Flour is one of the most useful items in any cook’s arsenal. Sure, you can use it to make delicious breads and desserts and thicken creamy sauces, but did you know there are also plenty of ways to use flour around the house too?
As strange as it might sound, it’s true! And you’ll see them for yourself in today’s post, where I’ll be sharing 9 of the most surprising uses for flour all around your home.
(And if you have a favorite use for flour that isn’t listed in this post, I’d love to hear about it! Simply leave your idea in a comment at the bottom of this post, and your response could be featured in a future blog post!)
9 Surprising Uses For Flour
1. Repel Ants
If you spot ants around the house, sprinkle a line of flour in the area to help keep them at bay. Ants don’t like the taste or powdery feel of flour, so they’ll try to avoid it if they can!
Related: 31 Natural Pest Control Methods
2. Clean Playing Cards
If you have a deck of cards that has seen better days, you can use flour to freshen them up! Just toss your cards into a ziplock bag with a handful of flour and shake well.
After shaking, remove the cards from the bag and wipe them off with a clean, dry cloth. The flour will help to absorb moisture, oily residues, and grime, and after you wipe them clean, your cards will be looking much better!
3. Fight Acne
If you need to zap a zit fast, try make a paste from honey mixed with a bit of flour and dab it onto the blemish. Cover the paste with a bandaid and leave it overnight to give the flour and honey time to work their magic.
In the morning, rinse the area clean. The blemish should be noticeably smaller, thanks to the healing properties of honey and the drying action of the flour!
Related: 8 Natural DIY Acne Treatments
4. Shine Stainless Steel
After wiping down your stainless steel appliances, you can use a bit of flour to really make them sparkle! Just sprinkle a bit of flour onto a clean, dry cloth, then use it to buff your stainless steel until it shines.
5. Clean Copper
Did you know you can use flour, salt, and a bit of white vinegar to clean copper items like pots and pans? Just mix up equal parts of flour and salt in a small bowl, then stir in just enough vinegar to form a paste.
Spread the paste onto a brass or copper surface and allow it to sit until the paste dries. Then rinse the paste off with warm water, and voila—clean and shiny copper!
6. Dry Shampoo
If you find yourself out of your favorite dry shampoo, you can use flour as a substitute to absorb excess oils until you can get to the store! (You’ll want to sift the flour before putting it in your hair, because it makes it much easier to apply evenly.)
Apply sifted flour to the roots of your hair using a fluffy makeup brush. Let the flour sit for about 30 minutes, then brush or shake out the excess flour (preferably while standing in your tub or shower so you don’t make a mess of your bathroom.)
The flour will help to absorb oily residue, and your hair will look much fresher afterwards!
7. Cloud Dough
Flour isn’t all practical—it can be fun too! You can use flour and a bit of baby oil to make “cloud dough,” a moldable substance that kids love to play with.
To make a batch of cloud dough, combine 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil in a large bowl and mix well. It feels a lot like flour, but you can mold it into whatever shape you like!
8. Ripen Avocados
If you have an avocado that’s a bit less ripe than you’d like it to be, you can use flour to help speed up the ripening process. Place your avocado in a paper bag, cover it in flour, then leave the bag out on your countertop for 24 hours or so. After the wait, your avocado should be ready to use!
9. Make Glue
You can use flour and water to make a simple glue substitute if you find yourself in a bind. (Just keep in mind that flour-based glue is not very strong and definitely not permanent, but it works fine for arts and crafts projects!)
To make it, just combine equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl, then mix until smooth. (It should be about the same consistency as pancake batter.)
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and set it on your stovetop over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the finished glue to an airtight container before using.
Do you use flour in any unconventional ways at home?