Uses for rancid coconut oil
April 28, 2021 6:05 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with 5 liters of rancid, deodorised coconut oil?

I buy large tubs of deodorised coconut oil for various food and body uses. Last year, I ordered this twice, and both times, I had great coconut oil. Last time I ordered, I got a cracked bucket filled with what I learned to be rancid coconut oil (unfortunately ate a bunch of it before realising that the oil was the source of a foul taste). I got Amazon to replace it, and they told me to just keep the bad one. The new one arrived yesterday, and that one is even more rancid. But they want me to return that one. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

So, is there anything I can do with it that does not involve consumption or putting on my body? I really hate the thought of throwing it in the trash.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Keep it for the winter, then use it to make fat balls for birds by melting it, mixing it with seeds, pits, raisins and mealworms and then pouring it into some kind of mould.
The birds don't mind that it's rancid.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:15 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]

You can make candles/lamps. Add a few drops of essential oils to make it smell nice. If you soak some natural fiber twine in it, you'll have a nice fire starter.

Honestly if it doesn't smell bad and just tastes bad, I'd still use it as body oil, it won't hurt you.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:22 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]

Eh be careful about giving it to birds - low melting-point fats can coat their feathers and cause problems for them.
posted by mskyle at 6:57 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]

If you know anyone who has a wood stove, mix it with sawdust (free at many wood-working shops, post on freecycle) and use as firestarter. Oil will soak on to sawdust. It's usually easy to find free popcorn tins, as anything flammable should be in a tightly lidded container. In the US, backyard firepits are popular, use it for a bonfire.
posted by theora55 at 7:10 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]

Donate it to a home-brew biodiesel maker.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 7:23 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]

Does it smell bad?

If not use it to make soap. You can make laundry soap with it and use it to scrub things other than clothing.

You can burn it in a lamps - be aware that you can't burn it in the type of lamp that is made out of a bottle as it won't go in the bottle, but you can burn it in the type of lamp made out of a sardine can.

You can also use it to finish wooden things, like bookcases or anything you want to have a natural oil finish.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:01 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]

In addition to seconding Jane the Brown's suggestion of soap-making, I would also point out that coconut oil alone doesn't produce a soap that lathers well. You'd want to add either some animal fat, or another vegetable oil that lathers well (sunflower oil is fine).
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 11:56 AM on April 28

I see that soap is covered, so I'll add that laundry lint also makes good fodder for firestarters when mixed with fat or wax. In case you were wondering if you could do anything with your laundry lint.

It's always good to remember that laundry lint is great at turning a spark into a flame, which is why you really need to keep your dryer vent clean.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:04 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

Are you in an area with public collection points for used cooking oil? You could absolutely pour it in there for recycling (likely into biodiesel). If you don't have a public collection site nearby you can check with local restaurants, they should all have a container for their used fryer oil that you can pour this into, again for recycling (ask them first, but I can't think of any reason they would mind as long as you ask at a less-busy time).
posted by zibra at 1:13 PM on April 28

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