16 Surprising Uses for Flour

Flour: it’s not just for baking! There are lots of interesting uses for flour around your house. Check out these 16 ways to use flour in your crafting, DIY beauty routine, and in your home and garden.

The cool part about replacing items in your day-to-day with homemade alternatives is that you get to opt out of the harmful chemicals that are often in the ingredients list of the store-bought alternatives. You also get to skip the extra packaging. Things like glue, face creams, and cleaners tend to come in single-use plastic packaging. When you make your own, you skip that waste.

Related Reading: Litterati: Fighting Litter with….Instagram?

White flour might not be the healthiest for baking bread, but there are a myriad of alternate uses for flour that don’t involve eating it. Most of the flour recipes I’ve gathered here are for white flour, but some call of other sorts of flour, like rice or chickpea. You can often find these types of specialty flours at the grocery store or co-op. If stores near you don’t seem to stock them, though, you can also find them online.

Next>>How to use flour in your crafts

DIY Play Dough

DIY and Crafts

1. Make Play Dough – Your kids will love helping you make your own play dough from scratch. The best part? They get to choose what colors they want to make!

2. Make Cloud Dough – Cloud dough has a very different consistency from play dough, and your kids are going to have a great time with this stuff. Like the name implies, it has a fluffy feel to it. But it’s also totally moldable. Like magic!

Related Reading: 25 Ways to Reuse Glass Jars

3. DIY Glue – Homemade glue isn’t for heavy duty projects, but for smaller craft projects, it’s a great alternative to the store-bought stuff.

4. DIY Spray Adhesive -  This spritz glue is great for when you want your adhesive to go on evenly with fewer ripples and bubbles.

5. Make Salt Dough – Think of this as DIY modeling clay. Scuplt, shape, bake, and you’ve got yourself a keepsake!

6. Natural Fabric Stiffener – You seamsters know that some sewing projects are a lot easier with fabric stiffener, but it usually comes in an aerosol spray bottle. Here’s an alternative!

Next>> DIY beauty uses for flour

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by qwrrty

DIY Beauty

DIY Beauty

7. Dry Shampoo – Don’t have time to wash your hair? Get the oil out with a flour-based dry shampoo!

8. Rice Flour Mask – Rice flour absorbs oil and exfoliates. If you want to make this a vegan recipe, you can use agave nectar in place of the honey.

Related Reading: No Poo: Get Great Hair with Baking Soda & Vinegar

9. Red Grape Face Mask – Take advantage of the natural antioxidants and amino acids in red grapes with this homemade face mask.

10. Natural Acne Serum - Mix up equal parts of flour and or honey agave nectar, and apply a dab of the mixture to the pimple. Cover with a band aid overnight, and in the morning the swelling should be reduced considerably.

11. Chickpea Flour Face Mask -  Chickpea flour – also called besan – is the key ingredient in this traditional face mask recipe. You can use almond milk in place of the dairy milk to make this vegan.

Next>> Floury uses for your home and garden

brass pots

Home and Garden

12. Brass or Copper Cleaner – Combine equal parts flour, salt and white vinegar. Apply the mixture to your brass or copper with a sponge, let it dry, rinse with warm water and buff it with a dry cloth.

13. Buffing Stainless Steel – Flour is great for returning shine to stainless steel, like the kitchen sink. Clean, dry, then use a sprinkle of flour and a dry cloth.

Related Reading: 24 Surprising Uses for Salt

14. Clean Sticky Playing Cards – I don’t think I’ve ever played a game of cards without serving some snacks, and that can leave your deck kind of a mess. Clean off sticky cards with flour!

15. Stop a Grease Fire – Douse a kitchen grease fire with lots of flour to smother the flames.

EDIT (July 1, 2013): Flour may not be the best option to put out a fire, since it turns out that flour can explode.

16. Deter Ants in the Garden – You’d think that flour would attract ants, but putting flour around a plant that they’re bothering will actually deter them.

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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapaabout a year ago

Thank you

Elisa F.
Elisa F.about a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton2 years ago

Some nice tips. Thanks.

Vita Pagh
Vita P.2 years ago

Thank you for tips.

Susan B.
Susan B.2 years ago

Thank you

Daisie Worden
Daisie Worden2 years ago

I was particularly interested in how to clean brass and copper, but I found the other uses of flour pretty interesting as well. The domestic cleaners in Wimbledon will soon learn how to deal with brass. You can find them at wimbledon-cleaners.co.uk/domestic-cleaners-SW19/ wimbledon-cleaners.co.uk/domestic-cleaners-SW19/ .

Annemarie S.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson2 years ago

thanks for the copper cleaning tip

Lady Kaira
Lady Kaira2 years ago


federico bortoletto