10 Cool Uses for a Slow Cooker

I love my slow cooker, and I use it to make tons of delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. But did you know you can also make crafts and other non-food items in the pot? It's true! (See also: 12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfasts for Lazy Cooks)

Check out these 10 projects that will turn your world upside-down and give you some new skills to boast.

1. Candles

Need to make a gift for a friend? Try Crock-Pot candles. Set your pot to the warm setting and fill some small glass containers with soy wax flakes. Place the containers in your pot and then pour in some boiling water around them. Cover and cook for two hours, until fully melted. Stir in coloring and carefully remove before placing in the wicks and adding any scented oils.

2. Play Dough

My daughter loves slow cooker play dough. We can make it together and color it however she wants. Better yet, if you have allergies, you can use either rice or all-purpose flour. The rest is corn starch, water, cream of tartar, and some cooking oil. Warm it up in the pot, mix, and knead with food coloring.

3. Lotion Bars

I've made lotion bars on the stovetop before, but I love this idea to make them in a Crock-Pot. You'll toss together a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and vitamin E. Cook everything for one hour until fully melted, add essential oils, then pour into molds. (Note: You can use inexpensive slow cooker liners to keep the mess to a minimum.)

4. Lip Balm

The same method applies for this DIY lip balm. Melt beeswax before tossing in coconut and almond oils. Mix well. Then drop in some essential oils (flavor oils work best) before pouring into molds to set.

5. Soap

Make your own slow cooker soap! All you need is water, lye, and a mix of different oils. After dissolving lye in a separate container, you'll pour your oils in the pot. When they're hot, add in the lye and stir for five minutes before letting cook for 20 minutes. You'll turn the heat off and stir in more water before smoothing out, adding mix-ins, and eventually pouring into molds to set.

6. Foot Bath

I definitely had to look twice at this Crock-Pot foot bath. Believe it. This soothing soak will work best if you have a larger pot, of course. No real special formula — the author just put in water and bubble bath — but I suggest using a couple tablespoons of epsom salts for good measure. (Just make sure not to do this in a borrowed pot!)

7. Dyed Yarn

This dyed yarn project looks super cool. You'll need to use yarn made from at least 50% animal fiber. The magic is the food coloring and vinegar. You'll soak in the warm pot for between two and four hours before rinsing and spinning to dry.

8. Crayons

With a preschooler running around the house, we have our fair share or broken crayons in assorted colors. Use your Crock-Pot to melt broken crayons together and create new art supplies (or even gifts). You'll remove all the paper from the crayons before piling them in color order. Melt on low. Then ladle into silicone molds to set.

9. Potpourri

While I prefer simmering applesauce to get my house smelling nice, you can also make Aunt Peggy's potpourri in your slow cooker. Toss in apples, lemons, oranges, water, bay leaves, and cloves. Then cook on low to diffuse the aroma.

10. Paint Removal

Do you have old hinges or other metal hardware covered in paint? Remove it without using chemical strippers inside your Crock-Pot. Fill the pot with water and set to high. Place your items in the pot until the paint softens and comes off in one piece. You may wish to use a new (or old) Crock-Pot for this job since paint contains some nasty stuff. Try finding one at a thrift shop on the cheap.

What cool, non-edible uses have you come up with for your Crock-Pot?

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10 Cool Uses for a Slow Cooker

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