22 Things to Do with Olive Oil Besides Cook

22 Things to Do with Olive Oil Besides Cook

You asked, we answered (with olive oil, as we do best!). Everything from cleaning garden tools to the secret to Sophia Loren's glow.
Written By: Grace Clarke

Before WD40, before fancy pet food, before face masks and painful ways to get gum out of your hair, there was olive oil. Here are 22 actually helpful, not-weird ways to use it.

For your pets

1. Relieve your dog’s cracked paw pads. Massage a few drops of straight olive oil onto clean their paws once or twice a week.  It’s soothing during winter when they may be walking across rock salt. And healing during summer when they’re walking across hot pavement. 

2. Help their coats shine. Add ½  teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil per 20 pounds of weight per meal.

3. Cut down on hairballs. Mix ⅛ teaspoon of EVOO into your cat’s food once a day.

For your home

4. Unstick a zipper. Dab olive oil on a cotton swab or the edge of a towel, and wipe down the teeth.

5. Skip WD-40 and naturally quiet squeaky doors. Dab oil on a cloth and wipe the hinges. It won’t get sticky and it doesn’t smell.

6. Stop dirt build-up on garden tools. Coat them with a very thin layer of EVOO. Dirt slides right off.

7. Clean wood furniture. To clean it, mix one part lemon juice with 3 parts olive oil, polish with a cloth. To moisturize it, rub EVOO into the wood, wipe excess with a soft dry cloth.

8. Soften and polish leather. Whether it’s a baseball glove, shoes, or a chair, rub in olive oil, let it sit for 30 minutes, then wipe off the excess.

9. Remove sticker residue. Apply a drop of oil, let it sit for a few minutes, rub away with a cloth.

For health and beauty

10. Get gum out of your hair. Use your fingers to rub oil into the strands, leave on for five minutes, then help it slide out.

11. Get paint out of your hair. Apply oil to a cotton ball or pad, and gently rub it along hair. Especially if it’s an oil based paint, you have to use oil to get it out.

12. Get paint off your skin. No harsh chemicals - just rub olive oil onto dried paint and let it soak in for ten minutes.

13. Keep under-your-nails clean. Before gardening or house chores, rub oil around and underneath nails. When you wash up, dirt will slide away easily.

14. Calm an itchy throat. Take a small sip of olive oil (good olive oil) to calm itchy irritated throats.

15. Create a throat rub. Massage a mixture of 20 parts olive oil, 1 part eucalyptus essential oil topically. This is said to get circulation going and reduce inflammation and pain.

16. Unstick a ring. Rub olive oil all around the ring and gently wiggle it off your finger.

17. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a bath for glowing, hydrated skin. Actress Sophia Loren swears by it.

18. Relieve arthritis and joint aches. Rubbing anti-inflammatory olive oil into sore joints olive oil has been found to be more effective than medicated cream.

19. Scrub your skin. Combine ¼ cup olive oil with pink sea salt and scrub in the shower or bath. It’s a small enough amount of oil it won’t clog or damage plumbing.

In the kitchen

20. Make it easier to clean sticky things like honey, peanut butter, syrups. Rub or spray a little olive oil into measuring spoons or cup before filling them. They’ll pour out and clean up more easily.

21. Condition wooden cutting boards by rubbing in olive oil monthly to prevent splits, cracks and stains.

22. Slow tarnish on brass and stainless steel. Rub a tiny bit of olive oil onto freshly-cleaned metal. Unlike harsh chemicals like ammonia, EVOO doesn’t dull or corrode metals.