Cooking spray isn’t just for stick-free scrambled eggs and helping Bundt cakes slide out of their pans. Believe it or not, cooking spray (like Pam or any other brand of non-stick cooking spray) can also be used to remove paint from your hands, clean soap scum, speed dry your nail polish, and a bunch of other “off-label” alternative uses.
1. Unsqueak a bicycle chain
Don’t you hate it when you take your bicycle out for a spin and all you can hear is the annoying “squeak, squeak” of your bike’s chain? To fix the squeaky chain, raid your kitchen pantry for a can of Pam or whatever cooking spray you have on hand and lightly spray your bike’s chain. Wipe it down with an old rag and you’re good to go. Enjoy your squeak-free ride!
2. Quick-dry nail polish
When it comes to giving myself an at-home manicure, it seems that Murphy’s Law always comes into effect: while I’m waiting for my nails to air dry, I invariably realize I’m late for carpool duty or dinner is burning in the oven or I need full use of my hands ASAP. Does this happen to you? While not a complete prophylactic against smudged nails, try spraying your wet nails with a spritz of cooking spray to speed up the drying process. As an added bonus, cooking spray also helps moisturize your cuticles.
3. Remove soap scum
Soap scum creeping up on your shower door and walls? No problem, just spray that nasty, chalky scum with cooking spray and wait five minutes. Then wash off the scum with soapy water and dry off the surface. This little trick works because the oil in cooking spray helps break down soap residue and lime deposits.
4. Unstick a door lock
If you’re jostling your key around in your door lock to no avail, spray the key with cooking spray and then slide it in and out of the lock a few times to unstick it.
5. Remove paint and grease from your hands
Remove paint and grease from your hands by spraying some cooking spray on your hands and then washing them with soapy water.
6. Speed up a sled
Have a need for speed? Want to supercharge your sled or tube? If so, spray the bottom of your sled or tube with cooking spray before heading down the hill. But please be careful — the faster you go, the more likely you are to get injured. Safety, not speed, should always be your first priority.
7. Bug off!
At the end of a long drive, your car grill and bumper can become littered with splattered, dead bugs. It’s gross and can ruin your paint job if you don’t quickly clean the bugs off your car. To remove these dead buggers with ease, spray your car washing cloth with some cooking spray and then rub down your car’s bumper and grill. The bugs should slide right off. Good riddance!
8. Bye, bye brake dust!
It takes a lot of scrubbing to remove brake dust and dirt from your car’s wheels. Want to make your life easier next time you go to clean your wheels? If so, spray your clean wheels with cooking spray — when they get dirty again, you’ll be able to just wipe off the dust and dirt (no heavy scrubbing required).
9. Defrost the freezer
If ice builds up in your freezer, a little cooking spray can help you defrost it. After defrosting/deicing your freezer, spray the interior walls of your freezer with cooking spray. This should speed up the defrosting/deicing process the next time around.
10. Make better popcorn
Drizzling oil or melted butter over your bowl of popcorn isn’t ideal — it distributes unevenly, leaving some kernels too oily/buttery and other kernels completely barren. Besides, oil and butter are chock full of calories, fat, cholesterol, and other things Dr. Oz wouldn’t approve of. For perfect popcorn, spray the popcorn with cooking spray (butter flavored, if you want) to get an even coat on the kernels. If you choose to add salt, it will stick better, too. Personally, I like to spray down my popcorn with cooking spray and then sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over it. The cooking spray helps the Parmesan cheese stick to the kernels instead of just falling to bottom of the bowl.
11. Remove a stuck ring
Gotta stuck ring on your finger? Maybe you ate too much sodium-laden Chinese food last night and your hands swelled up, or perhaps you tried on your slender-fingered friend’s engagement ring. Whatever the reason for your stuck ring, stop tugging and twisting and freaking out. Just spray the stuck ring and your finger with some cooking spray. It should slide right off — no calls to the fire department, finger amputation or wire cutters required!
12. Soothe dry, itchy skin
To soothe and moisturize dry, itchy skin, just spray some cooking spray to the affected areas. If you don’t want to smell like a movie theater, I’d avoid butter-flavored cooking spray for this job.
13. Remove gum from your hair
Gum in your hair is a sticky situation. But before you break out the scissors and start hacking away at your hair, try spraying the stuck gum with some cooking spray. It should loosen it up enough so that it can slide right out of your hair.