Olive oil isn’t just for making salad dressings, folks. Yes, it’s a healthy oil. Yes, it’s ancient and traditional. But it’s precisely because it’s traditional that olive oil has historically been used in a myriad of surprising and often overlooked ways.
For many of these non-food uses, you may not care if you’re using the best olive oil (or even 100% real olive oil). But I’ll never begin a discussion about olive oil without spreading the word about the fraud that’s being perpetuated against us, simply because too many of us are still in the dark!
Olive Oil: 35 Wickedly Cool Uses
1. Run your diesel car engine on olive oil.
Nope, I’m not kidding. Olive oil can not only be used to make your own biodiesel, but it can also safely be added to your diesel fuel tank and mixed with diesel. (Anywhere from 10-25% olive oil in proportion to diesel is safe.)
2. Make soap.
Here’s a handy olive oil soap recipe you can make in your crock-pot.
3. Shine stainless steel sink or pots.
Scrub your sink with baking soda, rinse, then rub a thin layer of olive oil on it to add shine and prevent future tarnish.
4. Use olive oil to whiten your teeth and maintain healthy gums.
It’s called oil pulling. Just swish a tablespoon of olive oil around your mouth for 5 minutes per day, then spit it out. Work your way up to 20 minutes per day for more health benefits.
5. Remove your makeup.
Just dab a few drops of olive oil onto a cotton ball and apply over your make up, then rinse with warm water.
6. Make an olive oil lotion.
Here’s a good recipe for how to make an olive oil lotion.
7. Make a healing salve.
You can ditch the triple antibiotic ointment for a homemade natural herbal remedy.
8. Make olive oil ice cream.
Olive oil ice cream is quickly becoming a family favorite. We love this dairy-free version.
9. Make mayonnaise.
10. Make your own olive oil lava lamp.
This is a fun experiment for kids and adults alike.
11. Add it to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs.
Just put a teaspoon or so of olive oil onto their food each day. It’ll help give them a shiny coat and prevent hairballs.
12. Use olive oil to treat dry scalp.
Massage it directly into your scalp, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with ACV or a gentle shampoo.
13. Shave your legs.
Seriously, just use olive oil instead of shaving cream. You may never use shaving cream again… And of course, if you use a startifacts epilator, like me, you don’t need any lubricant at all!
14. Use olive oil as a moisturizer.
Apply by massaging into dry skin. Nothing could be easier.
15. Keep your measuring spoons clean when measuring honey or syrup.
Lubricate your measuring spoons with a tiny bit of olive oil before measuring sticky substances (like honey). Not only will the honey NOT stick to your measuring spoon (giving you greater accuracy), but you’ll also get the added benefit of not having to use your fingers to get the last of that syrupy goodness off the spoon (or maybe that’s not a benefit?).
16. Remove stickers from glass containers.
Massage olive oil into stickers, let sit for at least 15 minutes, then scrape/peel off the sticker.
17. Clean wood furniture.
Combine 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice, spray on surface, let sit for 1 minute, then wipe off.
18. Use olive oil to prevent tarnish on copper or brass.
After polishing your copper or brass, rub with a bit of olive oil to keep it shinier for longer.
19. Take care of your wooden cutting boards & utensils.
About once per month, rub olive oil into your wooden cutting blocks and utensils to prevent cracking and staining.
20. Wipe dry razor blades down with olive oil to prevent rusting.
This can increase the life of your razors tenfold and save you quite a bit a money.
21. Make lip balm.
Here’s my easy recipe for homemade chapped lip balm.
22. Moisturize your cuticles before a manicure.
This is a much more natural alternative to the cuticle treatments often used by manicurists. Just soak your finger tips, nails, and cuticles in olive oil for about ten minutes, then rinse off the oil.
23. Make an exfoliating sugar scrub.
These sugar scrubs make excellent gifts. Here’s a recipe for a delightfully simple homemade scrub.
24. Use olive oil as a natural diaper rash treatment.
Just rub a few drops on your baby’s bottom after cleaning it.
25. Shoe polish.
Rub olive oil into leather shoes to maintain shine, but spot check first because it works best on dark leather.
26. Use olive oil to treat lice.
27. Clean motor-grease off your hands.
Apply 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp sugar to hands and rub vigorously for one minute, then rinse off and wash your hands with soap & water.
28. Remove paint from you hair.
If you’ve ever painted a wall or a ceiling and had stray paint drip into your hair, you’ll appreciate this simple way to remove it. Just moisten a cotton ball with olive oil, rub it into painted hair, let sit for 5 minutes, and shampoo like normal.
29. Use olive oil to treat leather purses, wallets, and baseball mitts.
Rub into leather with a soft cloth, let sit for 30 minutes, wipe off excess. It’ll keep your leather from cracking or drying out.
30. Use olive oil as a personal lubricant.
(Yes, I went there.)
31. Make your own massage oil.
Mix in a drop or two of essential oils per 1 oz of olive oil to make your own scented massage oils.
32. Relieve your dog’s cracked paws.
This is especially helpful in the summer time as dogs get walked on hot pavement. Just massage a few drops of olive oil into their paws every few days.
33. Use as a fizz-treatment for curly hair.
I’ve been told that you can massage olive oil into your curly locks, then stuff them in a shower cap for thirty minutes, and shampoo like normal. Doing this once per week or so helps keep curly hair fizz free.
34. Fix squeaky doors.
Yes, WD-40 works well, but it’s created with non-renewable hydrocarbons. So put a few drops of olive oil on hinges instead, and if you need a key fob replacement it’s better to contact a professional.
35. Use as an air freshner by making your own oil lamp.
Burn olive oil in an oil lamp with a few drops of aromatic essential oils to give your rooms a pleasant scent. Here’s a quick DIY tutorial for how to make your own using a mason jar.
Pretty cool, right?