Between the ages of 3 and 11, I lived almost exclusively on peanut butter, jelly and bread. Every day for lunch, Mom packed me the glorified PB&J, and every day for dinner, she cooked something that the miniature version of me found repulsive, like spaghetti or steak, so I ate — you guessed it — another peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Even today, with my taste buds at full maturity, I easily go through two jars of peanut butter a week — usually by way of eating, but not always. When I’m not cramming spoonfuls in my mouth, I have discovered a surprising number of ways to use smooth peanut butter around the house that (mostly) don’t involve eating it. Though there are some clever culinary ways to use peanut butter than don’t involved spreading it on bread or crackers.
In a pinch, you can use peanut butter in place of household items that you may have run out of, like shaving cream. In other cases, peanut butter is the best choice for the job, like getting rid of fishy smells.
Looking for new ways to get nutty with your peanut butter? Try out a few of these unique hacks.
Keep in mind, you want to stick with creamy peanut butter for most of these hacks, so skip the crunchy peanut butter, especially if you are using it to replace shaving cream. What about the cost of peanut butter which can get pricy for top shelf brands? Smart Penny Hoarders buy peanut butter on sale or with coupons, or even on BOGO if you shop at a market that offers these deals on various products. Peanut butter lovers have so many things to get excited about.
Peanut Butter to Remove Messes
I don’t care much for house cleaning, but when the inspiration strikes, I might go through an entire bottle of Lysol. But Lysol isn’t the only great cleaner. You can use peanut butter for a wide variety of cleaning tasks as well so it’s good to have a few jars on hand.
1. Removing Gum from Hair
Perhaps the most widely known use for peanut butter is removing gum from hair. What is it that makes smooth peanut butter so good as a gum remover? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s all in the oil, which is why vegetable oil is also a go-to in such a sticky situation.
2. Removing Gum from Carpet
But removing gum from hair is only the start. The same logic also applies to carpeting: Just apply a teaspoon of peanut butter to the affected area of carpet, and the gum should come unstuck easily. From experience, I’ll add that you will need to use a wet rag and some dish soap to clear away the peanut butter afterward.
3. Removing Stickers
Whether your curious toddler has plastered stickers all over their bedroom wall or you’ve just purchased a new product with a particularly well-applied sticker, you can spread peanut butter on the sticker, let it sit for an hour and then remove it all with a damp rag. This trick works on walls, glass and containers that you’d like to reuse.
4. Cleaning up after arts and crafts
Peanut butter is even helpful after a craft project has left your hands covered in dried glue residue. While it’s the oil content of that breaks down the bond in the glue, this is the one use case where chunky may be more handy, as it can act as an abrasive.
Peanut Butter to Renew Pretty Much Everything
Beyond removing messes, smooth peanut butter can actually restore everyday items to their former glory — or at least get them working again.
5. Giving Leather and Vinyl Surfaces a Fresh Shine
Use a small amount of peanut butter and spread it in a circular motion. Then, just buff it away. This is great for couches, chairs and even the (leather) seats in your car.
6. Protecting Exterior Paint of Car
Speaking of cars … Got tar stuck to the exterior? Instead of a chemical goo remover, just try some PB in its place. Smother the tar with PB of your choice. After about a minute, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it away. It may take a few applications to remove the tar fully and bring the paint back to life.
7. Restoring Old CDs or Game Discs
If you have old discs — CDs, DVDs or video games — that you’d love to experience again to fuel your pre-digital nostalgia (queue the Shania Twain; drag out the PS1), use some peanut butter to buff out the scratches. Voila! Good as new!
8. Restoring Antique Wood Furniture
Wood furniture can make for the perfect statement piece in your living room, but with toddlers and pets around, it is possible it could get scratched. Reader’s Digest recommends peanut butter as one possible remedy. As a side note, my pooch recently scratched my 120-year old wood floors during a game of fetch, and I tried this trick to moderate success. Is the scratch still there? Of course. But it is significantly less noticeable. I’ll take it!
9. Removing Odors from Fishy Cookware
In an effort to combat my ever-growing beer gut, I’ve cut out pizza for dinner and swapped in some fish. The only problem? It stinks. I’ve learned, however, that you can simply fry a dollop of peanut butter in your pan after finishing the fish. One or two minutes is all it takes. Added bonus: Your whole house will smell like peanut butter afterward.
Peanut Butter for Personal Hygiene
Peanut butter is good for you — and I don’t mean as part of your diet. It might sound crazy, but peanut butter can play an active role in your daily hygiene routine.
10. Shampooing Hair
Have you ever needed to wash your hair only to find out you’re out of shampoo? The answer was in your pantry the whole time. In small doses, creamy peanut butter can moisturize your hair.
While you’re in the shower, you may as well spread some peanut butter on your legs or face and get to shaving because it’s also known to be a unique but successful shaving cream — and one that leads to smoother skin. Avoid chunky peanut butter or risk clogging your razor and the drain.
