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The Many Household Uses for Butter

Updated on December 3, 2018
Lady Lorelei profile image

Mother of two girls & grandmother to 6 my life is blessed with a wealth of giggles and hugs. Writing is my work my hobby and my play.


Traditionally a Food With Many Purposes

It's delicious on bread, popcorn, potato and corn but this food surprisingly has many practical purposes in the kitchen as well. Our great grandmother knew that butter is a food product that can be used for far more than just baking. They often were rural women who traditionally spent a large part of their day in the kitchen preparing meals and baking bread so in an emergency situation they would reach out for whatever was handy for them to use.

One product that was generally close at hand was butter and it could solve a number of everyday household dilemmas.

Used as a grease to loosen items or a lotion to soothe they quickly learned how important this kitchen essential was for a number of tasks around the home. Frontier women learned to reach out for a quick swab of butter to solve whichever household situation it might currently be required for.

There is Nothing Quite Like the Taste of Creamy Smooth Butter


This Kitchen Staple is More Than Just a Food

Butter is perfect for greasing up a cast iron pan. Simply apply a small dab or thin pat of butter into the pan then use a cotton rag to rub the butter over and throughout the pan. It will shine up beautifully. This greasy coating also serves to season cast iron so not only will your old pans come out gleaming they will also not be so likely to have food stick to them in future uses.

Butter can also be used to prevent a knife from sticking. This can be especially helpful when cutting dough or other foods which can have a tendency to cling to the cutter. A thin layer of butter helps make this basic kitchen utensil silky smooth and much abler to cut sticky foods without issue.

Busy in the kitchen? If a pot is starting to boil a little too quickly than a little plop of butter into the water will effectively stop the water from boiling over. While a teaspoon of butter in the spaghetti or macaroni pot will help to keep these starchy foods from sticking to the pot.

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Making butter the old fashioned way.

Butter as a Conditioner for Your Hands and Nails

Butter can also be used for a number of health and beauty regimens. As a quick and convenient lotion while working in the kitchen butter is always close by to relieve the symptoms of dry or cracked hands.

In less than a minute a small dab of this smooth yellow mixture can be quickly rubbed over the hands and elbows to relieve the dryness that skin has a tendency to develop. In the evening it can be used as a hand or foot moisturizer just before bedtime. Butter's light greasy coating on these vulnerable areas can help to lock in and maintain moisture throughout the night.

When used as a hand cream butter helps to keep cuticles soft and flexible. Throughout the day apply a little dab around the fingernails to keep your nails less brittle or prone to breakage.

Butter can even be used as a massage cream and after the massage will leave your skin smelling fresh and feeling smooth to the touch. It also makes a suitable replacement for shaving cream and can be used for this purpose when the need arises.

As a moisturizing hair treatment it can be used to effectively restore health and shine to brittle hair. Use butter as a deep hair conditioner. Simply dampen hair, work a generous amount of butter into it, towel wrap buttered hair, and leave in for around thirty minutes. Wash hair thoroughly and then apply a vinegar and water rinse to remove any greasy residue.

To help keep your pet's coat glossy and smooth put a dab of butter on his or her paw. Your pet will enjoy this tasty treat and lick it off. For cats this greasy meal will also help to keep fur balls in check.

A Naturally Greasy Dairy Product


It Can be Used to Replace More Environmentally Harmful Oils

Butter can be used on most metals that squeak, stick, or grind when they shouldn't. There are many instances where it can be used as a grease to replace more harmful petroleum oils.

For greasing the chain or wheels on a bicycle, or getting a key to slip more easily into an old lock, butter can be a more environmentally friendly product to use. Use a cotton rag to massage the butter onto your sticky metal piece to help loosen things up. A little dab can also remove those all too annoying squeaks and creaks from metal fasteners.

Butter can be used to loosen a too tight ring from a swollen finger. Many of us have used this trick on ourself or someone that we know.

When the kids get into something they shouldn't this greasy golden solution may help to slick them up enough to be removed from whatever it is they are stuck in as well. And most of us know how great it is for removing a sticky mass of bubblegum from their hair, glue from sticky fingers, or tree sap from whatever body part they have managed to attach it to.

A Wee Dab of Butter Trivia

1. India is the country that is the number one producer of butter. This is a good thing because they are also the number one consumers of butter.

2. It takes 10.2 litres of cows milk to make 454 grams ie one pound of butter. Now that is a lot of moo cooperation going on out there in the fields!

3. Butter contains about the same amount of calories as margarine or vegetable oils.

4. Butter has been around for about 10,000 years.

Fat and Calories in Comparison to Margarine and Olive Oil

One serving or about 2 teaspoons each:

a) Butter: 8g fat 72g calories

B) Margarine: 8g fat 72g calories

C) Olive Oil: 10g fat 88g calories

Butter though does contain transfats, whereas you can purchase trans fat free margarines, and olive oil is always a healthy oil choice. Like most of the things in life which are just so deliciously good to eat, it is wise to consume butter in moderation, and not dine out too heavily on those extra calories.

© 2010 Lorelei Cohen

What Have You Used it For?

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice to see a lens that's telling us how great butter is. Have always cooked with butter and always will. I used to make butter with my mother back in the 1940s, seeing the butter churn for making your own butter brought back memories, only the butter churn wasn't like that back in those days. Thanks.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      Somewhat, but nowhere near all the uses you've suggested here. I had no idea! My mom always rubbed butter (or oleo, since we had that whenever we didn't have access to fresh cream) on her hands and even her face and lips, which suffered terribly during harsh, cold winters. I'd like to try it as massage cream, and I hope I remember your tip about greasing the knife next time I chop candied ginger for baking.

    • teamnana profile image


      5 years ago

      Butter as a hand cream and massage oil! Intriguing ideas that make lots of sense. Loved your lens!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well, I fry my basa fish in butter and put it on my brussels sprouts too. You are right about grandmothers and butter. My grandma loved to cook with unsalted butter and kneading her dough, she had the softest hands!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I use butter for tons of stuff... I have always been a butter lover, and I swear, I have known all along what it's benefits are,... just now people are beginning to come around on this one! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I liked the idea of using butter as hand cream, homemade butter is pure and free from preservatives and chemicals.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      6 years ago from Washington KS

      Hubby had super high cholesterol that was not being controlled by medication.

      I read an article explaining why butter is a better choice than margarine if a person has high cholesterol. I replaced margarine with butter and hubby's cholesterol dropped 50 points every six weeks, with no other diet changes.

    • debnet profile image


      6 years ago from England

      I know that some people put butter on their cats paws when they first let them out of the house. The idea being, the cat can scent it's way back to the house from the tracks it left with the butter. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Butter isn't just for cooking and eating! One time I had a bad sunburn and all I had was butter to put on it to sooth it. It worked!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love using butter when the kids get gum in their hair. It comes right out.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Surprises and more surprises, I did not know India leads the butter production and the consumption as well. Many great tips that I can surely use in the kitchen.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      8 years ago

      Have to remember to try butter for my cat's hairballs. What a great help that would be. Then I wouldn't have to use butter to condition my hands after I have cleaned up her hairballs :-)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      8 years ago

      It is also great for buttering someone's nose on their birthday although I am really not sure why that tradition exists?

    • The-Java-Gal profile image


      8 years ago

      Great information on butter, and all sorts of other stuff too. Always enjoy your lenses. 5*s.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Definitely love butter!

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 

      8 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      You've certainly shown me some new ways to use butter. So far I have only been buttering my bread and used it in cooking. Thanks for stopping by my lens.


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