Flour is one staple most of us probably have in our kitchen cupboards, and it’s used for baking breads and desserts, thickening sauces and other culinary tasks.

However, flour is not just for cooking with! Here’s nine surprising ways that flour can be useful all around your home – from repelling insects to clearing up acne.

1. Ant Repellent

If you have a problem with ants appearing in your home, sprinkle a line of flour in the area where they come in and out. Ants don’t like the taste or feel of flour, so they avoid it if they can.

flour

2. Rejuvenate Playing Cards

If you enjoy a game of cards, your deck has probably got a fair bit of dirt and grime on it from all the use. To freshen them up, simply put the cards in a Ziplock bag with a handful of flour, and shake well. Remove from the bag and wipe off the remaining flour with a clean, dry cloth.

Flour helps to absorb moisture, oily residue, and grime, so when you wipe them clean, your cards will have a new lease of life.

3. Acne Control

If you have a spot you need to get rid of quick, apply a paste made from honey and some flour mixed together. Cover the paste with a plaster, and leave it on overnight to allow the mixture to work its magic.

Rinse the area clean the next morning. The spot should be noticeably smaller, due to the healing nature of honey and the drying action of flour.

4. Make Your Stainless Steel Shine

Clean your stainless steel appliances, then sprinkle a bit of flour onto a dry cloth and buff your stainless steel up to a high shine.

5. Clean Copper

You can make a paste of flour, salt, and white vinegar to clean your copper. Add equal parts of flour and salt to a bowl, and add enough vinegar to form a paste.

Spread the paste on to a brass or copper surface, and let it sit until the paste dries. Rinse with warm water, and you’ll have clean and shiny copper and brass.

6. Dry Shampoo

If you’ve run out of dry shampoo, don’t panic – reach for the flour instead! Sieve the flour first to get rid of any clumps, and apply it to the roots of your hair using a fluffy makeup brush. Leave the flour on for 30 minutes, then brush or shake out the excess flour. It’s best to do this step in the shower cubicle, so you don’t get flour all over your floor.

The flour will absorb the oil in your hair, making it look much fresher afterwards.

7. Cloud Dough for Kids

If you’re stuck for ideas to keep your kids entertained, try making cloud dough. It’s a moldable dough that kids love playing with. Combine 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil. It feels like flour, but can be molded into any shape you wish.

8. Ripen Avocados

You can use flour to speed up the ripening process for avocados. Put your avocado in a paper bag, and cover the fruit with flour. Put the bag on your countertop for 24 hours or so, and you should have a ripe avocado.

9. Craft Glue

Flour and water make a simple and non-toxic craft glue for kids.

Combine equal parts of flour and water, and mix until smooth and about the same consistency as pancake batter. Put the mixture into a pan, and put on your stovetop at medium heat. Stir constantly until the mix comes to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container, and get gluing!