12. Lotioning Up
For the same reasons that peanut butter works as an (occasional) shampoo replacement, you can use peanut butter to moisturize your hands if you run out of lotion. The natural oils in peanut butter make for shiny and clear skin. Oh, and little bit goes a long way.
Peanut Butter for Pets and Pests
Whether it’s helping your dog take the medicine he’s been fighting you on or tracking down a pesky ant, peanut butter can be very useful.
13. Baiting a Mouse
Recently, a new roommate moved in with me. The only problem? He was a mouse, and he wasn’t invited. I tried multiple humane traps with cheese, but the dastardly devil was somehow able to sneak off with the cheese without getting trapped.
Finally, I tried peanut butter and nabbed him on the first try.
14. Baiting Bugs
Mice aren’t the only pests you can bait with peanut butter, though. You can also use it to bait bugs, like roaches and ants.
15. Baiting Hooks
Some anglers even swear by peanut butter as bait for fish. The advantages of a peanut butter ball for carp, for example, is that the bait eventually dissolves and leaves a clean hook. No worm guts to scrape off!
16. Giving Meds to Pets
Peanut butter is an incredible way to trick a grumpy dog or cat into taking their medicine. I have even used peanut butter to create a mentally stimulating slow-feeding bowl for my dog.
17. Feeding Favorite Garden Visitors
Unless you’re Snow White, you probably can’t convince the neighborhood birds to come inside and fold your laundry. But you can at least enjoy their morning songs by filling the bird feeder with seeds. A treat that birds especially love is a pinecone coated in peanut butter and then rolled in seed. You can hang these up in your garden and enjoy watching birds come to snack.
Peanut Butter for Fixing Stuff
Forget the impact driver; peanut butter is the only tool you need. (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but having a jar of peanut butter on hand can help during your next construction project.)
18. Lubricating Tools
Peanut butter is useful for handy people or maybe the unprepared. When without lubricant, you can use peanut butter for lawn mower blades, saws and other tools.
19. Fixing Creaks and Squeaks
Along that vein, peanut butter also makes a good stand-in for spray lubricants when fixing creaky door hinges or squeaky drawers. Just apply a little PB to the squeaky culprit, like a door hinge, and let the oils do their work.
Peanut Butter for Kitchen Tasks
Of course peanut butter is for eating but there are some other culinary uses beyond sandwiches and cookies that you might not have thought about. And these ideas don’t necessarily need a recipe to be winners.
20. Replacing Butter
Out of butter? No problem. You can still make your favorite foods with peanut butter as a butter substitute. And while I do love a pancake or waffle smothered in peanut butter in place of butter, I actually mean replacing butter in baking recipes and not just as a topper for your toast. Depending on he amount, you might not get much of the peanut flavor.
Replacing butter with peanut butter is great for people like me who are trying to watch their weight but can’t resist a cookie when they see one. That’s because butter is at least 80% fat but peanut butter is only about 50% fat.
Making this swap is also wise when baking for a vegan guest who cannot eat butter made from cow’s milk.
21. Sealing an Ice Cream Cone
Picture this: It’s a hot day, and you retreat to your freezer to make yourself a cold ice cream cone to cool off. But the unrelenting sun melts your ice cream away faster than you can eat it, and now your hand is super sticky.
Peanut butter can solve this. Simply coat the inside of the cone with a scoop of peanut butter, which will block any melted ice cream from seeping through the bottom. Plus, you get a delicious bite of peanut butter and ice cream at the end.
22. Adding Protein to Smoothies
You don’t have to buy expensive protein powder to make your fruit smoothies more filling. Just spoon in a spoonful of peanut butter for a protein boost. No recipes required.
23. Spicing Up Popcorn
Tired of the same salty popcorn during your nightly Netflix binge? Opt for a change of pace by creating a unique popcorn topping. You don’t need a recipe for this either. Simply boil half a cup of honey and half a cup of sugar, then add in smooth peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Then toss your popcorn in the mixture for a delicious treat.
24. Change Your Burger Game for Good
For better or for worse, burgers served on doughnuts have grown increasingly popular, and for some insane reason, KFC started serving sandwiches that used fried chicken as the bread. I can’t vouch for those, but one burger game-changer I can recommend is adding peanut butter as your condiment. Pair that with some bacon and banana for an extra delicious sandwich.
Don’t just take my word for it: Elvis Presley himself often ate such a sandwich, so often in fact that many restaurants name these burgers after the King.
25. Revolutionizing homemade hummus
Some bold chefs recommend swapping out tahini for peanut butter for a more adventurous hummus. Think of it as a straight-across trade of peanuts for sesame seeds and some recipes add peanuts to the food processor as the hummus is prepared.
Peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite foods, and I can think of no better purpose for it than to fill my always longing belly. When in a bind, however, it can prove rather useful outside your diet. You just have to think a little outside the jar and the peanut butter sandwich.
Timothy Moore is an avid peanut butter eater. His house usually has at least four jars at all times. His favorite brand is Kroger Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. Puns he tried to include in this article (but failed in doing so) included, “They don’t call it peanot butter, after all,” and “You butter believe it.”