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9 Genius Ways to Use Olive Oil Around the House

Put that olive oil to work—this kitchen staple has new uses all over the house.

New uses for olive oil allow this heart-healthy kitchen staple to go all over the house, solving problems everywhere it goes. Olive oil’s versatility extends far beyond the stovetop—it can fix a creaky door as easily as it can cook up some tasty sautéed veggies. And, of course, with olive oil as a multi-tasking cleaning agent, there’s one fewer bottle of specialty cleaning product to buy.

Before tackling that household to-do list, though, be sure to use the right olive oil—this is not the time to pull out that pricey, estate-grown, extra-virgin olive oil that someone gave as a gift. For these sorts of household uses, olive oil that’s affordable, easy to replace, and used for daily cooking is best, especially if a large quantity is needed. (Of course, in a real pinch, any olive oil will do.) Put that budget bottle of olive oil at the back of the pantry to work with these problem-solving new uses, and prepare to be amazed by what a little oil can do.

1. Spotty, Smeared, or Tarnished Stainless Steel

Some cleaning go-tos (looking at you, ammonia) can actually dull chrome and stainless steel. Instead, use olive oil and a clean rag or a paper towel to wipe smudges away or to remove grease from a stovetop or vent hood. If necessary, use a soft cloth to buff away any residue.

2. Messy Candles

Rub a thin coat of olive oil to the base of a candle holder before inserting the candle to keep any dripped wax from sticking. When the candle is extinguished, the wax should peel away easily.

3. (Un)Holy Hairballs

Adding a tiny amount—a ½ or ¼ teaspoon—of olive oil to the cat’s food every day can help prevent hairballs.

4. A Stuck Zipper

Use a Q-tip to apply a drop of olive oil to the teeth of a trapped zipper. (Avoid getting the oil on the fabric.) The zipper should move easily up and down after.

5. Dusty Wood Furniture

A bit of olive oil can have a new use as a natural dusting agent—just apply to a cloth and wipe wood surfaces down.

6. Squeaky Doors

Lubricate noisy door hinges with a dab of olive oil on a cloth. Wipe the cloth over the tops of the hinges so oil runs down the sides; avoid using too much oil to prevent drips.

7. Dull Furniture

This new use for olive oil works as an environmentally-friendly furniture polish—or as a last-minute fix when unexpected guests are coming. Mix three parts olive oil with one part distilled white vinegar. Test on a small area before using all over the furniture, then shine away.

8. Stuck-on Stickers

Use olive oil to remove stubborn stickers or other adhesives from glass surfaces. Apply olive oil with a paper towel or soft cloth, rub firmly, and rinse with warm, soapy water. If that still doesn’t work, try adding a dab of toothpaste with the olive oil.

9. Paint or Gum on Skin or in Hair

Moisten a cloth or paper towel with olive oil. For gum, wrap the cloth around the gum and let it sit for a few minutes. The gum should lose its stickiness and be easily removed. For paint, wipe at the stains gently.

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