There are many uses for olive oil beyond what you might normally think of in the kitchen. It’s an incredibly versatile ingredient that you can put to good use in a lot of interesting situations. It’s great for everything from your skin and face to polishing furniture and fixing that squeaky door!
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.
Health benefits of olive oil
As a cooking fat, it’s high up on the heart-smart list…which works out, ‘cause it tastes darn good. Did you know that olive oil is not just a tasty addition to your meals, but it also comes with a range of health benefits?
Olive oil is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, which are great for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol levels. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation in your body and protect your cells from damage. Additionally, studies have shown that olive oil consumption may have a positive impact on cognitive function, as well as reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. So, the next time you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen, consider reaching for some extra-virgin olive oil for both its delicious flavor and its many health benefits.
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.
There are plenty of other olive oil uses around your home, outside of the sauté pan and the salad dressing. 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.
Top 25 uses for olive oil
Here you’ll find 25 of our favorite ways to use olive oil, along with a handy cheatsheet to download and print.
1. Shaving cream. 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. Easy cleanup of measuring cups and spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, sugar syrups, molasses, and nut butter.
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. Pop a shower cap on if you want to use it as a deep hair and scalp conditioner and avoid getting it on your upholstered furniture.
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 to unstick a stuck zipper.
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 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 remove excess ear 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 or rusted 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. Massage oil. 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. Bonus, olive oil contains vitamin E.
22. Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup.
23. Condition leather. Rub olive oil into worn leather, such as a baseball gloves, furniture or leather shoes, 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 a grungy, but clean, look.
25. Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on thin layer of olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.
There you have it, folks! As you can see, there are countless uses for olive oil beyond just cooking. From polishing your furniture to nourishing your hair and skin, this versatile oil has got you covered. And not only is it great for your home and beauty routine, but it’s also packed with health benefits, making it a must-have in any kitchen. So, the next time you’re looking for a natural, multi-purpose ingredient, reach for a bottle of olive oil and let its magic do the rest. Happy exploring!
Curious about alternative uses for vinegar? Check out this useful cheat sheet!