10 Cooking Spray Home Hacks You Need to Know

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a Young woman baking in the kitchen at home. - stock photo

Non-stick cooking spray is a pretty uncomplicated product. If you're cooking or baking something and you don't want it to stick to your pans, spraying is an easy, lower-fat alternative to greasing them or using oil. If pans are the only thing you use it for, though, you're missing out on a lot of other ways it can make your life easier.

Non-stick cooking spray is a pretty uncomplicated product. If you're cooking or baking something and you don't want it to stick to your pans, spraying is an easy, lower-fat alternative to greasing them or using oil. If pans are the only thing you use it for, though, you're missing out on a lot of other ways it can make your life easier.

Easily Clean Your Litter Box

sandbox and litterbox for Cat and pets

Clumping kitty litter is a great invention, except when it sticks itself as a solid lump to the bottom of the litterbox. If you're tired of having to muscle those jumbo clumps from the bottom of the box — and sometimes tossing litter everywhere when the scoop finally frees itself — try spraying the bottom of your litter box with pan spray while it's clean and dry, before you refill it. The fine layer of lubricating oil will keep the clay-based litter from sticking to the plastic bottom, making cleanup a lot easier. A quick spray will keep pet food from sticking to its bowls, too, even when it gets dried on.

Credit: skaman306/Moment/GettyImages

Clumping kitty litter is a great invention, except when it sticks itself as a solid lump to the bottom of the litterbox. If you're tired of having to muscle those jumbo clumps from the bottom of the box — and sometimes tossing litter everywhere when the scoop finally frees itself — try spraying the bottom of your litter box with pan spray while it's clean and dry, before you refill it. The fine layer of lubricating oil will keep the clay-based litter from sticking to the plastic bottom, making cleanup a lot easier. A quick spray will keep pet food from sticking to its bowls, too, even when it gets dried on.

Winterize Your Car

Winter hoarfrost on my car

Unless you live in a sunbelt state, you've probably had to deal with the effects of ice and winter cold on your car. Not being able to get into your car at all is one of the more serious annoyances, and cooking spray can help. Before a cold snap, open the doors of your car and spray the seals with pan spray. It repels moisture and helps keep the door from freezing shut. A quick spritz into the lock will do the same, and lubricate your lock as a bonus. Pro tip: This also works for the locks on your house.

Credit: Apexphotos/Moment Open/GettyImages

Unless you live in a sunbelt state, you've probably had to deal with the effects of ice and winter cold on your car. Not being able to get into your car at all is one of the more serious annoyances, and cooking spray can help. Before a cold snap, open the doors of your car and spray the seals with pan spray. It repels moisture and helps keep the door from freezing shut. A quick spritz into the lock will do the same, and lubricate your lock as a bonus. Pro tip: This also works for the locks on your house.

Winterize Your Satellite Dish, Too

Home Satellite Dish

If you rely on satellite service for your TV package, you already know that weather conditions can sometimes interfere with your viewing pleasure. This year, before the snow flies, take advantage of a beautiful late autumn afternoon to climb a ladder and spray your satellite dish with cooking spray. When the snow does show up, the thin layer of lubricant will help it slide easily from the dish under its own weight. After all, those long winter evenings are exactly when you most need some shows to watch!

Credit: Bill Oxford/E+/GettyImages

If you rely on satellite service for your TV package, you already know that weather conditions can sometimes interfere with your viewing pleasure. This year, before the snow flies, take advantage of a beautiful late autumn afternoon to climb a ladder and spray your satellite dish with cooking spray. When the snow does show up, the thin layer of lubricant will help it slide easily from the dish under its own weight. After all, those long winter evenings are exactly when you most need some shows to watch!

Remove That Too-Tight Ring

A man is holding his wedding ring

It's an unhappy fact of life that we don't always stay the same size, which is why there are pants with stretchy waistbands. That's not an available option with rings, unfortunately, so there may come a time when your ring becomes too tight. It's prudent to take it off for a few days while you're waiting for swelling to go down or bloating to pass, or take it off and get it resized in longer-term scenarios. The problem, of course, is getting it off in the first place! Spraying your finger with pan spray first, then wiggling and twisting the ring while pulling gently but firmly, will usually do the trick.

Credit: Karl Tapales/Moment/GettyImages

It's an unhappy fact of life that we don't always stay the same size, which is why there are pants with stretchy waistbands. That's not an available option with rings, unfortunately, so there may come a time when your ring becomes too tight. It's prudent to take it off for a few days while you're waiting for swelling to go down or bloating to pass, or take it off and get it resized in longer-term scenarios. The problem, of course, is getting it off in the first place! Spraying your finger with pan spray first, then wiggling and twisting the ring while pulling gently but firmly, will usually do the trick.

De-Stress Defrosting

Ice In Freezer

Defrosting your freezer is a time-consuming chore, but it has to be done: Frost buildup makes the appliance run less efficiently and consume more energy, and a really bad buildup can cut into the amount of space you have for food. The next time you clean out and defrost your freezer, spray the coils, shelves and inner walls with cooking spray before you load your food back in. The spray makes it harder for frost to adhere to your freezer, slowing accumulation and making it easier to defrost the next time.

