7 Practical Uses for Junk Food

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Practical Uses for Junk Food
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If you haven’t already gotten rid of the junk in your pantry, now is the time! To make the transition easier, I compiled a list of ways to use those non-foods for other household purposes.

I hate to waste as much as the next person, but I finally had to realize that my body is not a garbage can, and I refuse to use things just to finish what is in the house. When we switched to a real food diet, I donated all the unopened non-perishables, but what to do with the opened packages of flour, sugar, oatmeal, etc?

I remembered some natural beauty recipes and kid-friendly activity ideas I’d read in the past, and the kids had a blast (and I got pampered) while we used up the rest of our “junk food.”

These were my solutions:

Make Play Dough or Paper Mache for Your Kids

A win-win situation- you get to spend quality time with your kids and teach them that the best use for flour is not in their mouths or digestive tracks. (If you don’t have kids, this could be fun for grown-ups too… consider it stress relief)

To Make Basic Play Dough from That Flour You Shouldn’t Be Eating:

  1. In a large pot, pour two cups of water and 1 cup of salt.
  2. Heat over low heat until salt is dissolved.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of flour until well mixed. (thing #1 to get out of the pantry)
  4. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (another thing to get out of the pantry)
  5. Add 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar (optional)
  6. Keep stirring over low heat until it thickens and pulls away from the sides into a ball. (like when you make bread -another thing to get out of the pantry)
  7. If it is too sticky, keep stirring over low heat until it thickens.
  8. Remove from the heat and let cool until you can handle it.
  9. Add kool-aid for color (another thing to get out of the pantry)

Unhealthy things you used up: flour, vegetable oil, table salt, kool aid!

To make Paper Mache Paste:

Mix equal parts of white flour and water to make a glue-like paste. (hmmm, flour and water make a glue like paste… probably shouldn’t eat that!) Let your kids use their hands and some old pieces of newspaper to make creations. Once it dries, it is much like a sculpture (yeah, definitely shouldn’t eat that!).

As kids, we used to blow up balloons and put paper mache over them. When they dried, we popped the balloons, cut them in half and painted them to make masks.

Make a Luxurious Facial Scrub or Kill Ants

Exfoliating Sugar Scrub: Sugar= bad for your body but good for your skin. Make a spa-quality facial scrub that costs pennies. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with enough olive oil to moisten it and any essential oils you like (optional). I use lavender and orange oils. Mix well and put into a small jar. Use a little scoop with wet hands to exfoliate your face and body.

Ant Poison: If rubbing sugar on your face isn’t appealing to you, mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part borax (which is great to have on hand for cleaning). Put in a little container or jar that ants can crawl in and out of. Make sure your kids can’t get to it. Borax is poisonous to ants, but they can’t resist sugar. It won’t kill them immediately, but they will take it back to the nest and eventually kill all of them. I’ve used this twice to get rid of ants in our house. Killing ants=good use for sugar!

Clean Your Hardwood Floors Naturally

There are natural ways to clean any type of floor, and that nasty vegetable oil (or canola, soybean, cottonseed, etc) lurking in your pantry makes an awesome cleaner for hardwood floors. Rather than letting it skew your Omega-3 and 6 ratios, use it to make your floors shine. Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil OR lemon juice to make a very effective floor cleaner. Benefits: clean floors and clean bill of health!

Dry Out Electronics that Got Wet

I’ve had three cell phones thrown or dropped into water by my kids (and one I dropped myself). Three of the four were saved by rice. Store your rice in jars and when an electronic gets wet, put it in the jar and close the lid tightly. The rice will absorb the moisture and pull it out of the gadget. Unless there is structural damage, this usually works. It can take a few days or even a couple weeks, so be patient.

Get A Facial or Calm Itchy Skin

I don’t recommend eating oatmeal, unless you are a fan of insulin. I do recommend using it on your skin. For a relaxing facial, powder oatmeal in a blender or food processor and add warm milk to make a paste. Rub on face, let dry and wash off. It tightens pores, removes blackheads and moisturizes. You can also use the powder as an oatmeal bath for sunburns or itchy skin.

