17 Surprising And Money-Saving Slow Cooker Uses That Don’t Involve Dinner

Surprising Slow Cooker Uses For Craft, Garden And Household Projects

Slow cookers have long been a go-to solution for easy and satisfying dinners and desserts. Once you see these clever, money-saving craft and household slow cooker uses, you may want to keep an extra one on hand!

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If you’ve got hungry mouths to feed, you most likely have a slow cooker in the kitchen. It’s no secret that Crockpot dinners make life so much easier for busy families and entertaining. What you may not realize, however, is that slow cookers can be used for so much more than chili. If you already have an extra slow-cooker, you are all set to try out one of these amazingly clever hacks. For these projects, we don’t recommend using the same one in which you cook. If you don’t have an extra, keep an eye out at yard sales and Goodwill. And look for a larger one so that you’ll have more flexibility with which projects you can try.

These ideas run the gammut…from crafting, gift-making and gardening to DIY restoration and spa treatments. Try a few out and you’ll love your slow-cookers even more!

These inventive slow cooker uses can save money and miraculously simplify your household tasks.

1 – Make your own jar candles

Using jars and wax, you can easily create personal gifts or even start your own little business! Add colors and scents to your liking and you have a charming craft that you can enjoy yourself or give away to loved ones, neighbors or friends at church. The Kitchn shows us how easy they are to make.

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credit: The Kitchn

2 – Germinate seeds quickly

Waiting for seeds to germinate can be like waiting for water to boil. Try this slow cooker method to give them a little jump start and get your garden started in a jiffy!

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credit: Thinkstock/alexxandar

WATCH: Using a slow cooker as a warming pad, you can fast-track your seeds into germinating

3 – Remove paint from antique hardware

If you are refinishing an old dresser or armoire and want to restore the hardware to its former glory, this is a trick you want to see. Instead of using harsh chemicals, break out the slow cooker and some water. You’ll be amazed how quickly and easily the paint comes off!

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credit: Mr. DIY Dork

WATCH: Save gorgeous vintage hardware using this simple and chemical-free method

4 – Make DIY lotion bars

When we are looking for a sweet gift idea for neighbors or teachers, lotion bars are a go-to favorite. Simply rub them in your palms and your body heat melts the bar just enough to provide a lovely dose of moisturizer. However, lotion bars can be pricey! Why not make your own, using a few easy-to-find ingredients and a spare slow cooker? Simply {Darr}ling has the complete instructions. Use some charming molds and yours can be as cute as these!

5 – Dye your own yarn

Create stunning one-of-a-kind yarns using skeins of natural fibers, dye colors of your choosing and the slow cooker. Check out this how-to from the Chester Wool Company. The results are simply gorgeous!

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credit: Thinkstock/tastymorsels

WATCH: The most beautiful colors come to life using this easy technique

6 – Simmer potpourri for hours of luscious scent

When your house needs a little freshening up, start with the way it smells! Not just for the holidays, simmering potpourri can infuse the air with lovely, natural aromas any time of year. Check out One Good Thing for her favorite potpourri recipes.

7 – DIY lip balm

For the most kissable lips, keep these luxurious, all-natural lip balms on hand. How to do it on a budget? Make them yourself in your slow cooker! Using similar ingredients as the lotion bars, you can create a collection of balms that are customized with your favorite scents and perfect for gifts for friends and family. Passionate Homemaking walks you through the simple steps.

8 – Sanitize baby toys

Having had multiple babies in the house at once, I remember how disgustingly dirty baby toys would get. And how do you fight illness when they put something in their mouth, then happily share it with their little friend or sibling? Get those toys clean and fight the germs with this handy method using just a water, vinegar and essential oil bath in the slow cooker.

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credit: Simply Made

WATCH: Katie Brown shows how to clean germy toys, as well as her take on slow cooker candle-making and air-purifying

9 – Make Shrinky Dinks

Remember Shrinky Dinks? Well, the playtime phenomenon is still alive and you can make them in your slow cooker! A Year of Slow Cooking walks us through the simple how-to and Ooly provides fun and free printables for some adorable charm Dinks. The benefit of using the slow cooker instead of the oven is that you and the kids can watch the shrinking action close up, as it happens!

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credit: Ooly

10 – DIY Play Dough

No childhood is complete without moldable colored dough playtime. The store-bought stuff is pricey, however, so put the slow cooker to work making your own! Get Crocked has the scoop on how to make it using items right out of the pantry.

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credit: Thinkstock/canyonos

11 – Toasty Foot Spa

Who wants to pay for a pricey pedicure when you can give your feet the royal treatment in the slow cooker? Make sure to test the waters before you dip your tootsies, but we think this would be a real treat on a cold winter’s night! Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking is a big fan and she suggests a Margarita as one of the project’s required “ingredients” 😉

12 – Air Humidifier

Minimize your chances of getting sick by using a humidifier! If the air in your house is too dry, your sinuses can dry out, creating more opportunity for illness. Combat that by using your slow cooker to infuse moisture into the air. Jillee at One Good Thing has the scoop for you.

13 – Clean jewelry without harmful chemicals

Commercial jewelry pickles do the job, but they are expensive and full of harsh chemicals. Try this milder pickle recipe from The Artisan Life that uses the slow cooker to clean jewelry in a snap. Make sure you read her instructions carefully. You only want to use glass, ceramic, copper or plastic pots and utensils with this solution.

14 – Make crayons

Instead of throwing away broken and partially used crayons, turn them into the sweetest multi-hued coloring bars. The Crockin’ Girls are here to show us how to make these adorable heart shaped crayons, which they have made into Valentine’s gifts. You could use whatever fun silicone molds you have on hand and make this fun, kid-friendly project any time of year.

WATCH: Get the kids to help you whip up these heart crayons for their extra special Valentines.

15 – Clean beeswax

If you work with beeswax, you probably either harvest it from hives yourself or buy it. Filtered beeswax is more expensive to buy than unfiltered because you are paying someone else to clean it for you. Why not save a few bucks by filtering the beeswax yourself, using your slow cooker? Check out how easy it is with this tutorial from Dave Connelly.

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credit: Thinkstock/ValentynVolkov

WATCH: Make your beeswax projects more affordable by filtering the wax yourself

16 – Clean bones

In recent years, animal skulls and bones have become hot home decor accessories. Long treasured in southwestern design, they are now commonly seen in eclectically decorated spaces. You can pay big money and purchase them, or if you are a hunter, or just ambitious, you may want to learn how to preserve them yourself. Your slow cooker can help tremendously with this process by loosening all of the tissue from the bone. Check out this step-by-step from Lifehacker on how to tackle this project yourself. A word of caution, some of the photos are rather graphic 😮

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credit: Lifehacker

17 – Make dogfood

We couldn’t leave without giving a little nod to the slow cooker’s greatest strength…making food. But in this case, it’s food for our furry family members! Check out how easy it is to make a healthful and delicious meal for your dog that may have them wagging themselves into a tizzy!

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credit: 12 Tomatoes

WATCH: You may even be tempted to have a bowl of this yourself!

We hope you found some slow cooker uses that you can put to use and that will make your life just a little easier. As with any appliance using electricity and heat, please be careful, take caution and never leave these projects unattended.

Credit: All Created

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