Although it may be a staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has a lot of uses outside the kitchen. A powerful moisturizer and lubricant, olive oil works wonders on everything from dry hair to squeaky door hinges. Just check out these 15 uses for olive oil!
1. Polish wood furniture. Combine ¼ cup olive oil with 4 tablespoons vinegar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice for a homemade furniture polish. Mix ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle and shake well before use. Store leftover polish in the fridge to prevent the lemon juice from going bad.
2. Shine stainless steel pots. Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil onto a clean rag and rub over stainless steel pots and pans. A little elbow grease is necessary to spread the oil around and make those pots shine. Buff the pots with a clean rag to remove excess oil.
3. Condition leather. Like skin, leather needs a dose of moisturizing now and then. Revitalize and preserve old leather furniture with an olive-oil based lotion. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, ½ cup vinegar and 1 to 2 drops food-grade orange oil to create a homemade leather conditioner. Combine the ingredients and shake before using. Apply with a soft, clean cloth and buff until dry.
4. Fix a squeaky door. Apply olive oil to the hinges of a creaky door with an old rag or cloth to stop the incessant squeaking.
5. Free a stuck zipper. Using a cotton swab, apply a drop or two of olive oil to a stubborn zipper to get it moving.
6. Polish shoes. If it works for leather furniture, it will work for leather shoes.
7. Remove sticker residue. Dab olive oil onto the remnants of a sticker or label, let sit for a few minutes, then peel it right off.
8. Light lamps. In a tight spot, olive oil will work as fuel for a lamp. If you don’t have a specially made olive oil lamp sitting around, just pour the oil into a glass car, poke a hole in the lid and insert a wick. Olive oil also works as fuel for homemade tiki torhces.
9. Moisturize your skin. Olive oil is good for your skin, both inside and out. Olive oil contains several types of antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage to your skin. When used externally, olive oil can help moisturize dry skin, too. Apply a few drops of olive oil to your skin for a nightly moisturizing mask, or add a few tablespoons to a warm bath to condition your skin all over.
10. Remove makeup. Dab olive oil on your eyes, cheeks and forehead then rinse to remove stubborn makeup from your face.
11. Condition hair. If winter left your hair dry and damaged, apply a little bit of olive oil to your scalp, comb through and rinse for a conditioning treatment. A drop or two of olive oil can also help control frizz on humid days.
12. Moisturize your cuticles. Soak your fingers in a combination of warm water and olive oil to moisturize your fingernails before buffing or applying polish.
13. Remove paint from your skin. Rub olive oil on the affected skin, let stand for 5 minutes then wash thoroughly.
14. Get rid of lice naturally. Smother these pesky parasites by liberally coating infected hair with olive oil. Comb out any visible lice with a nit comb, let sit for eight hours, then rinse thoroughly. Coat the hair in apple cider vinegar, let sit for eight hours, then shampoo as usual and comb out any remaining eggs.
15. Make homemade salad dressings. Olive oil provides a perfect base to create your own salad dressings. A good vinaigrette is just one part good oil and one part vinegar or citrus juice. For a few guidelines and recipes for making your own salad dressings, check out the article “Dressed to Impress.”