25 Alternative Olive Oil Uses

There are many olive oil uses beyond what you might normally think of (cooking!). It's an incredibly versatile substance that you can put to good use in a lot of interesting situations. Here's how ... 

olive oil uses

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

There are plenty of other olive oil 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.

Pots and Pans

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!

created at: 03/27/2013

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S. on Aug 15, 2018:


NO! Nonono. Oil breaks down the latex in condoms and may damage your diaphragm. It's only okay if you are using chemical or no birth control.

Anonymous on May 27, 2015:

It helps to lubricate folding blades and clean up high carbon steel blades, with the use of scrap wool clothing garments. For those allergic to petroleum products.

Anonymous on May 06, 2013:

In biblical times and before, The only oil in common use wasw olive oil.  It was used for heat, lighting cosmetics, cooking and I suppose even the lubrication of wheels and hinges  annointing and conditioning of the Roman solder's sheilds and all other leather goods.

Anonymous on May 03, 2013:

what about the smell specially in hair? and the oily feel on the skin?

TT007 on Apr 01, 2013:

"What's a 'Personal Lubricant' (No. 20)???"


A sexual aid like KY jelly.

Aldi on Apr 01, 2013:

What's a 'Personal Lubricant' (No. 20)???

sobia mehmood on Jan 12, 2013:

how can i buy oilve oil for skin i am from pakistan how can i know about the olive face brands?


Kelly on Nov 20, 2012:

When I gave birth to my 10 pound son, I was having serious trouble (3 hours of pushing) getting my son to come out, and one of the nurses ran to the break area where they had a kitchen and grabbed a gallon jug of olive oil and sure enough, she squirted it all over me and within minutes my son was born.  When they put him on the scale that same nurse said loudly, "NO WONDER!"

SurOl on Aug 18, 2012:

I love this blog, will recommend to everyone loving this kind of blog, congratulations ...

celinda on May 20, 2012:

i use olive oil for almost everything.  i became aware of the use of olive oil in my church at a young age it was used by the minister as a anointing oil for healing and prayer.  i used it on my stomach  during pregnancy for all  5 of my children and didn't have one stretch mark. 

Anonymous on Apr 18, 2012:

I do take baths with olive oil in my bath water at least twice a week and I do not measure it, I pour it straight from the bottle from the kitchen.  I have noticed it leaves my skin glowing and soft and my joints are not so sore afterwards.  I will have to try the teaspoon before my workouts on a daily basis, at least for 7-days and see if it helps with weight loss:)  Thanks all for your input, it helps to hear all sides.

Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012:

if you use olive oil spread through your hair, turn your head upside down for 4 miutes and take a shower scrubbing your head, it will give your hair fast growth results

Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012:


Anonymous on Mar 01, 2012:

I use olive oil and table salt mix on my face nightly (later rinse off salt and leave the oil on my face). My face has not felt this soft in years (after washing it off the next morning) . Love it!

Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012:

what about hair growth on the face? I am really concerned about that.. and a little unsure about using it as a face or skin cleanser.. also.. is this the same EV Olive oil that is available in the cooking oil section in grocery stores or is there a different kind for the skin and hair..? :S 

Smarter than the average bear on Feb 12, 2012:

Don't listen to the guy posing as a "vet" down there, he gives potentially deadly advice. Mineral oil is a petroleum biproduct, and has been linked to a lot of health problems, which is why a lot of cosmetic companies are getting rid of it...so why would you let your cat INGEST it? Olive oil is what my vet recommended for my cats' hairballs and to restore my rescue dog's coat and it worked great, I just had to hide the smell. Fish oil works better though, especially salmon oil. Seriously though for someone complaining that the author didn't use advice from a "licenced" veterinarian, he's not too smart to think that someone would be better off using advice from some anonymous jerk on the internet... don't even take my word for it CHECK WITH YOUR VET!!

Sriya on Jan 16, 2012:

It can be used to clean an oil paint brush. very useful for artists!

Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012:

I can vouch for the olive oil. I have extremely sensitive skin and can't use most facial cleansers, shaving creams, or lotions without developing a rash. I "wash" my face with either sugar and olive oil or just the oil and a wash cloth. I use the sugar scrub to exfoliate. I also shave my legs with the olive oil. It feels so much better than any store bought shaving cream ever has. And the light scent does dissipate rather quickly. :)

glenn on Nov 23, 2011:

hi! can olive oil can treat scar from scratching? please help me i got this scar when i was 5 years old and now im 21,,

Susie on Aug 12, 2011:

Free a stuck zipper.. Now that's interesting. Is it because of an inherent olive oil property or can all oil free stuck zippers?

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