Credit: Franziska Uhlmann / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Defrosting your freezer is a time-consuming chore, but it has to be done: Frost buildup makes the appliance run less efficiently and consume more energy, and a really bad buildup can cut into the amount of space you have for food. The next time you clean out and defrost your freezer, spray the coils, shelves and inner walls with cooking spray before you load your food back in. The spray makes it harder for frost to adhere to your freezer, slowing accumulation and making it easier to defrost the next time.

Clean Your Hands

Painter Washing Stained Hands with Lacquer Thinner

Working around the house, yard or car often means your hands will get gunked up with paint, grease and various kinds of grime. Spraying your hands with cooking spray and then rubbing them vigorously will help loosen the grunge, and make it easier to wash off with soap and water afterwards. Cooking spray also works pretty well for softening and moisturizing your skin, so it'll help counteract the rough, dry patches that naturally develop when you've been working with your hands.

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Working around the house, yard or car often means your hands will get gunked up with paint, grease and various kinds of grime. Spraying your hands with cooking spray and then rubbing them vigorously will help loosen the grunge, and make it easier to wash off with soap and water afterwards. Cooking spray also works pretty well for softening and moisturizing your skin, so it'll help counteract the rough, dry patches that naturally develop when you've been working with your hands.

Keep Your Candles Looking Sleek

Close-Up Of Burning Candle

Some people like the look of a candle that's thickly encrusted with drips and dribbles, and others don't. If you fall into that second camp, or if you have "special" candles with a unique shape you'd like to preserve, cooking spray can be your friend. Just spray the candle before you light it the first time. After you've blown it out and the candle has cooled, you can easily rub off any drips that have accumulated down the candle's sides.

Credit: Jennifer Henriksen / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Some people like the look of a candle that's thickly encrusted with drips and dribbles, and others don't. If you fall into that second camp, or if you have "special" candles with a unique shape you'd like to preserve, cooking spray can be your friend. Just spray the candle before you light it the first time. After you've blown it out and the candle has cooled, you can easily rub off any drips that have accumulated down the candle's sides.

Treat Your Tools

Painter's Hand

Cooking spray's qualities as a lubricant make it useful with tools, as well. Spraying putty knives and scrapers before they're used helps keep pain and plaster from sticking to them, and speeds cleanup. If you're using a plastic shaping tool (or your finger) to make your caulking smooth around a sink or tub wall, spraying it first keeps the caulk from sticking. You can even spray the underside of your lawn mower's deck periodically through the summer, to keep the wet, new-cut grass from clumping and sticking.

Credit: RichLegg/E+/GettyImages

Cooking spray's qualities as a lubricant make it useful with tools, as well. Spraying putty knives and scrapers before they're used helps keep pain and plaster from sticking to them, and speeds cleanup. If you're using a plastic shaping tool (or your finger) to make your caulking smooth around a sink or tub wall, spraying it first keeps the caulk from sticking. You can even spray the underside of your lawn mower's deck periodically through the summer, to keep the wet, new-cut grass from clumping and sticking.

Easily Remove Window Decorations

Christmas decoration

Painted and spray-on window decorations are a popular choice at certain times of the year, from faux-snow over the holidays to "blood" spatters and thick cobwebs at Halloween. Getting them off, unfortunately, is not nearly as much fun as putting them up. Misting your windows with a thin coating of cooking spray before the decorations go up can make them much, much easier to scrape off. It's a lot easier to enjoy the moment when you're not dreading the cleanup afterwards.

Credit: StockPlanets/E+/GettyImages

Painted and spray-on window decorations are a popular choice at certain times of the year, from faux-snow over the holidays to "blood" spatters and thick cobwebs at Halloween. Getting them off, unfortunately, is not nearly as much fun as putting them up. Misting your windows with a thin coating of cooking spray before the decorations go up can make them much, much easier to scrape off. It's a lot easier to enjoy the moment when you're not dreading the cleanup afterwards.

Simplify Your Grill Clean-Up

Cleaning the grill with scrubber

Winter isn't the only time you can use cooking spray outdoors. If you love to grill in the backyard, take the can along with you. Once you're done for the day, and your grill is clean, give it a good layer of spray. It'll help keep food from sticking and speed cleanup after the next use, and prevents rust if you go a while without using your grill. It's handy while you're cooking, as well: If you spray the skewers before making your kabobs, the pieces of meat will slide off easily without sticking or tearing.

Credit: Candy Escudero / FOAP/foap/GettyImages

Winter isn't the only time you can use cooking spray outdoors. If you love to grill in the backyard, take the can along with you. Once you're done for the day, and your grill is clean, give it a good layer of spray. It'll help keep food from sticking and speed cleanup after the next use, and prevents rust if you go a while without using your grill. It's handy while you're cooking, as well: If you spray the skewers before making your kabobs, the pieces of meat will slide off easily without sticking or tearing.

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