Nutritionists will continue to tout olive oil for its high content of healthful, monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, and polyphenols. The fruit oil practically propelled the entire Western world in antiquity, and is mentioned in nearly every sacred text this side of the Tigris and Euphrates.
As a cooking fat, it’s high up on the heart-smart list…which works out, ‘cause it tastes darn good. (As a tip, Consumer Reports has rated Goya brand extra virgin olive oil [from Spain] as the best general purpose olive oil, and as their best buy. I whole-healthy-heartedly concur.)
Olive oil also has plenty of uses around your home, outside of the sauté pan. There’s no need to waste your expensive Greek or Spanish Extra Virgin for these tasks, just grab a bottle of inexpensive, domestic olive oil for around-the-house use. You can cut down on excess oil by investing in a refillable spray can, such as the Misto.
1. Shave. Olive oil can provide a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. Rub in an extra teaspoon after washing your body or face once finished.
2. Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag. Add a bit of vinegar of citrus juice to bulk up the cleaning power, and add a fresh scent.
3. Fingernails. Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands before a manicure.
4. Lubricate Measuring Cups and Spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, and sugar syrups,
5. Control hair frizz. Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame the frizz and flyaways on humid days or in the winter.
6. Free a stuck zipper. Use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the teeth of a zipper, then gently ease the tab down.
7. Care for your kitty. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, and provide a shiny coat.
8. DIY Lip balm. Mix olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio, with an essential oil for fragrance, and say goodbye to dry and chapped lips.
9. Stop Snoring. Take a sip of olive oil before heading to bed. It might lubricate your throat muscles, and stop yourself, or your partner, from snoring.
10. Shine stainless steel and brass. Rub a bit of olive oil on a clean rag to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.
11. Exfoliate your face and hands. Rub your skin with olive oil, then scrub with sugar or coarse salt, and rinse.
12. As you bathe. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your running bath water. You’ll be amazed when you towel off.
13. Remove makeup. Dab a bit under your eyes, on your cheeks and forehead, then wipe with a damp cloth.
14. Cure an earache. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax.
15. Remove paint from your skin. Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, then rinse with soap and water.
16. Treat lice. Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.
17. Stop a throat tickle. Take a sip of olive oil to stop the itchy flicker that is making you cough.
18. Fix a squeaky door. Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a problematic hinge in your home or automobile.
19. Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.
20. Personal Lubricant. It works…
21. Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.
22. Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup. Read more here!
23. Condition leather. Rub olive oil into worn leather, such as a baseball glove, and let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.
24. As a hair tonic. Comb some olive oil through your hair for the vintage look of pomade without the build-up, or add a bit to wet hair for grungy, but clean, look.
25. Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.
Curious about alternative uses for vinegar? Check out this useful cheat sheet!