We all know the purpose of ingredients – to make our favorite dishes like grandma’s famous oatmeal cookies. But some of the ingredients you use every day for cooking also have great purposes outside of the kitchen. Next time you’re at the grocery store, double up on these items so they can live up to their potential.

1. Baking Soda


Photo by Norah Cliff

Baking soda has many purposes outside of the kitchen. Most importantly, it can help put out small fires if you just dump some on top. It can also remove counter and wall stains, fight dandruff, and whiten teeth when mixed with strawberries.

2. Avocado


Photo by Samantha Thayer

In addition to making guac and killer burgers, avocado has many beauty benefits. Avocado can be made into a face mask to hydrate skin and prevent wrinkles. It can also be made into a hair mask to heal split ends and revitalize dry strands.

3. Coconut Oil


Photo by Kim Love

Coconut oil has been in the spotlight recently for its health benefits in your diet. But it also has health benefits outside of the kitchen. Coconut oil can be made into a hair mask to reveal silky, shiny strands. It can also be combined with brown sugar to make an exfoliating body scrub. The grittiness of the sugar and the smoothness of the oil combine to get rid of dead skin.

4. Lemon


Photo by Rebecca Block

Lemon has multiple uses outside of the kitchen that’ll save you money. For starters, you can naturally highlight your hair by squeezing lemon juice into your hair when you go out into the sun. You can also save money on expensive cleaning products by substituting lemon for Tide To Go Sticks and Windex.

5. Rice


Photo by Kelda Baljon

Rice can help soak up water from electronics. If you drop your phone in the sink or the pool, just place your phone in a bag of uncooked rice and it should soak up most of the water in 5 hours.

6. Pepper


Photo by Lauren Thiersch

We all know a dash of pepper makes any dish more flavorful. But did you know that pepper can help stop bleeding? That’s right, if you put some ground black pepper on a wound, it will help clot the blood.

7. Cucumber


Photo by Haliana Burhans

Cucumbers are used in many beauty regimes. This is because cucumbers cool blood and decrease facial swelling. So next time you want to get rid of those bags under your eyes, just pop some cucumbers on your eyelids and take a power nap. Cucumbers also have the ability to replace shoe polish.

8. Sugar


Photo by Katie Walsh

Burn your tongue after sipping some too hot, hot chocolate? Just sprinkle some sugar on the burnt area and the pain should subside almost instantly.

9. Salt


Photo by Bobbi Lin

Salt can ease a sore throat or painful ulcers. Just mix with warm water and gargle.