Who doesn’t love a slow cooker? They make delicious meals with yummy scents that make a house feel like a home.
Once you’ve made one too many vats of chili or pots of stew, you might need to ditch your old slow cooker for an upgrade. But don’t throw out that old slow cooker – there are so many amazing and unexpected ways you can still use it!
It turns out, everyone’s favorite appliance has lots of different uses – and they don’t even involve food!
Keep reading to check out 20 things you can do with a slow cooker for projects around the home.
1. Remove paint from hardware
If you’re renovating furniture and happen to get some paint on the hardware, you can use a crockpot to help remove it.
- Fill your crockpot 2/3 full with water.
- Add one tablespoon dish soap.
- Put the hardware into the water.
- Turn on the crockpot to the highest temperature setting and let the hardware soak for 24 hours or until the paint falls off.
You can use this same method for tools too!
2. Remove labels and sticker residue
Trying to remove stuck-on sticker or label residue is so frustrating and nearly impossible. Easily remove the residue by placing the object in a slow cooker full of water on the high setting for 30 minutes. If the adhesive is extra stubborn, add a couple of drops of dish soap to the water.
3. Use as a bottle warmer
If you use a microwave to heat up a baby bottle, the milk can become scalding. If you warm it on the stove, it takes forever! But a slow cooker? Perfect! Just before bed, fill it 2/3 full with water. Heat on low while you sleep. In the morning and throughout the day, just drop the bottle in the water for a few minutes and you’re good to go!
4. Make modeling dough for the little ones
Check out this super fun recipe from CNet, your kids will love it!
Here’s what you need:
- 1/2 cup salt.
- 2 cups flour.
- 4 tablespoons cream of tartar.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
- 2 cups water.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of food coloring.
To make the dough, mix all of the dry ingredients together, then mix in the wet ingredients. Add the mixture to your slow cooker and set it to high heat for 45 to 60 minutes. Make sure to stir the dough around every five minutes or so and cover the pot with a dish towel and then the lid to absorb extra moisture.
Once the dough isn’t sticky, it’s ready to play with. Just let it cool down first.
5. Clean your jewelry
Make your jewelry sparkle like new again with this simple crockpot “recipe.”
- Add 2 1/2 cups of white vinegar.
- Add 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Mix, turn the crock pot on high and let the water heat up.
- Put your jewelry into your slow cooker.
- Let your jewelry sit for 15 minutes.
- Remove the jewelry and scrub with an old toothbrush.
- Polish jewelry with a soft cloth.
6. Use as a room freshener
Want to make your house smell amazing before guests come over? Break out the slow cooker! Just fill the crockpot halfway with water, add three sticks of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of cloves, some citrus, and two tablespoons of nutmeg. Mix together and turn the slow cooker on low with the lid off. Once the water starts to evaporate, add a cup or two of warm water.
7. Create an at-home spa
Instead of going to the spa and spending hundreds on beauty treatments, do them at home for a fraction of the cost with your slow cooker. Use it to heat paraffin wax for hand treatments, just add the wax and set on low.
You can also heat up towels for facials. “Set the cooker to low and let the towels sit for two hours before your facial. When you need a towel, use a pair of tongs to remove it from the cooker and shake it a couple of times to cool it down a little before you put it on your face,” says CNet.
8. Neutralize odors
If you want to rid a room of smells but don’t want a fruity or floral scent, you can use the slow cooker to simply neutralize the odors. Just fill the crockpot with water and add a cup of baking soda. Set the slow cooker on low with the lid off. The baking soda with extract the bad odors from the air.
9. Use as a humidifier
Feeling a little dry during the winter months? Dry air can leave you feeling congested but a slow cooker can help. Fill the slow cooker with water and add a little bit of Vick’s VapoRub. Place it in your room and leave on low with the lid off. Just be sure to keep it far enough away from your bed or any walking paths so you don’t have a disaster in the middle of the night.
10. Make soap
Make homemade soap using a crock pot with just a few simple ingredients, an immersion blender, and an hour of your time. Perfect for gifts! You can find the full tutorial here.
