Olive oil is everyone’s favorite cooking essential – it’s healthy, high in good fats, and it makes everything from salad dressing to fried chicken burst with flavor and richness. A study also found that consuming olive oil helps you keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels low. If any single cooking ingredient is as beneficial as olive oil, we can’t imagine what it might be.
Now, it’s time to take your olive oil out of the kitchen and use it elsewhere. Olive oil isn’t just for cooking anymore!
In this post, we offer a roundup of ideas for using olive oil in new ways. From the hair on your head to your kitty’s fur coat, olive oil has burst out of the kitchen and into almost every room in the house!
Here are all the uses for olive oil, in addition to cooking, you should as soon as possible.
As a Hair Conditioner
The chief chemicals in olive oil, including palmitic acid and oleic acid, are emollients. That means they have terrific softening properties. Some shampoos even include these acids in their list of ingredients, and so do conditioners, gels, and other hair care products.
Although science hasn’t yet fully backed up the notion that olive oil is good for your hair, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support this. Some researchers say that the softening properties of olive oil make it a natural as a hair conditioner, and who are we to argue?
If you want to put this theory to the test, just apply two tablespoons of olive oil to your hair, wet or dry. Rub it into your scalp and massage it into your hair, particularly at the dry or damaged ends. Wrap your head in an old towel or shower cap and let the olive oil work its magic for 10 or 15 minutes. Rinse well, and then dry your hair with a blow dryer, or let it dry naturally. You might find you need to shampoo your hair twice to get out all the olive oil residue, but we think you’ll agree that your hair is healthier and softer thanks to this olive oil treatment. Women around the world use olive oil on their hair, and they agree it makes their hair shiny and silky.
Use It to Remove Ear Wax
Don’t do this until you’re certain you’ve got a problematic buildup of wax in your ears, rather than the usual, normal amount everybody gets. Ear wax actually serves an important function – it traps dirt, dead skin cells, dust, and other microbes and protects and moisturizes your ears. A little ear wax is a good thing! But if you’ve got more than you should, using olive oil to help remove it can work like a charm.
Lots of folks use olive oil to break down clumps of ear wax when it’s causing a blockage of the ear canal. If ear wax accumulates in the ear canal it can cause pain, and even lead to hearing loss.
Warm olive oil breaks stuck ear wax down, which makes it easier for the clump to fall out. Warm the oil slightly – just to body temperature – and place only two or three drops in your ear. Lie down, with the affected ear facing down, and the ear wax should easily dislodge and fall out after about 10 minutes. Using olive oil this way helps your ears be healthy once again.
Calm & Soothe Sunburn
Don’t use olive oil instead of sunscreen, but if you’ve protected yourself and nonetheless got a sunburn, olive oil can calm it down and lessen the soreness of too much sun. Furthermore, the vitamins in olive oil actually reduce the damaging effects of the UV rays, at least a little. Olive oil also lessens the effects of aging, which time in the sun advances quite a bit. If you’re a sun lover, or your job compels you to be outside a lot, using olive oil each day reduces the harmful effects of too much sun.
Put a few drops of olive oil on whatever area of your skin is affected. Rub it in gently, massaging it until the oil is completely soaked in. Just a few drops do the job – too much and you may feel greasy, so easy does it! Not only does using olive oil this way help sunburn, but it also works on blemishes and stretch marks, too, easing their appearance. You can also blend a drop or two of olive oil with essential oils, like mint oil, for example. It, too, is a terrific salve for sunburn, and together they pack a real punch!
Clean Your Makeup Brushes
If you can’t recall when you last cleaned your makeup brushes, it’s time you did! Did you know that olive oil can help with this chore? Mix some antibacterial, gentle soap with a drop or two of olive oil, and voila! Clean, renewed makeup brushes in no time.
Mix one part olive oil perhaps two tablespoons) to two parts dish soap (four tablespoons) in a glass bowl. Swish your brushes back and forth in the mixture, then rinse them completely under warm, running water. Once all the oil, soap, and makeup residue are gone, lay your brushes flat on a tea towel and let them dry completely.
