1. Ripen up hard avocados
Guacamole is delicious…but only if the avocados ripen in time for the party. If you want to ripen up a few in a hurry, submerge them in a closed-top bag of flour overnight. They should be ripe by morning.
2. Make modeling dough, clay and papier-mache
Summer is a dangerous time for idle young hands—so give them something to do and use up your extra flour at the same time.
Here are four fun recipes to try with your kids:
- Play dough: 2 cups warm water, 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil plus food coloring (if desired) produces great play dough. (Do not bake!)
- Modeling clay: 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 cup water, ¼ tsp cream of tartar and three cups flour plus food coloring (if desired) makes for some excellent modeling clay for the older set. After molding, you can bake if desired (250 degree oven).
- Cloud clay: 1 cup baby oil plus eight cups flour plus food coloring (if desired) makes for light, easily moldable clay for the younger set.
- Papier-mache: Blend 1 cup flour and 2/3 cup water into a paste—voila! Papier-mache!
3. Make your own glue
This glue is all-natural and works just as well as any product you can buy. Just mix together 3 cups boiling water with a pinch of salt, stir in 3 Tbsp flour, add ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, and pour into a spray bottle. This is "spray and stick" at its finest!
4. Buff and polish
Copper, steel, aluminum and other household metals can easily get worn, dull, and tarnished looking. There's no need to break out the expensive metal polish when flour is already on the job!
Here are two ways to use flour as a buffing and polishing agent:
- For appliances, steel and aluminum items: Take a soft rag and sprinkle it with some flour, then buff away.
- For copper: Combine equal parts flour, white vinegar and salt. Spread the resulting paste over the copper item. Let it dry, then buff it off with a soft cloth.
5. Send pests packing
Don't like chemical pest control agents but can't seem to get rid of the pests? Flour can come to your aid in a jiffy!
Here are a few time-tested ideas to use:
- Sprinkle: Sprinkle flour over the plants being pestered (add a pinch of black pepper for especially stubborn pests).
- Spray: Mix 2 parts flour with 5 parts water, stir and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz onto plants (the flour traps pests and they quickly expire).
- Scatter: Scatter flour anywhere ants are forming a line…they will quickly redirect themselves.
6. Absorb oil
If you’re struggling to remove oil from a carpet, garment, or anywhere it has pooled, flour can do the job easily. Depending on the amount of oil you are dealing with, use an appropriate amount of flour to sop up the excess. Let the flour do its work of absorbing the oil, then finish by lightly scrubbing out the stain with soap and warm water.
7. Dry shampoo your hair
Flour is a great alternative to dry shampoos, which can contain harsh agents (and often cost a pretty penny too). Just sprinkle some flour along the roots of your hair, then gently work it through with a brush. The flour absorbs excess oils, gets rid of flaking skin, and leaves hair shiny and soft.
8. Mix up your own laundry starch
No need to spend funds on starch for clothes when you have extra flour on hand! One cup cold water plus two Tbsp flour plus an additional 1 cup of hot water, whisked, gives you a handy DIY starch you can spray onto clothing before ironing.
9. Soothe your baby's chafed skin
Just by mixing regular white flour and brown flour together in a pan over low heat (wait until it browns before removing from heat) you can make an all-natural soothing powder for chafed bottoms, knees, elbows, palms and skin. This works great for baby—but you can use it too.
10. Color balance and blemish-proof your skin
Finally, flour is a great beauty aid—you can make facial masks, color balance, and tone tired-looking skin—and send pimples packing! Best of all, you can give those expensive beauty remedies the boot!
- Detoxify with a mask: Mash up 1 cup red grapes. Add 3 Tbsp flour and mix into a paste. Spread over your face and neck, wait 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
- Color balance skin: Mix 1 Tbsp yogurt, 2 Tbsp flour, and a pinch of turmeric into a paste. Spread over your face and neck, wait 25 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
- Get rid of acne: Right before you retire for the night, mix together one part flour to one part honey. Apply directly to blemishes and cover with a Band-Aid. When you remove the bandages the next morning, your acne will be greatly diminished or even gone.