25 Uses for Peanut Butter Beyond PB&J

A child tries to scrape the last remaining bits of the peanut butter out of the jar.
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Got peanut butter?

There are some clever culinary ways to use peanut butter that don’t involve spreading it on bread or crackers. Making peanut cookies, smoothies, pies and delicious West African peanut soup are just some.

But in a pinch, you can use peanut butter in place of household items that you may have run out of, like shaving cream. In other cases, peanut butter is the best choice for the job, like getting rid of fishy smells in your pans.

Looking for new ways to get nutty with your peanut butter? Try out a few of these unique hacks.

Keep in mind, you want to stick with creamy peanut butter for most of these hacks, so skip the crunchy peanut butter, especially if you are using it to replace shaving cream.

What about the cost of peanut butter which can get pricey for top shelf brands? Smart Penny Hoarders buy peanut butter on sale or with coupons, or even on BOGO if you shop at a market that offers these deals on various products.  Peanut butter lovers have so many things to get excited about.

Peanut Butter to Remove Messes

I don’t care much for house cleaning, but when the inspiration strikes, I might go through an entire bottle of Lysol. But Lysol isn’t the only great cleaner around. You can use peanut butter for a variety of cleaning tasks as well so it’s good to have a few jars on hand.

1. Removing Gum From Hair

Perhaps the most widely known use for peanut butter is removing gum from hair. What is it that makes smooth peanut butter so good as a gum remover? It’s all in the oil, which is why vegetable oil is also a go-to in such a sticky situation.

2. Removing Gum From Carpet

But removing gum from hair is only the start. The same logic also applies to carpeting: Just apply a teaspoon of peanut butter to the affected area of carpet, and the gum should come unstuck easily. You will need to use a wet rag and some dish soap to clear away the peanut butter afterward.

3. Removing Stickers

Whether your curious toddler has plastered stickers all over their bedroom wall or you’ve just purchased a new product with a particularly well-applied sticker, you can spread peanut butter on the sticker, let it sit for an hour and then remove it all with a damp rag. This trick works on walls, glass and plastic containers that you’d like to reuse.

4. Cleaning up after arts and crafts

Peanut butter is even helpful after a craft project has left your hands covered in dried glue residue. While it’s the oil content that breaks down the bond in the glue, this is the one use case where chunky may be more handy, as it can act as an abrasive.

Peanut Butter to Renew Pretty Much Everything

Beyond removing messes, smooth peanut butter can actually restore everyday items to their former glory — or at least get them working again.

5. Giving Leather and Vinyl Surfaces a Fresh Shine

Use a small amount of peanut butter and spread it in a circular motion. Then, just buff it away. This is great for couches, chairs and even the (leather) seats in your car.

6. Protecting Exterior Paint of Car

Got tar stuck to the exterior of your car? Instead of a chemical goo remover, just try some PB in its place. Smother the tar with PB of your choice. After about a minute, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it away. It may take a few applications to remove the tar fully and bring the paint back to life.

7. Restoring Old CDs or Game Discs

If you have old discs — CDs, DVDs or video games — that you’d love to experience again to fuel your pre-digital nostalgia (queue the Shania Twain; drag out the PS1), use some peanut butter to buff out the scratches. Voila! Good as new!

8. Restoring Antique Wood Furniture

Wood furniture can make for the perfect statement piece in your living room, but with toddlers and pets around, it is possible it could get scratched. Reader’s Digest recommends peanut butter as one possible remedy. Put a dab on the scratch and let it sit there for about an hour. Rub it away with a clean cloth. The scratch will still be there, but will be much less noticeable.

9. Removing Odors from Fishy Cookware

Does that fishy smell linger in your pans after you’ve cooked seafood? Fry a dollop of peanut butter in your pan after finishing the fish. One or two minutes is all it takes. Added bonus: Your whole house will smell like peanut butter afterward.

Peanut Butter for Personal Hygiene

Peanut butter is good for you — and not just as part of your diet. It might sound odd, but peanut butter can play an active role in your daily hygiene routine.

10. Shampooing Hair

Have you ever needed to wash your hair only to find out you’re out of shampoo? The answer was in your pantry the whole time. In small amounts, creamy peanut butter can moisturize your hair. The process takes about 45 minutes so consider it when you plan on spending an evening on a beauty treatment.

11. Shaving

While you’re in the shower, you may as well spread some peanut butter on your legs or face and get to shaving because it’s also known to be a unique but successful shaving cream — and one that leads to smoother skin. Avoid chunky peanut butter or risk clogging your razor and the drain.

