Clever Flour Hacks That Are Worth Trying

Flour is an essential item and will most likely be found in any kitchen. It can be used in countless recipes, but some may not know that it’s a versatile product capable of much more outside the kitchen.

The substance can help clean common household items, be used for arts and crafts, repel bugs, and even make at-home skincare products. If you have any flour around your home, then you may want to try out these brilliant hacks.

The Sneaky Trick For Ripening Avocados

a pile of avocados with one split open in the middle
Jan Sochor/Getty Images
Jan Sochor/Getty Images

Avocados usually have a really short window of when they will stay ripe and it can be difficult to quicken the process. If you have an avocado that’s almost ready to ripen, then adding flour will make it go faster.

First, place the avocados in a paper bag and cover them with flour. Then, place the bag in a room temperature area for around 24 hours. After a day they should be ripe. The flour blocks outside moisture from causing them to turn brown.

Loosen The Grip Of A Jar Lid In No Time

Variety glass jars of homemade pickled or fermented vegetables and jams in row with old dark blue wooden plank background
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The struggle of opening a tight lid on a jar can be unbearable. Not everyone has the ability to open a jar lid, such as people with arthritis. Some may tap the lid on a hard surface or try to open it with a rubber covering, but that doesn’t always work.

Flour is a great tool to use to open a tight lid. All that needs to be done is to dip the edges in flour. This will also prevent it from sticking in the future too.

Learn How To Make Homemade Modeling Clay

children making silly art out of play-doh
Xu Hui/VCG via Getty Images
Xu Hui/VCG via Getty Images

Something that can bring a big smile to a child’s face is the chance to play with some modeling clay. While it may seem easier to buy Play-Doh or something similar, it can also be made at home with common household items.

All that’s needed to make homemade modeling clay is one part water, four parts flour, and some food dye. Mix the ingredients together and kneed it until it takes on a dough-like consistency. The recipe is also non-toxic, so it won’t be the end of the world if a kid accidentally ingests some.

The Benefits Of Using Dry Shampoo

a man spraying dry shampoo on a blonde woman
Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

There’s not always time to take a shower and wash your hair if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere. Dry shampoo can make it look like you just went to the salon because it absorbs excess hair oils.

A perfect substitute to store-bought dry shampoo is sifting flour. Just apply the sifted flour to your roots using a large makeup brush and let it sit for a half-hour. Then, shake it away with a clean brush.

Flour Can Act As A Fabric Stiffener

clothes and linens hung up on a clothesline
Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images
Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

Some may turn to starch to make their laundry stiff and regain its shape. If you want to avoid buying it at the store or don’t have any at home, you can easily replace it.

Mixing flour and water in a spray bottle can act as a fabric stiffener. All you need to do is spray it on the clothing and let it air dry. If you’re looking for a really permanent result, you can also mix in some glue.

How To Get Insects Off Your Plants

a dragonfly perched on a leaf
Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images
Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

While there are some insects who can help plants thrive, there are also many that will damage them. Spraying insect repellent isn’t always the best option because it can be filled with harmful chemicals.

Instead, try shaking the plant to get the insects to come to the surface and dump some flour on them. It’s important to make sure that every inch is covered in flour. Then, wait a couple of days and gently rinse off the flour with water.

The Best Copper Cleaning Hack

a woman cleaning a copper pan
Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Cleaning copper can be hard work and doing it the wrong way can ruin the finish. Getting a good sheer and shine requires a lot more than soap and water.

The only ingredients needed for a good copper cleanser are flour, salt, and white vinegar. First, mix an equal amount of flour and salt together and add in enough white vinegar until it turns into a paste. Then, spread the paste along the copper’s surface and let it sit out until it dries. Finally, rinse the paste off with some warm water.

Treat Acne Without Using Painful Chemicals

Frankie Muniz with acne
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

About 50 million people in the United States are currently dealing with acne and the majority of them are adolescents. Going to a dermatologist can be too expensive and some of the creams and serums are filled with harmful and sometimes cancerous chemicals.

A homemade paste can get rid of those pesky zits in a flash. Apply some honey with a little bit of flour on the pimples and cover them with a bandage. Allow it to sit overnight and wash your face in the morning.

Get More Use Out Of Your Playing Cards

A deck of cards arranged in a fan shape, with the jokers in the center
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

Playing cards are a great way to bring people together for some good, wholesome fun. Since they are always held in someone’s hands, they can get a bit dirty.

Using soap and water can ruin the cards by taking off the ink and warping the paper. The best way to get rid of the disgusting residue is to throw them in a paper bag and dump in some flour. Shake the bag to coat the cards and wipe off the excess flour with some paper towels.

Say Goodbye To Gross Carpet Stains

a woman with jeans and slippers cleaning a dirty carpet
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images

It’s likely that the area of your house with the most stains is your carpet. Professional carpet cleaning can be expensive and other household items such as club soda don’t always get the stains out.

