The Many Household Uses of Olive Oil

Olive oil (even the non-virgin kind) is absurdly handy all around the house. Here are a few uses you may not have thought of.

Ever thought much about olive oil? Probably not, except as an adjunct to cooking. And it’s darn good for that; but as with so many other things, it’s good for much more, too. In this article, we thought we’d show you a few more uses for this most princely of vegetable oils.

Who Knew?

You may not realize it, but olives right off the tree are so bitter they’re inedible. Given the amount of time and trouble it takes to process them, it’s a miracle that anyone ever tried to make them edible. But then again, human beings do tend to try to eat everything at one point or another.

That said, the first person in prehistory to squeeze oil out of an olive was pretty much a genius. It’s one thing to eat an olive; it’s another to realize that its slightly acidic juice can be an insanely useful product.

Unsung olive squeezer, we salute you!

Getting On With It…

Believe it or not, this unique cooking oil is great for removing paint from skin and hair. It’s not as good as turpentine or gasoline, but who wants to douse themselves in a flammable toxin anyway? The juice of the olive is 100% organic, so it’s much safer for you and the environment.

It’s also good for personal use: you can shave with it, use it as bath oil, and it makes a good do-it-yourself lip balm when mixed 1:1 with melted beeswax. Some folks use it as a moisturizer for their cuticles and fingernails, too.

And if you want to control the frizzies, just comb a little through your dry hair. (This is ideal if you have naturally flyaway hair, or hair that’s all staticky because it’s cold and dry out.) And since it’s good for handling paint, it should be no surprise that you can use olive oil to remove makeup, too.

Other Than You

You can use this wonder oil to do just about anything you’d normally use petroleum-based oils for, though we’d recommend that you don’t put any in your car’s crankcase. Here are a just a few things you can use it for:

• Loosening stuck zippers
• Oiling squeaky door hinges
• Lubricating cups and spoons
• Shining brass and stainless steel
• Protecting garden tools from rust and dirt buildup
• Polishing wood
• Polishing your shoes
• Conditioning leather
• Preventing hairballs in cats

Getting back to the kitchen, if you rub it into your wooden cutting boards, it’ll help repel stains and prevent cracking. Not bad, eh?

By the way: leave your EVOO for cooking, because it’s too expensive for these uses. Cheap low-quality olive oil will work just fine.