Coconut oil has been deemed a miracle food by many. It can keep your body running smoothly in many ways. From reducing cholesterol levels, to boosting energy, to promoting better dental care and bone health, coconut oil’s health benefits are manifold. While consuming it will do a world of good for you, this superfood shines in practical uses outside the kitchen too. In fact, it is unbelievably versatile.

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Try these 16 handy household and beauty uses for coconut oil.

1. It heals cuts
Coconut oil is a great antiseptic, and can be used in place of traditional over-the-counter pharmacy treatments to help a cut heal faster. Simply dab a bit over the area and cover with a bandage.

2. Use it for brighter, whiter teeth
Coconut oil has been found to stop tooth decay, and can also be used for a brighter smile. Simply swish the oil in your mouth for 15 minutes, four to five times per week. Spit the oil into a trash can (it can solidify) and rinse with water.

3. Use it to polish furniture
Coconut oil can be used to make wood furniture shine. Combine 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Store in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on wood and wipe with a clean cloth.

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4. Use it to eliminate odors
Coconut oil can be transformed into an easy, homemade deodorant. Take 1/4 cup cornstarch, add 6 tablespoons coconut oil and mix well with a fork. Store in a small glass jar.

5. Use it to repel insects
Coconut oil is a natural insect repellent. Mix 8 ounces of coconut oil with 40 to 50 drops peppermint essential oil and apply on your skin.

6. Use it to soothe your dog’s paws
Walking can do a number on your dog’s feet. If they appear cracked and raw, rub some coconut oil on their paws. Besides moisturizing the area, coconut oil’s antiseptic properties will promote faster healing.

7. Use it to soothe sunburn
Coconut oil can also be used to soothe a sunburn. Put the oil in the fridge allowing it to cool, then rub over your skin.

8. Use it to relieve constipation
One of coconut oil’s main benefits is its laxative effects. Get things moving again by ingesting 1 tablespoon in the morning on an empty stomach. If you don’t see a difference in a couple of days, up your dose to 2 tablespoons.

9. Use it to make stainless steel shine
Remove splotchy stains from your stainless steel with coconut oil. First clean the surface then apply a small amount of coconut oil on the surface, rubbing it on, then buff it out using a cloth for a glossy finish. Take care when using on a stove top, the heat can cause the oil to discolor.

10. Use it to restore a wooden cutting board
Coconut oil is a key ingredient in restoring an old cutting board. To do so, coat the board with a very thin layer of coconut oil every once in a while to keep it resistant to water and bacteria.

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11. Use it to season cast iron
To make your cast iron skillet last, as opposed to seasoning it with lard or duck fat, use coconut oil for a healthier alternative. Coconut oil can also stand high temperatures and won’t cause food to stick.

12. Use it for healthier hair
Coconut oil can be used as a rich hair treatment. Simply combine 2 tablespoons melted coconut with 2 tablespoons raw honey and 1 large egg yolk. Whisk the ingredients together and apply to dry hair, covering it completely. Let it sit for as long as possible then rinse with warm water.

13. Use it to remove stains
For a natural stain remover combine one part coconut oil with one part baking soda. Apply to upholstery and carpets and let sit for a few minutes before wiping away.

14. Use it to cleanse your face  
Use coconut oil to wash your face. It can help draw out dirt, oil and toxins. To reap the benefits, mix 2 teaspoons coconut oil with 1 teaspoon castor oil, massage into the skin and apply a warm, wet facecloth over your face until it cools. Wipe the salve off. Use more coconut oil for dry skin and less for oily skin.

15. Use it to soothe insect bites
Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory effects can be used to soothe insect bites. Prior to using, allow the oil to cool in the fridge. Once it has hardened up, rub into the affected area.

16. Use it to condition your dog’s coat
Coconut oil’s deep conditioning effects can be used to give your dog a bath, making his coat shiny and soft. The oil will also help moisturize his skin and remove his strong dog scent.

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