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.