12. Lotioning Up

For the same reasons that peanut butter works as an (occasional) shampoo replacement, you can use peanut butter to moisturize your hands if you run out of lotion. The natural oils in peanut butter make for shiny and clear skin. Oh, and a little bit goes a long way.

Peanut Butter for Pets and Pests

Whether it’s helping your dog take the medicine he’s been fighting you on or tracking down a pesky ant, peanut butter can be very useful.

13. Baiting a Mouse

If you’ve got a mouse in the house, consider baiting a humane trap with peanut butter. The smell will attract the rodents who are fond of nuts.

14. Baiting Bugs

Mice aren’t the only pests you can bait with peanut butter, though. You can also use it to bait bugs, like roaches and ants.

15. Baiting Hooks

Some anglers even swear by peanut butter as bait for fish. The advantages of a peanut butter ball for carp, for example, is that the bait eventually dissolves and leaves a clean hook. No worm guts to scrape off!

16. Giving Meds to Pets

Peanut butter is an incredible way to trick a grumpy dog or cat into taking their medicine. The creamy is the most effective and when a little is dabbed on a pill. It’s difficult for the animal to lick it off and the medicine will be ingested.

17. Feeding Favorite Garden Visitors

Unless you’re Snow White, you probably can’t convince the neighborhood birds to come inside and fold your laundry. But you can at least enjoy their morning songs by filling the bird feeder with seeds. A treat that birds especially love is a pinecone coated in peanut butter and then rolled in seed. You can hang these up in your garden and enjoy watching birds come to snack.

Peanut Butter for Fixing Stuff

Forget the impact driver; peanut butter is the only tool you need. (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but having a jar of peanut butter on hand can help during your next construction project.)

18. Lubricating Tools

Peanut butter is useful for handy people or maybe the unprepared. When without lubricant, you can use peanut butter for lawn mower blades, saws and other tools.

19. Fixing Creaks and Squeaks

Along that vein, peanut butter also makes a good stand-in for spray lubricants when fixing creaky door hinges or squeaky drawers. Just apply a little PB to the squeaky culprit, like a door hinge, and let the oils do their work.

Peanut Butter for Kitchen Tasks

Of course peanut butter is for eating but there are some other culinary uses beyond sandwiches and cookies that you might not have thought about. And these ideas don’t necessarily need a recipe to be winners.

20. Replacing Butter

Out of butter? No problem. You can still make your favorite foods with peanut butter as a butter substitute. Depending on the amount, you might not get much of the peanut flavor.

Replacing butter with peanut butter is great for people who are watching their weight but can’t resist a cookie when they see one. That’s because butter is at least 80% fat but peanut butter is only about 50% fat.

Making this swap is also a technique to convert a recipe to vegan.

21. Sealing an Ice Cream Cone

Picture this: It’s a hot day, and you retreat to your freezer to make yourself a cold ice cream cone to cool off. But the unrelenting sun melts your ice cream away faster than you can eat it, and now your hand is super sticky.

Peanut butter can solve this. Simply coat the inside of the cone with a scoop of peanut butter, which will block any melted ice cream from seeping through the bottom. Plus, you get a delicious bite of peanut butter and ice cream at the end.

22. Adding Protein to Smoothies

You don’t have to buy expensive protein powder to make your fruit smoothies more filling. Just spoon in a spoonful of peanut butter for a protein boost. No recipes required.

23. Spicing Up Popcorn

Tired of the same salty popcorn during your Netflix binges? Opt for a change of pace by creating a unique popcorn topping. You don’t need a recipe for this either. Simply boil half a cup of honey and half a cup of sugar, then add in smooth peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Then toss your popcorn in the mixture for a delicious treat.

24. Thinking of Peanut Butter as a Condiment

Peanut butter is a spread, not a condiment. But that shouldn’t keep you from using it in a sandwich with avocados, on baked potatoes or even in a decadent martini. Keep in mind that peanut butter is just peanuts ground into a paste. Whatever goes with peanuts, can go with peanut butter and that includes homemade peanut butter and chocolate granola bars.

25. Revolutionizing Homemade Hummus

Some bold chefs recommend swapping out tahini for peanut butter for a more adventurous hummus. Think of Peanut Butter Hummus as a straight-across trade of peanuts for sesame seeds and some recipes add peanuts to the food processor as the hummus is prepared.

Timothy Moore covers banking and investing for The Penny Hoarder from his home base in Cincinnati. He also covers a variety of other topics, including insurance, taxes, retirement and lifestyle topics and has worked in the field since 2012.