The most important part of using flour to remove carpet stains is getting to them as quickly as possible. The flour will absorb any grease or liquid that’s left. Finally, vacuum the flour up after about 10 to 15 minutes.

Flour Actually Works As An Adhesive

a girl gluing a tiny doll together
Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images
Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images

Glue is one of the most versatile household substances, but other products can work as an adhesive. Although glue alternatives might not be as strong as normal glue, they can still work in a bind.

Using flour as a glue substitute will work best in kids’ arts and crafts projects such as paper mache and should not be applied for fragile items that need a lot of reinforcement. Mixing flour with water and letting it sit for a short while will turn it into an adhesive.

Do You Know How To Prepare Seafood?

Market scene with seafood stand with mussels and clams
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Eating clams, mussels, and other shelled seafood doesn’t only have to be done at a restaurant. Going to a fresh seafood market and picking some up to make at home can be a fun and delicious experience.

Mussels and clams do require a bit of cleaning before cooking. To prepare the seafood soak them in a bowl of cold water, salt, and a quarter cup of flour for about an hour. This removes debris and plumps up the insides.

Protect Your Potatoes

potatoes on a white plate
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In small amounts, potatoes can provide significant health benefits. If potatoes are left sitting out for too long they can grow sprouts. Healthline warns that eating sprouted potatoes is toxic and can cause food poisoning and sometimes an untimely demise.

Other times small bugs will attach themselves to both the inside and outside of the potatoes. In order to keep your potatoes fresh, dust them off with flour. Don’t be worried about this changing their taste.

Babies Will Love This Flour Hack

a diaper hanging on a clothesline
Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images
Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

One of the worst things a baby can experience is a diaper rash. Some parents are hesitant to get diaper rash creams because they can contain numerous harsh chemicals and toxins that can irritate the baby’s skin.

Another way to provide relief is to make a homemade diaper rash cream with just flour and water. Once it turns into a paste apply it directly on the rash until it soothes the redness. Once the redness is gone, gently wash it off with some water.

Clean Up Big Oil Spills

olive oil bottles lined up
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Cleaning up an oil spill can be such a hassle. It can leave an oily residue on the floor and stink up the room. Before reaching for a paper towel or rag, consider grabbing some flour.

Flour naturally absorbs oil, so sprinkling it over the oil spill will get rid of any residue on the floor. Leave it soaking for about 15 minutes and clean up the flour with a vacuum. Finally, spray the area with some floor cleaner and wipe it away.

The Ants Won’t March Over Here Anymore

ants marching through a dirt maze
Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images
Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images

Often times when you see one ant, it will lead to a trail of them. Instead of spraying your home with the harmful toxins found in most ant sprays, there’s a natural way to get rid of them.

Sprinkling some flour in the area where the ants are gathering is a great solution. Ants can’t stand the taste or feel of the powdery flour, so they will try to avoid it. Cinnamon also works for this.

Flour Is A Perfect Ingredient For A Face Mask

a woman getting a face mask painted on
Claudio Beduschi/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Claudio Beduschi/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

One of the most helpful ways to keep your skin healthy is to regularly apply face masks. It’s important to know which ones to use because some actually can damage or irritate skin.

Making a face mask is a good alternative to buying one because you’ll know the exact ingredients coming in contact with your skin. Rice flour works wonders as a face mask because it soaks up dirt and oil to make skin look clear and healthy. Just apply it to your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Rinse it off when you’re finished.

The Fast Way To Put Out A Fire

a chef cooking with fire over a stove
Nik Wheeler/Corbis via Getty Images
Nik Wheeler/Corbis via Getty Images

It may be best to have flour readily available when cooking. Fires can start in an instant if someone isn’t paying close enough attention and having a way to put it out fast should be mandatory.

If grabbing a fire extinguisher will take too long, flour will be able to put out the fire. Pour the flour on top of the flame until it’s completely covered and wait for the fire to go out.

Polish Stainless Steel To Give It A Nice Shine

several metal spoons lined up on a counter
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Getting stainless steel to remain spotless is one of the trickiest cleaning tasks. The finish will often get smudges and cracks, which are difficult to restore. Soap and water doesn’t always do a good cleaning job and special polish can be expensive.

The flour will fix them right up. First, wash them thoroughly and dry the stainless steel with a clean towel. Then, leave them in the sink and sprinkle them with flour. Finally, grab another clean cloth and buff out the flour until it’s gone.

Make Some Starter Pots

flowers in small pots outside
Volkmar Heinz/picture alliance via Getty Images
Volkmar Heinz/picture alliance via Getty Images

Making a small pot for plants isn’t that difficult and can actually be a fun arts and crafts project. A dough-like paste will form when equal parts flour and water are mixed and that can be molded into a pot.

Once the mold is dry it makes a great starter pot because when it’s time to plant it outside it can be directly placed in the soil. The pot will eventually dissolve because it’s only made out of flour and water.