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50 Interesting Uses for Olive Oil

Traci Taylor

Olive oil and I have a pretty tight relationship. I love it and it loves me and I’ve vowed to never cook with anything other. Olive oil is awesome because it’s a healthy fat, but did you know there are a bunch of other things you can do with it other than cook?  It’s true- take a peek at 50 other uses for olive oil that you might not have considered:

1. Shave. Olive oil provides a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. Rub in an extra teaspoon after washing your body or face once finished shaving.

2. Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe your furniture with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag.

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- don’t you hate when a recipe calls for a dry ingredient like flour and it sticks to your measuring cup?  Me too. 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. This is a great trick unless you’re like me and have frizzy AND oily hair.  If your hair is naturally oily, this trick will only make you look like you dumped oil on your head. If you’ve got dry hair, 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. There’s nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom and not being able to get your zipper down.  Or how about when you’re wearing a really cute hoodie and go to take it off before bed, but the zipper has gotten stuck during the day and you can’t get it off? 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- but remember- if you’re like me and have oily skin, this might not be the best idea for you.

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 kid’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 that’s making you cough.

18. Fix a squeaky door. WD40 who? Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a squeaky hinge in your home or car.

19. Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.

20. Personal Lubricant. Don’t look at me! I’ve been told it works, but haven’t tried it for myself.

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.

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.

26. Cure or reduce acne – Although it sounds counterintuitive to use oil to fight pimples and blackheads, using an olive oil and salt scrub helps some types of acne.

28. Treat sunburn – Olive oil soothes the pain of mild sunburn by helping skin retain its moisture. Use equal parts olive oil and water in a tight-lidded container. Shake well, then apply to mild sunburn. Shake the mixture often during application to keep it from separating.

29. Prevent dry scalps – Using olive oil as a scalp conditioner moisturizes your dry scalp.

30. Clean sensitive skin – The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had no soap and didn’t miss it thanks to olive oil. They massaged olive oil into their skin, then scraped it back off, along with dirt and dead skin. Today, a wide variety of soaps, including some made from olive oil, are available. Yet many people still prefer to clean their skin with pure olive oil.

31. Prevent your skin from aging prematurely – The same antioxidant properties that keep your red blood cells from oxidizing when you eat olive oil keep your skin cells from oxidizing when you apply it topically. The antioxidant hydroxytyrosol and vitamin E help to prevent cell degeneration in your skin.

32. Prevent sagging skin – The squalene in olive oil increases your skin’s elasticity, leaving it firmly toned with a bright, youthful glow.

33. Give you a safe sunless tan – Use olive oil as a medium to make self-tanners go on more smoothly and evenly. Mix equal parts of a commercial self-tanning product and olive oil. Apply the mixture to your skin and enjoy your streak-free sunless tan.

34. Act as a perfect medium for cosmetics – Combined with natural pigments and beeswax, olive oil makes inexpensive, natural lip-gloss, blush and even eye shadow.

35. Team up with mashed avocado for a homemade facial mask – Mix olive oil with a mashed ripe avocado into a paste. Smooth onto your face or another area that needs moisturizing and rejuvenating. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.

36. Combine with honey and egg for a beauty mask right from the pages of Venus’ beauty guide – An ancient beauty mask recipe is made from an egg yolk, a spoonful of honey and a spoonful of olive oil. Rub it on and wait for 15 minutes, then rinse it all off with warm water.

37. Make a natural massage oil – Olive oil may very well be the world’s oldest massage oil. It can be used alone or as a carrier oil for essential oils.

38. Combine with butter for a healthier bread spread – In a mixing bowl, combine one part softened butter and one part olive oil. Mix on low until the oil is whipped into the butter. Refrigerate and use it as you would butter.

39. Minimize cellulite – Halleluiah! Mix used coffee grounds with olive oil for a topical cellulite treatment. Apply it directly to the skin.

40. Deep condition damaged hair – Warm a quarter cup of olive oil to a comfortable temperature, then work it through your hair to the roots. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or a shower cap, then heat your hair with a hair dryer. Allow the oil to sit on your hair for up to a half hour, then shampoo as usual. If you do this in the shower, your whole body will emerge soft and silky.

41. Replace butter in recipes – Olive oil is a good substitute for butter in recipes. It even works in baked goods. Use slightly less than the amount of butter called for in the recipe.

42. Protect food from freezer burn – Use as a protective seal for homemade sauces or other Mediterranean dishes before you freeze them.

43. Prevent mosquitoes from breeding – Prevent mosquito larvae from contaminating rainwater by pouring a layer of olive oil on top of the water in your rain barrel.

44. Reduce the appearance of stretch marks – Combine equal parts cocoa butter and olive oil for a stretch-mark minimizer.

45. Condition cutting boards – Rub olive oil lightly on cutting boards, wooden salad bowls and wooden utensils.

46. Darken and highlight eyelashes – Use olive oil instead of mascara to darken and shine your eyelashes and eyebrows.

47. Waterproof your work boots – It also works on tool belts, baseball gloves and other utilitarian leather items.

48. Remove sap or tar from your skin – Apply olive oil to the sticky spot, then rub gently until the residue is removed. Wipe the oil off your hands.

49. Remove stickers - Saturate the sticker with olive oil, then gently peel it off the surface.

50. Remove chewing gum from skin or non-porous surfaces – Rub the gum gently with olive oil. It might also help you pass chewing gum you have swallowed, but consult a doctor if you have swallowed more than a piece or two.

Sources: Robin’s Family Farm, Curbley

 

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