17 things you can do with olive oil

From reviving leather shoes to ear wax removal, here are some clever ways to use olive oil

Glass bottle of olive oil

by Gabrielle Albert |

Olive oil has long been a staple for sautéing and salad dressings. But there are so many other weird and wonderful uses for olive oil that go far beyond the constraints of the kitchen. From make-up removal to household chores – we’ve got a long list of ideas to surprise and inspire you.

Repair cracked heels

If your feet are in need of a little TLC, exfoliate the skin (ideally with a pumice stone) and then apply some olive oil. Do this before bedtime and pop on some cotton socks for an moisturising overnight foot mask to wake up to silky soft feet.

Silence squeaky doors

You don’t need a can of DW40 to silence sticky door hinges – simply lubricating them with some olive oil will do the trick. Dab some onto a cloth and wipe the top of the hinges so that the oil goes down the sides.

Moisturise skin

Apply a thin layer of oil all over your skin after a waxing, shaving or showering. It will act as an intense moisturiser to soothe extra-dry skin. You can also apply a small amount of oil to nail beds to keep cuticles soft.

Erase eye make-up

Forget the face wipes and dip a cotton pad into olive oil instead. Wipe it beneath your eyes and on your eyelids to remove eyeliner and mascara. Rinse with warm water and a muslin cloth and follow-up with a cleanser.

Deep condition hair

Hair mask treatment

Olive oil has been used as a hair treatment since ancient Egyptian times. First, warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave or in hot water. Then apply it generously to the ends of hair and scalp. Leave it in for up to 10 – 20 minutes, and then wash with shampoo.

Remove ear wax

If you suffer with ear-wax build-up, use some olive oil to flush out the clog. Put 2 to 3 drops of olive oil in your ear twice a day for a few days. Over two weeks, the earwax should fall out of your ear, most likely at night when you're lying down.

Remove stickers and labels

Apply enough oil to saturate the sticker and let it sit for a few minutes. It’ll help remove stubborn stickers and labels without leaving any of that annoying residue.

Shine stainless steel

Stainless steel pots and pans

Rub some olive oil on stainless steel pots, pans, sinks and other stainless-steel items to make them shine. Unlike other harsh cleaning chemicals, this is a much gentler option that won’t cause corrosion.

Protect metal tools

Olive oil also works as a great lubricant and protectant for metal, which means you can use it on hinges, gardening tools, and kitchen knives and even razor blades. Remove any rust and grime, then pour some oil onto a cotton ball, apply to the metal and allow to dry.

Exfoliate dry lips

Transform your dry lips by mixing 1.5tbsp of olive oil with 2tbsp sugar and 1tsp honey in a small bowl or container. Massage onto lips then wash away with warm water for softer lips.

Remove paint from hair and skin

Doing a bit of DIY? Should you get paint in your hair or on your skin, olive oil can help to remove it. Moisten a cotton wool pad with olive oil, then gently rub it onto the area.

Refresh kitchen accessories

Wooden spoon and rolling pin

If your wooden chopping boards and utensils have seen better days, rub a small amount of olive oil into them with a kitchen towel and leave to dry. It will revitalise the wood to disguise scratches and marks.

Revive leather

Got a pair of leather shoes that are looking a little worn and tired? If you can't find any polish, apply a small amount of oil onto your shoes and buff with a clean cloth in a circular motion for instant shine.

Prevent hairballs

For pets – not humans – of course! Help your cat pass fur balls quickly and easily by adding a few drops of olive oil to their meals.

Remove rings

Heat can cause our skin to swell, making tight jewellery more likely to get stuck. To ease yours off, rub some olive oil into the area. It will provide lubrication and the ring should slip off.

Free stuck zips

Metal trouser zip

If the zip on your jeans or jacket just won't budge, try rubbing the teeth with a cotton bud dipped in olive oil to help ease it back on track.

Shave smoothly

Need to save your legs or armpits? Smooth olive oil onto your skin before getting into the bath or shower to help your razor to glide gently and smoothly during strokes, preventing any cuts, bumps or burns. Rub an extra teaspoon into skin after washing to lock in moisture.

Treat cracked paws

Rub a little olive oil onto cracked paws to soften Fido’s skin.

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