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20 Genius Ways to Use Cooking Spray That Go WAY Beyond the Kitchen

Betcha had no clue cooking spray was so versatile.

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Prevent rice and pasta from sticking

Most cooks know that a little cooking oil in the boiling water will keep rice or pasta from sticking together when you drain it. If you run out of cooking oil, however, a spritz of cooking oil spray will do the job just as well. (Related: Check out these 25 kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.)

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Grating cheese

Put less elbow grease into grating cheese by using a nonstick cooking spray on your cheese grater for smoother grating. The spray also makes for easier and faster cleanup. (Did you know you could also use a cheese grater to bake perfect pie crusts?)

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Prevent tomato sauce stains

Sick of those hard-to-clean tomato sauce stains on your plastic containers? To prevent them, apply a light coating of nonstick cooking spray on the inside of the container before you pour in the tomato sauce.

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Keep car wheels clean

You know that fine black stuff that collects on the wheels of your car and is so hard to clean off? That’s brake dust—it’s produced every time you apply your brakes and the pads wear against the brake disks or cylinders. The next time you invest the elbow grease to get your wheels shiny, give them a light coating of cooking spray. The brake dust will wipe right off.

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De-bug your car

When those bugs smash into your car at 55 miles per hour, they really stick. A spritz of nonstick cooking spray can help you wipe away the insect debris.

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Lubricate your bicycle chain

Bike chain a bit creaky and you don’t have any lubricating oil handy? Give it a shot of nonstick cooking spray instead. Don’t use too much—the chain shouldn’t look wet. Wipe off the excess with a clean rag.

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Cure door squeak

Heard that door squeak just one time too many? Hit the hinge with some nonstick cooking spray. Have paper towels handy to wipe up the drips. Here are other tricks to quiet your home’s annoying creaks and squeaks.

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Remove paint and grease

Forget smelly solvents to remove paint and grease from your hands. Instead, use cooking spray to do the job. Work it in well and rinse. Wash again with soap and water.

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Dry nail polish

Need your nail polish to dry in a hurry? Spray it with a coat of cooking spray and let dry. The spray is also a great moisturizer for your hands. (Related: Here’s what your nail polish color says about your personality.)

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Quick casting

Pack a can of cooking spray when you go fishing. Spray it on your fishing line and the line will cast easier and farther.

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Prevent grass from sticking

Mowing the lawn should be easy, but cleaning stuck grass from the mower is tedious. Prevent grass from sticking on mower blades and the underside of the housing by spraying them with cooking oil before you begin mowing.

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Prevent snow sticks

Shoveling snow is hard enough, but it can be more aggravating when the snow sticks to the shovel. Spray the shovel with nonstick cooking spray before shoveling—the snow slides right off! If you use a snow thrower, spray inside the discharge chute to prevent it from clogging.

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Lubricate your locks

Tired of jiggling your keys in your locks? If you deal with a tough lock interior or sticky keys, try using a few sprays of cooking oil. The oil will help slide your key in and get you through the door much easier.

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Pop your own popcorn

Homemade popcorn can wind up a burnt mess because it’s hard to coat every kernel evenly. In order to have delicious popcorn, coat the kernels with cooking spray. Spray over them, shake them around, and spray again before continuing with the cooking process.

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Say bye to soap scum

Spray your shower door with cooking oil and stubborn soap scum will come right off when you wipe it with a towel. Oil breaks down lime deposits so that’s why it removes easily. After a few swipes with a towel, wash the surface with soap and water to maximize the cleanliness. (Related: Here are 7 ways you’re probably cleaning your bathroom wrong.)

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Form the perfect patty

When making burger patties or dealing with any kind of sticky food while cooking or baking, coat your hands with cooking oil in order to prevent the food from sticking to you and help to easily form its shape.

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De-frost your freezer

No one likes to deal with an ice buildup inside their freezer. The next time you clean it out and it’s free of ice, spray the inside with cooking spray to ensure your next cleanup will be quicker and frost free. (Related: Did you know about all these genius non-food ways to use your freezer?)

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Coat measuring cups

The next time a recipe calls for a sticky ingredient such as honey coat your measuring cups with oil so your quantity is exact and will slide right out when pouring it into your mixture.

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Remove gum from your hair

Having gum in your hair is a nightmare. Before you start freaking out or think you need scissors to chop it out, try spraying the gum with cooking spray. It should loosen it up enough to the point where it will slide right out.

iStock/Elena Elisseeva

Prevent plastic wrap from sticking to dessert

Ever bake a beautiful dessert but you’re bringing it to a party or saving it for later? To ensure your delicious masterpiece doesn’t get smudged or crumbly, lightly spray the inside of your plastic wrap before packing up your dessert.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest