I’m picky about what I leave on my kitchen counter as a permanent fixture, but I make room for a flask of olive oil. It looks great (unlike the stained coffee mug my husband prefers to leave on the counter) and it’s functional.
People reach for olive oil to saute vegetables, but it can do so much more.
New Uses for Olive Oil
- Sticker Removal. Stores often place price stickers on glass frames or dishes, and it’s a pain to remove them. Dab a little olive oil onto the sticker, let it soak for a minute or two, then scrape it off.
- Skin Softener. I discovered olive oil’s moisturizing powers after I spilled some on the counter and used my hands to wipe it off. Maybe I should spill things more often! Olive oil is a great moisturizer for the whole body, especially on feet!
- Hair Moisturizer. My daughter has thick hair that gets dry at the ends, and mine is static-prone and fly-away. There are pricey products for these problems, but just a drop of olive oil applied onto the dry areas of your hair (avoid the roots) works magic. Just be careful not to use too much or it will create oily hair, which is an entirely different problem!
- Shaving Cream. Smooth olive oil over your damp legs when you shave. The oil will blend with the water and turn into a thin, white cream that allows the razor to glide across the legs while moisturizing the skin. The oil also prevents the razor blade from rusting! Be careful when using olive oil in the shower or tub: Rinse any excess olive oil down the drain to prevent a slip when you get out.
- Eye Makeup Remover. My eyelids have always been dry and sensitive. Olive oil is an ideal eye makeup remover because it is gentle and easily wipes away makeup (even on waterproof mascara!).
- Paint Remover. I’m not going to tell you that olive oil takes paint out of clothing or carpet. It won’t! But it easily removes paint from hair and skin. Just dab a little oil onto the area covered by paint and then rinse with water.
- Gum Remover. While we’re at it removing paint, why not remove some gum, too? Peanut butter isn’t the only thing that will take gum out of hair. Olive oil works, too! And it’s great for getting gum off of the floor or (gasp!) out from under the table.
- Furniture Polish/Wood Conditioner. I’ve heard of people making a furniture spray out of olive oil and lemon juice (3 parts oil to 1 part juice), but I like to pour a little bit of olive oil onto a cloth and clean my wood furniture with the oil. It smells good, cleans off water spots, makes it look vibrant and new. It’s wonderful for spiffing up kitchen cabinets, too! Rub it onto a butcher block or wooden cutting board to prevent the wood from drying.
- Stainless Steel Cleaner. Water just doesn’t cut it when it comes to cleaning stainless appliances, and the stainless steel cleaner sold in the stores is not only expensive, but toxic! Dab a little oil on a cloth and smooth over the surface to remove fingerprints and add shine.
- Leather Polish. For those rare occasions when I need to step up my game and really look my best, I give my shoes a little extra shine. Olive oil works as well as polish created specifically for this task. Don’t pour the oil directly onto the leather: Pour it onto a cloth first, then spread onto the leather and buff until they shine!
- Fix a Squeaky Door (or squeaky rebounder/mini-trampoline). WD-40 isn’t the only answer for squeaky hinges or springs. Drop a little olive oil onto the hardware and spread it evenly with an old toothbrush.
- Remove Stains from Fingernails. Add a few drops of lemon juice in a small bowl of olive oil and let your fingers soak. This will come in handy when pomegranates are in season again!
- Sugar Scrub. Make an exfoliating sugar scrub to soothe dry winter skin. Just mix enough sugar into a small bowl of olive oil to form a paste. Massage the sugar scrub into your skin when you shower or take a bath, then rinse. This is also a great gift idea: Put the scrub in a pretty jar and wrap with ribbon for a handmade holiday gift.
- Bath Oil. Have an inexpensive aromatherapy bath experience by adding a few drops of lemon, lavender or any other favorite essential oil to 2 T. of olive oil. Tip: Before trying a new essential oil, be sure to test it first to make sure you are not sensitive to it. Pour the oil into the flow of the bath water and relax!