The Strange Thing You Didn't Know Your Slow Cooker Can Do To Paint

Your slow cooker is probably a staple in your culinary arsenal since it's a great way to whip up tender meats and tasty stews. However, did you know that you can use the device for a particular non-culinary purpose as well? If used correctly, it can also help you with painting mistakes. Anyone who has ever painted cabinets or decided to refinish a piece of furniture knows how irritating it can be to deal with painted hardware. You don't want to scrub too vigorously with harsh materials since you can risk scratching or damaging the knobs or pulls. However, sometimes it can seem impossible to restore them to their original condition, especially with hardware that's quite intricate or that has been coated with paint. You simply don't have an entire weekend to be hunched over a few drawer pulls, trying to remove the paint that has gathered over decades. That's precisely where your slow cooker comes in.

As Bob Vila explains, your slow cooker might be just the ticket to stripping away that pesky paint covering your hardware. All you need for this hack is a slow cooker, water, a bit of liquid detergent, and some time. The combination of heat and moisture will work wonders for even the most stuck-on paint. Some individuals even report the paint falling off in sheets, requiring barely any scrubbing (via Yellow Brick Home).

The paint-removal process

To clean your paint-splattered knobs and pulls, add the hardware to the slow cooker. Make sure the hardware fits easily into the appliance and allows the lid to close without any issue. Then, cover the hardware with water, add a squirt of liquid detergent if you're dealing with particularly dirty pieces, and then set your slow cooker to high. Allow it to simmer for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

According to This Old House, after your paint-encrusted hardware has been in your slow cooker for a few hours, that hot, sudsy water will do most of the work for you. You may be able to peel off the paint with your fingers or use a gentle tool like a toothbrush to scrub away any paint particles that are still clinging to the piece. Afterward, you'll have sparkling hardware ready to use in your project.

The slow cooker method offers an alternative to using harsh, chemical-based paint strippers that may fill your house with fumes or damage delicate or vintage hardware. However, unless you use a slow cooker liner of some sort, you may want to save this non-culinary use for an old, slow cooker that you no longer use to make food with.