Clean Your Toilet

Toilet dirty? I’m sure yours is not, but mine sometimes is. Pour a can of coke in a toilet and let sit an hour. Use a brush to remove stains and flush. It will shine. We even tried this on a 30-40 year old toilet in a house we remodeled- it worked (and that toilet probably hadn’t been cleaned in 30-40 years). To me, that is enough reason to never ingest the stuff but if not, here are some other things you can use it for so you don’t drink it:

  • Removing gum from hair- soak hair in it for 10 minutes and gum comes right out
  • Unclog drains- just pour in the coke and wait (Did I mention you should not ingest this stuff!)
  • Remove that gunk from car batteries-pour on and it come right off
  • Clean grout- soak a sponge in it and use to clean grout stains
  • Remove grease stains on clothes-soak the stain in coke and wash well

Things not to use soda for: human consumption.

Polish Stainless Steel

Oh the fingerprints! Stainless steel shows smudges, a lot. After normal cleaning, pour or rub some flour onto the stainless to make it shine and remove fingerprints or water spots. Caution: keep flour away from mouth!

Hope this gave you some alternate ideas for that junk food that might still be lurking in your pantry. If you haven’t already, consider getting rid of (or creatively using) wheat and gluten containing flours of any kind and products made from them, harmful fats and products made from them, and sugar or sugar-containing foods.

Have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


29 responses to “7 Practical Uses for Junk Food”

  1. Rebecca Correll Avatar
    Rebecca Correll

    Tried the play dough recipe to get some junk out of house. I put it into a zip lock bag without the Coolaid to wait for a time to play with it and have my kiddies mix the colors but today about 1.5 weeks later the dough is liquefying. Tried adding more flour but still very very wet and sticky. What went wrong?

  2. Leslie Kerr Avatar
    Leslie Kerr

    .Another use for play dough is using it as a hot or coldpress for muscle ache. I keep it in the freezer. You can microwave it to make it hot. If you don’t like to use a microwave, then I don’t know how to heat it up quickly.
    Let me know if you find a way.

  3. babs Avatar

    I heard years ago that cola takes rust off metal? Any truth to that? This is my first time posting and so you may have discussed this before.
    Only discovered ‘wellness mom’ on Carol Alt’s program about 2 wks ago, thank God. At 68 I am only now absorbing all this info I have heard for many years. My sister and I have been discussing why our parents did not have all the illnesses and arthritic problems we now have. I did tell her it must be processed foods, pesticides, ‘farm methods’ re animals kept in inhumane conditions and no proper ‘blood letting’ etc.
    And so, very grateful for all the info found on this site. Have shared site via Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Hannah Avatar

    I have a lot of organic canola oil that I recently bought in bulk from a co-op. 🙁 Would like to see some ideas for what to do with it. I guess I shouldn’t even be oiling my cast iron skillet with it. Any ideas?

  5. Hannah Avatar

    I can definitely vouch for the coke cleaner…. Also if you soak it in a cloth and then leave it round the taps for a few hours, it takes off all the limescale like a dream! I must thank my housemates for leaving it in the fridge after a party 😀

  6. Joe Lee Avatar

    I tried pouring a bottle of coke into my toilet, both in the tank and the bowl and unfortunately, it did not remove the hard water stains. what to do now?

  7. Hope Avatar

    I find it ridiculous that you are using the texture of flour + water, i.e. glue/paste, to condemn it as bad for you. Have you SEEN coconut oil before it is melted? What about slimy oils & fats? Should we condemn all fats because they are slimy? What about meat… it feels and looks gross when raw and sometimes when cooked. And some veggies are green; broccoli is fuzzy; nuts are crunchy and come in hard-to-crack shells. Maybe we weren’t meant to eat anything!
    Also, in case you are not aware, vinegar and lemon juice and citrus can be used to clean toilets. Do you still ingest them?
    I agree that soda and veg oil are not beneficial for your health, and I also feel GREAT when eating grain-free, but some of your arguments need some real science and less speculation.

    1. Patty Avatar

      I feel that, like myself at first, that some of you are not getting it. It is not always the food that is unhealthy it is what has been done to the food before we get it. Pesticides, hormones, various chemicals, over cooking, and on and on. Reread some of the articles with that in mind and it might start to make sense to you.

    2. Colleen Thompson Avatar
      Colleen Thompson

      I think you missed a lot of the point of this article. What has sliminess got to do with anything? And how does meat looking gross get backed up by real science? There is actually real science to back up all of these claims.