11. Make candles
Here’s another fun project you can do at home that would be perfect for holidays and other occasions where a homemade gift would be nice. Or, just because! You can add whatever colors or scents you’d like, making them super unique. Find the instructions here.
12. Make new crayons from old ones
This is another fun craft for the kiddos. If you have crayons that have been worn down to stubs, or maybe just lots of broken pieces, you can make new ones using a slow cooker!
“Sort your old crayons by color family and remove the paper wrapping. Place the broken bits of a single color into the slow cooker, and heat on low until the pieces have melted. Pour or ladle the melted crayons into silicone molds, and place them in a cool, dry location until they’ve cooled completely. Then, break out the coloring sheets and set the little ones to work,” explains Bob Vila.
13. Dye fabric
If you love knitting and crafting, this little trick will be a game changer! Dye fabrics and yarn (natural fibers) into the slow cooker and cover with 4 parts water and one part vinegar. Heat on high until steaming. Add food coloring one drop at a time until desired color is achieved. Turn to low and let simmer for two to four hours. Rinse the fabric with warm water then let dry. Use it to tie-dye too!
14. Roast nuts and seeds
Did you know you can roast your own nuts and seeds in a crockpot? Grease the bottom of the slow cooker with oil then place a cup of raw nuts or seeds inside. Sprinkle in seasonings and mix to coat. Cook for three or four hours on high or until the seeds “snap” when you break into them. Let cool and store in plastic bags or jars for delicious snacking!
15. Make rosewater
Rosewater is great for your skin and it smells incredible. To make your own at home, simmer rose petals in water on low in your slow cooker. Rose petals are very delicate, so it won’t take long for their natural essence to infuse with the water.
16. Make lip balm
“Melt beeswax, jojoba oil, and vitamin E oil in your slow cooker to create a natural, moisturizing lip balm. You can even add a small amount of sugar for flavoring. Empty out your old and used lip balm containers and carefully fill them up with the new batch of oil. Let it cool and harden before using,” explains Dr. Oz.
17. Moisturizing lotion bars
Add beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil into a slow cooker and set to high until the ingredients become melted together. Add essential oils if you’d like a scent then pour the mixture into muffin tins with paper liners. Place in the fridge to cool. Once they’re solid, you can keep around the house. Any time you need some moisturizing, rub between your hands to heat the lotion bar.
18. Soothe sore joints
Let your crockpot help soothe sore joints after a long day on your feet. “Roll up several hand towels and place in the Crock-Pot. Pour one to two cups of water over the top of the towels—don’t saturate, just moisten them. Add a few drops of essentials oils, if you like. Turn the crock-pot on low for about two hours. Use tongs to pull hot towels out of the slow cooker. Shake the towel lose to open it and cool it slightly before wrapping it around the body parts that ache,” says Reader’s Digest.
19. Hot stone massage
If you’d like to give hot stone massages at home, the crockpot is a helpful tool. Using 10 palm size, smooth black basalt stones, scrub them with soapy water then let dry completely. 30-60 minutes before the massage, place a towel at the bottom of the slow cooker and fill with warm water. Turn the slow cooker to low and keep an eye on the temperature using a thermometer (ideal temp is around 120 degrees).
Place the stones in the water, using some tongs. After 15 minutes, remove one of the stones, dry it, and place it on a towel. Touch the stone with your hand to see if it’s cool enough to hold comfortably. Once the stone can be held, add some massage oil onto it and run it lightly over your partner’s bare skin to see if the temperature is comfortable for them too. Holding the stone in the palm of your hand, massage your partner’s body with the stone, using smooth strokes.
20. Homemade dulce de leche with one ingredient
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Okay, so this one is food, but it is just way too good not to include. And it’s SO easy!
- Fill your crockpot 2/3 full with water.
- Take the label off of a can of sweetened condensed milk.
- Leave it sealed and place it in the water.
- Make sure the entire can is covered in water.
- Put the lid on the crockpot and leave on low overnight or around 8 hours.
- Take the can out of the crockpot using tongs.
- Let the can cool.
- Open the can and pour into a bowl.