is crucial. A greasy handle could lead to accidents, so use gloves when touching any oil to avoid transferring it to the top of your shovel.

Clean your rainboots

Crisco isn't just for the kitchen; you can also save it for a rainy day, literally. What were once glimmering and fashionable rainboots can quickly turn dull and unattractive, so this footwear requires regular buffing to keep them looking their best. This happens because rain boots can lose their luster after repeated exposure to the elements. However, with a bit of Crisco, you can restore their sparkle and make them look as good as new again. The oils in the shortening help to moisturize the boots, bringing back their original shine.

Start by thoroughly cleaning your boots to remove any dirt or grime. Take a small amount of Crisco and rub it into the boots with a soft cloth. Make sure you apply it evenly over the entire surface of the shoes. After applying, let them sit for a few minutes to let the oil penetrate the material. Buff the rainboots with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess grease and bring out the shine. Be careful not to use too much shortening, as it can make them slippery. Also, this hack is best suited for rubber or synthetic material boots. It's a good idea to test a small area to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage your footwear.

Remove burs from your dog's fur

Burs can be a nuisance for dogs, causing discomfort and sometimes leading to skin infections. These little spiky balls' primary function is to spread the plant seeds. As they hook onto you, your dog, and other animals, they're transported to other locations where they can sprout. This mechanism is why they easily latch into textures like dog fur. They can be challenging to pull out, especially from long-haired breeds. However, the oils in Crisco can help to loosen the burs's grip, making them easier to remove without causing discomfort to your furry friend. All you'll need is a can of shortening and a pair of gloves.

Make sure your dog is calm and comfortable before getting started. Once your pup is ready, put on some gloves and apply a small amount of Crisco to the bur where it is lodged. Gently massage it into the fur, careful not to pull. The oils should help loosen them, allowing you to remove them with ease. Once all the burs are out, wash the oily fur with a mild dog shampoo. Although Crisco is generally safe and non-toxic to pets, it's important to note that large amounts can cause digestive issues. Avoid leaving your dog unattended near the shortening, especially if it's applied in areas they can reach to lick.

Take care of your bug problem

There's nothing worse than looking down and seeing ants or cockroaches scuttle across the floor. Luckily, you may have a few simple ingredients that will kill these insects. Surprisingly, Crisco is one of the main ingredients you can use for your pest control. All you need to do is combine shortening, powdered sugar, and boric acid. Crisco binds the other ingredients, sugar lures creepy crawlers in, and boric acid kills them. Even if an ant or cockroach doesn't take a bite, they'll ingest it by cleaning themselves off after stepping in it.

It's important to note that boric acid won't kill every insect in your house and is primarily effective for ants and cockroaches. Although it's not harmful to handle, ingesting it can be dangerous for humans and pets. So, this method is best in homes without curious animals or small children running around. To make the bait, mix 1 tablespoon of borax, 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, and enough Crisco to make it a crumbly mixture. Place the crumbs on waxed paper in any area you've seen pests crawling around. Changing out the bait every day or so will help ensure its effectiveness.

Make emergency candles

There's nothing worse than a power outage during a storm, but the situation can be even more terrible if you're not prepared. Believe it or not, Crisco is an unexpectedly helpful tool to have in case of an emergency. You'll need a can of Crisco and pre-waxed candle wicks to create a long-lasting fuel source for the next time you lose electricity. A homemade Crisco candle burns for over 100 hours, so you'll have enough light to brighten up a dark home for days.

Start by cutting two large, pre-waxed candle wicks in half, giving you four wicks. Scoop out the shortening and place it in a container of a similar size. While some who've experimented with this hack have had issues with the lining melting, others say you can keep it in the can it came in. If you're in a pinch and all you have is the can and some wicks on hand, you should be fine sticking a wick down the center and lighting it. However, it's better to be safe than sorry when preparing your candles. When it comes time to light the match, ensure you're in a well-ventilated area away from anything flammable, and place the container on a level surface. After you've finished burning it, snuff the flame and place the lid back on, and then store it in a cool, dry place. Be careful when lighting Crisco, as it can create a bit of black smoke.

Silence a squeaky door

Doors seem to start squeaking when you're already having a stressful day. If you don't want to deal with the irritating high-pitched sound, you may have the solution sitting in your cupboard. The greasy consistency of Crisco allows it to easily penetrate the small door hinge spaces and reduce friction. Not only does this eliminate the grating noise, but it can help extend the lifespan of hinges by reducing wear and tear.

To silence your squeaky doors, use a paper towel to rub some shortening onto the hinges. The Crisco acts as a lubricant, eliminating the noise. We do not suggest using a cloth to transfer the oil, as washing or drying a greasy rag can potentially be a fire hazard. Once you're finished with the oily napkin, you can toss it in the trash without worry. Additionally, this hack is safe and environmentally friendly, because Crisco is non-toxic and biodegradable. However, it's worth noting that the shortening may accumulate dust and grime over time, so cleaning your hinges as necessary is essential.

Unstick locks

We've all experienced that moment of panic when sticking a key in a lock, unsure if you'll ever get it out. When this happens, it's time to lubricate it so it stops sticking. Like with squeaky door hinges, Crisco works well to get into the intricate crevices within the lock, reducing friction and ensuring smooth unlocking. Similarly, not only will the key glide the lock open like it's brand new, but it'll also help extend its lifespan.

Before sticking your key back into the lock, apply a small amount of Crisco to it. Then, insert the key and gently work it around to distribute the shortening and lubricate all of the small spaces. It should stop sticking after the first application. If it doesn't, add a bit more and repeat the process. Keep a paper towel or set of gloves on hand when doing this hack. Although Crisco is non-toxic, it can leave a greasy residue on your skin or clothing.

Remove stickers

You likely need to remove pesky product stickers more often than you'd think. Whether you purchased something from a secondhand shop or want to reuse a glass pasta jar, it alway seems like an impossible task to remove it all. This is where Crisco comes in. All you need to do is slather an even layer over the sticker and allow the shortening to work its magic. The oils within the Crisco should loosen the adhesive, making it slide off in a breeze. No hazardous sharp knives required.

You'll want to apply a generous layer of Crisco over the sticker and surrounding area to ensure the oils can fully penetrate the adhesive. Let it sit for 10 minutes, which should be plenty of time to eliminate the stickiness. Then, you should be able to peel off the sticker easily. A sponge soaked in soapy water can help scrub it off. Plus, you'll want dish soap to help break down the remaining oils in the Crisco to remove the greasiness from your items. Once the object is completely dry, you can repurpose it as you wish. Please note that Crisco isn't suitable for all materials and may cause damage to some. Test a small area before applying the shortening to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage it.