First For Women

10 brilliant uses for oatmeal


Easily clean a cast-iron pot

To spiffy up your cookware while still preserving its seasoning, reach for oatmeal. Simply toss 2 Tbs. of dry oatmeal into the pot and use a clean cloth to rub it in, then dump out the flakes, rinse and dry. The gently abrasive oatmeal will scrub away stuck-on food and absorb any grease in the pot.

Soothe a minor burn

Ouch! You scorched your hand on your curling iron. For fast relief, mix 1⁄2 cup of dry oatmeal with 1⁄4 cup of water and let sit for 1 minute to thicken while you run the burn under cold water. Next, apply the paste to skin, let sit for 5 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Oatmeal boasts anti-inflammato­ry properties that relieve pain in a flash.

Get gorgeous second-day hair

Instead of splurging on dry shampoo, make your own. To do: Pulverize dry oatmeal in a coffee grinder and place in a food-storage container. Then on busy mornings, rub 1 Tbs. of the powder into your scalp, let sit for 5 minutes and brush out. The oats soak up oil, leaving you with stunning bouncy locks.

Nix Coco’s dry, flaky skin

As dogs begin shedding their heavy winter coat, it can lead to dry, itchy skin. To help your pooch feel better, give her a soothing oatmeal bath: Cut one leg off an old pair of panty hose and fill with 1⁄4 cup of dry oatmeal, then tie around the spout of your tub. As the warm water runs through the sachet, it will infuse the anti-inflammato­ry oatmeal into the bath, giving your pup much-needed relief.

Revitalize fading houseplant­s

If your treasured plants are looking lackluster, try this: Once a month, mix 2 Tbs. of dry oatmeal into the soil of each pot. Oatmeal contains nourishing iron and phosphorou­s that enrich the soil, helping your plants flourish.

Entertain little ones for hours

If a rain shower has foiled your plan to hit the park, keep your budding artists busy with DIY modeling clay. To make, mix 1 cup of dry oatmeal, ⁄3 cup

2 of flour and 1⁄2 cup of water. The “clay” will stay moist while the kids create.

Uncover glowing skin for pennies

To brighten a winter-worn complexion, try this a spa-inspired facial mask: Combine 1⁄2 cup of dry oatmeal, 3 Tbs. of plain yogurt and 2 tsp. of orange zest in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Spread the mixture on your face, leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. The oatmeal and yogurt will moisturize and exfoliate and the citric acid in the orange peel helps fight acne.

Freshen boots by morning

Yuck! Your galoshes are smelling a bit off after you took the dog for a walk. The save: Cut the legs off a pair of panty hose (just above the ankle), pour 1⁄2 cup of dry oatmeal into each and tie off. Toss one “sachet” into each boot and leave overnight. The oatmeal will absorb the funky odor by morning.

Quickly mop up cooking oil spills

Oops! While whipping up your famous baked ziti for the church’s annual potluck dinner, you accidental­ly knocked over a bottle of olive oil and it’s all over your kitchen floor. To the rescue: oatmeal! Simply cover the spill with dry oats, let sit for 5 minutes, then sweep up with a broom. Repeat if needed. The absorbent grains will soak up the oil spill so you can get back to cooking.

Banish garden slugs naturally

You just started planting your garden and pesky slugs are already starting to nibble. A nontoxic way to keep the invaders from harming your flowers: Sprinkle a handful of dry oatmeal on the soil around your plants. When the slugs eat the oats, it will fatally swell up their belly, ensuring your blooms stay safe.

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