18 Surprising Home Uses for Butter

From de-icing a snow shovel to soothing achy feet, here are some clever uses for butter worth trying

You love butter in your food, but did you know it can also be put to work around the house, too? We rounded up 18 of our favorite household uses for this refrigerator staple.

1. Shine metals and leather goods. All it takes to bring luster back to your metal and leather goods is a dab of butter. Just rub it into surfaces with a cotton rag.

2. Remove ink stains from plastic. Rub any marks with butter and let the plastic items bleach in the sun for a few days.

3. Wipe out water marks from wood. Cover the area with butter and let it sit overnight; towel it off in the morning.

4. De-ice a snow shovel. Grease the shovel with butter -- it’ll keep snow from sticking to it.

5. Silence a squeaky door. Forget WD-40 -- just work a little bit of butter onto the hinges of a squeaky door.

6. Clean sap or glue off your hands. Rub some butter onto sticky hands to remove stubborn sap or glue.

7. DIY nonstick knife. Thinly coat a knife with butter to help it slide more easily through sticky foods like toffee, marshmallows or pies.

8. Prevent mold. Stop mold from forming on the cut edges of semi-hard cheese by rubbing them with a bit of butter.

9. Remove fish odors. After handling fish, rub some butter over your hands to remove any residual smell.

10. Keep an onion fresh. Apply some butter to the cut edge of an onion before wrapping it in aluminum foil to keep it fresher longer.

11. Prevent boiling over. Add one or two tablespoons of butter to a pot of water to keep it from boiling over.

12. Restore a wax candle. Give dinged and dusty candles a new glossy sheen by rubbing them with a little butter.

13. Help with pill taking. Coat a large pill in butter -- it will help the medicine go down easier. Just be sure to take with a big glass of water.

14. Soothe tired feet. Massage sore tootsies with butter then wrap them in a damp, hot towel.

15. Double as a beauty treatment. Use butter as shaving cream, to nourish dry skin or brittle nails, soften hands, even condition hair (and remove gum from it!).

16. Untangle a necklace chain. Rub the knot with a little butter so the links slide apart easier. Use a small pointed item to work out the rest of the kink.

17. Remove a stuck ring. Coat your finger with enough butter to lubricate it, then gently wiggle the ring to remove.

18. Prevent bruising. Massage butter into the affected area right after the injury. The phosphates in the butter will help prevent a mark from appearing.

Ellen Sturm Niz is an editor and writer working, parenting, and living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

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