By in Food

Some Unusual uses for Butter

Perhaps it’s because I was raised on three farms in the day when we raised, grew, or made almost everything we consumed around the old kitchen and dining room tables, but I still prefer real butter to margarine. I still remember the many happy hours I spent as a young lad cranking the handle of that old barrel style butter churn, converting fresh, unpasteurized milk from our cows into delicious creamy butter. Back in the day when I was just knee-high to a grasshopper, people had a way of many unusual uses for common foods, foods like butter, for example, that most people today would never dream of because back in the day we didn’t have the wide variety of specialty chemicals available to people today. We discovered dozens of unusual uses for butter around the farm, but I will have room to share only a few of them with you in this article, hopefully these will get you to thinking and you will discover other uses for butter by experimentation.

Butter is a Natural Polish Today you can buy specialty polish for just about everything from wood and leather to brass candle holders and silverware, I was introduced to Brasso when I enlisted in the United States Air Force when I was seventeen, everyone had a can of Brasso in their footlockers and used it religiously on their brass belt buckles. Brasso had been around when I was just a young’un, it’s been around for over 100 years now, it was invented in 1905 to replace the old paste style metal polish then in use, but it was an expensive polish, so we use butter instead. Butter can replace all those cans, bottles taking up space under your kitchen sink, like with the old Brill Cream commercials, a little dab will do you, just rub a dab of butter into the surfaces of your metal and leather goods, and they will gleam like the day you bought them. butter will also remove all those water stains from you hardwood furniture, it works great, just coat the stains with butter before going to bed and then wipe away the stains the next morning with a soft, cotton kitchen towel.

Nature’s own WD-40 and Silicone Sprays

In my workshop, you will find a cabinet crammed full of all kinds of sprays and powders to handle troublesome squeaking door and cabinet hinges and other mechanical devices. I like using WD-40, silicone, and graphite sprays because they are less messy and easier to apply, but butter will serve the same purpose in a pinch, and almost everyone has at least one stick of butter in their fridge. Coating a common kitchen knife with butter will turn it into one of those fancy, expensive ceramic nonstick knives for slicing foods that like to stick to ordinary knives.

A Natural Hand Cleaner

I love fresh fish, whether I catch them and clean them myself or buy them at the local fish market; the problem is getting that oily fish smell off my hands. Back in the day, people didn’t seem to mind someone smelling of fish, onions, or garlic, but today everyone seems to find such aromas offensive, getting rid of that fresh fish smell can be a real problem, unless you know about butter. A few years ago, I joined an online cooking club and became one of their new product testers, one of the first products that they sent me to test was an oval shaped hunk of metal, it looked like a bar of soap that they claimed would remove food odors from the hands. The metal bar of odor removing soap worked too, but I wouldn’t have bought it, not at $25 a pop when butter worked just as good, all you have to do is massage a generous amount of butter into your hands and let it do its thing. Butter will also make quick work of removing glues and tree sap from your hands as well.

A Food Preservative

Do you use a lot of block cheeses and onions in your cooking? Applying a liberal coating to the rough-cut edges of block cheeses will keep mold from growing on the freshly cut edges of the cheese and coating the edges of a freshly cut onion before wrapping it in aluminum foil will keep it fresh longer.

Medicinal uses for Butter

As a child I had a real problem swallowing pills without gagging, my aunt solved that problem by coating pills with butter, which made them slide down my throat easier and faster, if you try this one just make sure you take the pills with a very large glass of water. A butter massage also works wonders with sore, tired feet, and reduces the bruising following an injury, at least the phosphates in the butter reduces the chance of a bruise mark from appearing. Butter can even be used in place of shaving cream to rejuvenate dry skin.

Many other uses for Butter

Butter can be used to help remove rings from swollen fingers, butter can be used to help untangle jewelry chains, and a gob of butter will keep a pot of water from boiling over on the stove, to name just a few. Experiment with butter on your own and I’m sure you find many more ways to use it around the house, office, and shop.

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Ingrid wrote on December 6, 2014, 1:46 PM

I love all of these great ideas!

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 6, 2014, 1:50 PM

Glad that you liked them, Ingrid.

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 6, 2014, 2:31 PM

My Mom always would put butter on a minor burn. I guess that is an old wives tale because I later heard from doctors etc, that you should never put butter on burns.

slexy143 wrote on December 6, 2014, 4:54 PM

Thank you for all these great tips. I've just learnt something new from you and will put it to use as soon as possible

scheng1 wrote on December 6, 2014, 10:41 PM

If you use lye and butter to make soap, you can sell it for a high price.

Madcanman wrote on December 7, 2014, 7:37 AM

Once again, Jerry, some wonderful information. Thanks for coming up with this stuff. I'm sure many will benefit from your valuable pieces here!

rahulgugu wrote on December 7, 2014, 1:16 PM

ah really unusual ! i like the one you used to swallow your pills

BarbRad wrote on December 9, 2014, 2:36 AM

I'll have to try butter to keep my cheese from molding. I had no idea it could help.

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 10, 2014, 6:57 PM

Butter and lard were both used back in the day to treat minor burns and it did reduce the burning sensation because it shielded the burned area from the air, but by keeping the air away from the burned area it also hindered the healing process which is one of the reasons doctors don't recommend using butter or lard on burns.

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 10, 2014, 6:59 PM

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 10, 2014, 7:02 PM

Thanks Madcanman. I think that a lot of what I know and write about comes from being raised on farms back in a day when McGuivering was the norm.

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 10, 2014, 7:03 PM

It did overcome my gag reflex emoticon :grin:

Jerry_Walch wrote on December 10, 2014, 7:06 PM

Works for me BarbRad, I use it on my block cheese all the time. It keeps the air from reaching the freshly cut edges and mold need exposure to air to form.