In my world, cooking spray is useful for one thing and one thing only: keeping tasty chocolate chip cookies from sticking to the cookie tray. But when I recently ran out of DW-40 and my bedroom door squeaked mercilessly, I discovered cooking spray is a (literal) fountain of hidden potential! So I did a little research and discovered I could do lots of other neat, cost-saving things with my extra cans of cooking spray! Try these for yourself and discover extra hidden savings in your cooking spray stockpile!

1. Unsqueak a hinge

Squeaky doors, drawers, fan blades, fixtures…they will squeak no more once you spritz on some cooking spray!

  • Potential cost savings: $5.99 for WD-40 versus $1.98 for cooking spray—you can save $4 on every can of un-squeaker!

2. Unfreeze your bicycle chain

Bike chain locked up again? Don't pay for a pricey chain replacement—just spray cooking spray liberally along the chain and pedal away.

  • Potential cost savings: $10-$20 for a new chain (online research, depending on bicycle model) versus $1.98 for cooking spray—you save $8-18.

3. Lubricate locks

If you suddenly find yourself struggling to key open a locked door, drawer, or other lockable item, cooking spray to the rescue! Spray liberally around and into the lock mechanism itself, then try again. Your key should turn with no problem!

4. Remove grease, paint, dye and other stains from skin

Not only does cooking spray do a great job of removing tough-to-remove substances from the skin, it’s not harsh like turpentine, nail polish remover, "Goo-Gone," and other traditionally recommended agents.

  • Potential cost savings: $5.87 for turpentine versus $1.98 for cooking spray—you save $3 each time you need to clean your hands after kids crafts, repainting the cabinets again, a misfire with your nail polish, and other common household events.

5. Produce perfect air-popped popcorn

Everyone knows air-popped popcorn is healthier than all the other kinds. And it’s ridiculously easy to make—at least until you get to the part where you butter it. If you don't like all your butter pooled over three kernels, spritz cooking spray into the bowl, toss the air-popped kernels in it, and then salt…better than butter, lower in calories, and evenly coated!

6. De-frost the freezer

No words can adequately describe the disappointment of finally breaking out that tasty frozen delicacy you've been saving for a special moment, only to discover it covered in frost. To keep your freezer from icing up, clear it out and spray the inside—up, down, and sides—with cooking spray. You may still get some ice, but cleaning it will be lickety-split next time around!

7. Get the red out

Plastic storage containers are just as susceptible to color change as anything else when used to store heavily dyed items. If you don't want all your containers to turn red (spaghetti sauce), purple (berries), or other colors from storing leftover foods, spray a very thin film of cooking spray before you fill with leftovers.

8. Slice, dice, measure, grate and skewer with ease

Coating your knives, skewers, slicing and grating tools, and measuring cups with a light coat of cooking spray ensures items slide on and off easily, and there are no wasted leftovers in the bottom (or sliced and diced fingers from difficult preparation tasks).

9. De-wax containers and candlesticks

Melted wax can be difficult to deal with if you don't have the right tools. But if you just spritz cooking spray onto the candlesticks and into candle wells before lighting the match, the leftover wax will pop out on its own after the wick burns down.

10. Remove lime, residue, soap scum, and other bathroom icks

The bathroom's humidity is a prime catalyst for the buildup of scum, mold, lime, residue, and other unwelcome hangers-on. To restore your bathroom, shower, faucets, and fixtures to a like-new state, spray cooking spray over them, then wipe off with a soft cloth. Spray another light film over areas that attract scum and residue, and you will find they are super-easy to clean next time!

  • Potential cost savings: $3.97 for Tilex mildew remover or $1.98 for all purpose cooking spray—a $2 savings.

11. Save your knives

Knives can easily get worn and dull from overuse. But much of this overuse can come from trying to cut through difficult-to-cut items like sticky garlic and slippery fruit. By spritzing on cooking spray before you cut, you can extend your knives' useful life. (Note: This also applies to home maintenance knives such as paint spreaders, putty knives, and other blades.)

12. Mow with ease

Unless your grass is of a certain length and perfectly dry, mowing can be a challenge. You can easily end up with soggy clippings and debris clinging to the underside of your mower. Not only does this impede your progress and decrease mower efficiency, but it’s dangerous too! Spray cooking spray along the underside of your mower—clippings will not stick, and your mower will cut through the grass like an Olympic skier on ice!

Cooking Spray: the Indoor, Outdoor, Everywhere Multi-Tasker!