Use as a Self Tanner
Many folks love the look of sun-kissed skin but aren’t lucky enough to have a complexion that looks tanned year-round. If you’ve been spending money on tanning booths and skin bronzers, now’s the time to switch to this easy, quick recipe.
Mix together one cup of fresh, ground coffee that you’ve just used to brew your morning pot with one cup of extra virgin olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or so. Then, get in the shower, and wearing a rubber glove (so it doesn’t stain your palm) rub the stuff into your skin. Leave the mixture on for about 10 minutes, then rinse well. Doing this two or three times a week will give you a silky, bronzed glow you will love. And it will earn you lots of compliments from other people, who will wonder if you just returned from a tropical vacation!
Use to Polish Your Wooden Furniture
Instead of using store-bought furniture polish, use olive oil to get your wooden furniture gleaming and smelling wonderful. Many people use olive oil to shine up their wooden pepper mill, which we’ve discussed in previous blogs. It’s milder, works beautifully and it is much friendlier to the environment than store-bought products.
Don’t worry that olive oil will harm the wood – it won’t! Instead, it actually nourishes the wood and brings to the fore its natural glow and shine. Whether you have a wooden banister alongside your staircase, or a wooden coffee table as the focal point in your living room, using olive oil can make all these prized pieces look, smell, and feel better to the touch.
It even protects wood, the way varnish does, though not quite to the same extent. But little bangs and bumps are not an issue if your wood furniture is protected with olive oil.
Mix together two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice. Using a lint-free cloth or a piece of cheesecloth, rub it into your wood in a circular fashion. Rub it in, then towel dry any excess mixture off.
Use as a Rust Inhibitor
You likely have lots of items in your home that are susceptible to rust. And if your home is at all humid, or you use a humidifier in winter, chances are rust can be a real problem. Window latches, nuts and bolts, and certain tools, to name just a few things most homeowners have around, are all at the mercy of rust eventually. You would likely be shocked to see just how many things in your house could rust – if given the chance. Here again, it’s olive oil to the rescue!
Olive oil limits rust, because it blocks oxygen from the tiny pores of cast iron. If you’ve got squeaky hinges on your favorite rocking chair, a quick swipe of olive oil on a cloth, and the problem is solved. This is one of the uses for olive oil many folks are thrilled to discover because it applies to so many household items.
A Stuck Zipper
Olive oil is a terrific lubricant. For something as minor but annoying as a stuck zipper, a drop of olive oil works wonders. Be advised, however, that it does stain most materials, so either be very careful when applying it or don’t get the zipper stuck in the first place!
Use It to Remove Sticker Residue
Do you ever wonder why just about every manufacturer puts stickers on their products? We do! But once again, olive oil solves this irritating problem by removing the stuff that makes the sticker, well, stick. You pull it off, but inevitably there is the residue left behind, right? A dab of olive oil on a paper towel gets rid of it easily.
You can even use your fingertips to get the last bits off – just make sure that, if the oil comes into contact with the product, it won’t stain. Do a test somewhere not visible first, to be sure there’s no sign the olive oil was ever there.
Benefits to Your Pets
If you’ve got a dog you adore, giving them olive oil can help them live longer and not fall prey to heart disease. Veterinarians suggest using one teaspoon of olive oil in dog food at every meal, per every 20 pounds of dog. Putting this in their food helps their immune system, too, just like it helps yours.
Are you a cat lover? Olive oil can help pussycats, too. A spoonful in their food three times a week lowers their risk of cardiovascular disease, keeps their fur soft and shiny, and even may contribute to weight loss. Neutered male cats, in particular, are prone to weight gain that can lead to diabetes, so giving your kitty olive oil may ward off that illness, and lower the odds of them having a stroke.
Olive oil is fabulous for cooking, but it isn’t just for the kitchen anymore. It is jammed with vitamins and antioxidants, and that makes your complexion look softer and smoother – and younger! If your olive oil has expired or you simply want to try more creative uses for olive oil, keep this post handy! When you want your puppy’s fur to shine or you need to polish the wooden dining room table, reach for the olive oil!
If you discover a new way to use olive oil we haven’t mentioned here, be sure to let us know in the comments section!