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20 Genius Uses for Hair Conditioner (Outside of the Shower)

You're gonna want to stock up.


Take off makeup

Why buy expensive makeup removers when a perfectly good substitute sits in your shower stall? Hair conditioner quickly and easily removes makeup for much less money than name-brand makeup removers. (You can also use coconut oil to get rid of makeup.)


Unstick a ring

Grandma’s antique ring just got stuck on your middle finger. Now what? Grab a bottle of hair conditioner and slick down the finger. The ring should slide right off. (Or try this ring removal trick from a survival medicine doctor!)


Lubricate a zipper

You’re racing out the door, throwing on your jacket, and dang! Your zipper’s stuck, so you yank and pull until it finally zips up. A dab of hair conditioner rubbed along the zipper teeth can help you avoid this bother next time. (Related: Here are brilliant tricks for all your little wardrobe malfunctions.)


Smooth shave-irritated legs

After you shave your legs, they may feel rough and irritated. Rub on hair conditioner; it acts like a lotion and can soothe the hurt away. (Psst: Here are 7 ways you might be shaving your legs all wrong.)


Smooth-sliding shower curtain

Tired of yanking on the shower curtain? Instead of closing smoothly, does it stutter along the curtain rod, letting the shower spray water onto the floor? Rub the rod with hair conditioner, and the curtain will glide across it.

iStock/Henk Badenhorst

Prevent rust on tools

Every good do-it-yourselfer knows how important it is to take care of the tools in your toolbox. One way to condition them and keep rust from invading is to rub them down with hair conditioner.


Clean and shine your houseplants

Do your houseplants need a good dusting? Put a bit of hair conditioner on a soft cloth and rub the plant leaves to remove dust and shine the leaves.


Shine stainless steel

Forget expensive stainless steel polishers. Apply hair conditioner to your faucets, golf clubs, chrome fixtures, or anything else that needs a shine. Rub it off with a soft cloth, and you’ll be impressed with the gleam. Speaking of polishing, here’s how to polish silver using conditioner (and 12 other common household objects).


Clean silk garments

Do you dare to ignore that “dry clean” label in your silk shirt? Here’s a low-cost alternative to sending it out. Fill the sink with water (warm water for whites and cold water for colors). Add a tablespoon of hair conditioner. Immerse the shirt in the water and let it sit for a few minutes. Then pull it out, rinse, and hang it up to dry. The conditioner keeps the shirt feeling silky smooth. (Here are other ways you could dry clean your own clothes.)

iStock/Peter Hermus

Handwash lingerie

You can also use hair conditioner to wash your lingerie and other delicates. Sometimes we can be worried about them tearing or shrinking in the wash. Simply do the same as you would with a silk article of clothing. It’ll make washing your undergarments that much easier.

iStock/Roberto A Sanchez

Protect leather boots and shoes

During the colder months, snow and ice can tend to be a problem for your favorite footwear. In order to protect your leather shoes while still looking fashionable, apply a small amount of conditioner to them by buffing it with a clean, soft rag. (Related: You must try these genius tips to make your shoes last longer.)


Soften your paint or makeup brushes

Whether you’re an artist on an easel or an artist with your makeup, the bristles on your brushes can tend to get worn down and pointy. To keep them smooth and flexible, you can apply a little conditioner while they’re wet or dry.


Homemade dryer sheets

If you ran out of dryer sheets, you can replace them by making your own with conditioner! Fill a spray bottle with one part water and one part conditioner, and shake to combine. When you’re ready to use it all you have to do is spray some on a washcloth and toss it in the dryer. (Related: These amazing uses for dryer sheets could change your life.)

iStock/rossella cerisola

Unshrink a sweater

Eeek! Your favorite wool sweater wound up in the dryer … now what? In this case, conditioner can come to your rescue. Fill a sink with warm water and add a tablespoon of hair conditioner. Place your sweater in the mixture and allow it to soak for several hours. You’ll then have to squeeze all the excess water out of it and lay it flat on a surface, and gently shape it back as much as you can to its original size.


Easily remove stickers, bandages, and even temporary tattoos

Usually rubbing alcohol is recommended for this, but a liberal amount of hair conditioner can also do the trick. This will help loosen the adhesive and make the removal process involve less scrubbing or pain.


Unclog a drain

Conditioner can help cure small clogs if you squirt some in the drain and immediately pour hot water over it. This will help lubricate whatever is causing the blockage.


Loosen hair knots

Instead of taking a brush and ripping your hair out while you try to get rid of the knot, apply some conditioner to a spray bottle with water and spray it to the knot while your hair is still dry. Gently comb through to detangle your hair.


Soften cuticles

If you’re trying to save money and decide to give yourself a homemade manicure, or if dry skin is drying out your cuticles, use conditioner as a cream. Some cuticle creams can be really greasy, but conditioner will make pushing them down a smooth process.


Put it in the bath

If you don’t have essential oils, you can use a quarter size amount of hair conditioner in the bath to soften your skin during the cold seasonal months that tend to dry you out. You’ll feel silky to the touch after.


Silence those squeaks

If a squeaky door is driving you nuts, a quick fix is surprisingly hair conditioner. Just put a little conditioner on the hinge and it’ll become a relief to your ears. (Related: These tricks can quiet your home’s annoying squeaks and creaks.)

Originally Published in Reader's Digest