  8. lesley davies Avatar
    lesley davies

    Vegtable oil will remove body wax from skin and surfaces.
    It can also be added to dish soap and sprayed on plants to rid aphids and spider mites.
    I also add a drop to my pets’ bath, if I’ve been over bathing them during flea season.

  9. Wellness Mama Avatar
    Wellness Mama

    I’d be really curious to see which of the foods above (white flour, sugar, vegetable oil) one could justify as good for you.

    1. Stevie Avatar

      Oats are great for you in my opinion. I find it strange that you eat meat but class oats as junk food :/ Im not having a go i just find it strange thats all. Thanks for the post 🙂

      1. Steve Avatar

        I just read a bit on phytic acid the other day on another one of her pages concerning grains, and believe oats are a grain, so this is why she deems aots as “junk food”.

        I started to think a lot on what we, humans, would do in the wild, concerning many things, from diet to lifestyle (sun exposure, no shoes thus feet touching the dirt so we absorb minerals from it, etc.), and eating fresh, raw meat is one of this things. For those who hunt their own meat, good for them! I’d suggest many others try hunting their own meat!

        Meats are naturally consumed by humans out in the wild, so I’d be shocked to see someone say that meat is “junk food” actually; and yes, I am shocked that many vegans actually believe animal meat is ‘bad’ for them, when in reality, they’d most likely be eating animal meat/fish all day, every day, if they lived out in the wild and not in this modern society.

        Anyway, I’ve been eating (organic) oatmeal for years now, as I had always thought “as long as it’s organic, I’ll stick with it,” but I’m one who likes to test and see what things do, so I’m cutting grains out for now. I say that anyone who doubts what she says, try testing it out for yourself. It could not hurt you just to stop eating grains, as it’ll just leave more room in your wallet to buy [organic or homegrown] dark leafy green veggies, organic eggs, organic/wild meat, wild caught fish, etc. You’ll still get great nutrients and antioxidants in the body without any grains in your diet.

        There’s no logical reason why NOT to test and see for ourselves, imo. 🙂

  10. Adele Avatar

    There are some people in the world who have a knack of communicating vital information and making challenging changes a fun-filled new experience!

    Thank you for being such a gem; for sharing and caring 🙂
    Off to clean out the pantry, then treat myself to a facial 😉

  11. Heather Avatar

    My husband is a truck driver, I remember one time when I was on the truck with him and we had to haul one of the ingredients for coke. We were considered hazmat, which means we were hauling hazardous material, I thought that was just crazy. Never again did I drink coke again after that! I remember other times when we had to go to meat packing plants too, they stunk so bad it made me want to get sick. Now we eat only local meat from humane farmers. People just don’t know and don’t care where their food is coming from or what is in it anymore! It is in my opinion a dangerous situation we have gotten ourselves in and we really need to start caring about what we are eating.

  12. Dana Seilhan Avatar
    Dana Seilhan

    The bodies of poor people are not garbage cans any more than yours is.  If people want junk, it is normally very cheap.  It’s the nutritious stuff that they need to be getting from food banks.  And yes, I’ve been that poor, and didn’t have transportation to the food pantry, and lived off the junk castoffs.  I was pregnant.  That was not a good pregnancy.

    People, you wasted your money the day you bought that stuff.  It’s too late to worry about it when you come to your senses and are contemplating throwing it away.  Go ahead and chuck it.  With any luck it’ll kill some landfill rats.

  13. Becca Avatar

    I love the idea of a luxurious facial scrub that also kills ants. Wouldn’t want ants on your face!

  14. Elizabeth Avatar

    I wish I could say I didn’t use this stuff for human consumption… thanks for the cool tips! I do remember that Coke trick from a science experiment. Another thing I learned that day: leave a few strands of hair sitting in Pert Plus shampoo and it will dissolve…

    1. Jane Avatar

      Wow, Pert Plus shampoo will dissolve your hair? You know I’ve been using Head & Shoulders and my hair has been full of static and has not helped my scalp ANY.

      I wonder what things Head & Shoulders will dissolve… bahaha

  15. Monica Avatar

    This was entertaining, as well as educational! The soda bit…was…shocking! We don’t drink soda anyway, but wow…maybe I should buy some anyway to clean up around here. Glad I found you.

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