Nearly everyone that cooks or eats knows the versatility, flavor, and health benefits that olive oil can bring to cooking. But did you know that it has countless uses around the house to preserve finishes, fix squeaks, and even enhance your beauty routine?
No need to use your most expensive olive oil; opt instead for a bargain brand for household uses. To make it even more useful, keep some oil in a spray bottle.
In the Kitchen
Protect Wooden Cutting Boards, Salad Bowls, and Utensils
After hand-washing wooden kitchen pieces, give them a light coating of olive oil to nourish the wood and prevent cracking and discoloration. Let the oil sit on the wood for about five minutes and then buff with a soft cloth.
Shine Stainless Steel
Put a dab of olive oil on a soft cloth and rub stainless steel appliances, pots, and sinks to prevent streaks, water spots, tarnish, and corrosion. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth.
Olive oil won't stop silver from tarnishing but it will keep it shiny longer. Just a dab of oil on a soft cloth rubbed over polished silver will slow the oxidation that brings on tarnish.
Remove Sticky Labels
Saturate paper labels with a drop or more of olive oil and let it remain on the label for at least 15 minutes. The label will peel off easily and the plastic, glass, or wooden item can be hand-washed to remove any remaining residue.
In the Bedroom and Bath
Keep Pearls Lustrous
Pearls can become dull from make-up and soil but many cleaners are too harsh to use on the delicate finish. Bring back the luster with a bit of olive oil on a soft cloth that is rubbed over each pearl. Buff dry with a soft cloth.
Remove Tight Rings
Have a ring that just won't budge from your finger? Coat your finger in olive oil and use a soft cloth to get a grip on the ring and slowly work it off your finger.
Unstick a Zipper
Dip a cotton swab in some olive oil and rub it over the teeth of the zipper. Work slowly and gently ease the zipper pull up or down.
Shine Shoes and Boots
Bring back the shine to patent leather, rubber, and natural leather shoes with a bit of olive oil on a soft cloth. Don't use on suede or any napped surface! Buff with a clean cloth.
Protect Razor Blades
Razor blades are expensive. To help them last longer and prevent dulling rust, wipe down dry razor blades with a cotton ball or swab dipped in olive oil. Allow the blades to dry before using them.
Soften Cuticles and Moisturize Skin
Olive oil is an ideal natural lubricant for rough cuticles and dry skin. You can even add a bit to your warm bath to soften skin while you bathe.
Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame flyaways. You can also rub it on your hands to run through your hair to control frizz. Both your hair and hands will look better.
Dabs of olive oil will remove heavy makeup without any drying chemicals and leave your skin feeling soft. It is particularly good for removing mascara because it also moisturizes dry lashes.
Remove Tough Stains From Hair and Skin
Olive oil will ease the pain of removing sticky substances like paint and gum from hair. Simply coat the area well and slowly work out the sticky mess with a tissue. For tough stains on skin, like hair dye, car grease, tar, permanent marker ink, and oil paint, mix a few drops of oil and one teaspoon of sugar to create a gentle but effective scrub.
Around the House
Silence Squeaky Hinges
A few drops or a quick spritz of olive oil will silence squeaky hinges on doors, cabinets, appliances, or car doors.
Remove Water Rings and Scratches
Bring back the beautiful look of wood by using a bit of slightly warm olive oil to cover small scratches and water rings. Apply the oil with a soft cloth and then buff with a dry cloth. Make a good furniture polish to use weekly by mixing one-fourth cup olive oil, four tablespoons of distilled white vinegar, and two teaspoons lemon juice. Place it in a spray bottle and give it a good shake before each use. Store in the refrigerator.
Condition Leather Surfaces
Leather furniture, gloves, and baseball mitts will become soft and supple after buffing with a few drops of olive oil and a soft cloth.
In the Garden
Pour a little olive oil into rain barrels. It will float on the top and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Protect Garden Tools
Olive oil will protect wooden tool handles from drying out and splitting. Coat metal tools to prevent rust, prevent dirt and snow from sticking and keep the moving parts of pliers and clippers operating smoothly. Don't forget to protect wooden outdoor furniture!
Ferns and palms will be lush if you add two tablespoons of oil to the base of the plant about once per month.
Firenze, Carol. The Passionate Olive: 101 Things to Do with Olive Oil. Ballantine Books, 2005
Lin, Tzu-Kai, et al. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 19, no. 1, 2017, p. 70., doi:10.3390/ijms19010070