7 Extraordinary Uses for Olive Oil
Take your bottle of olive oil out of the kitchen and find out other surprising uses for it around the house: for your skin, your furniture, and more.
From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things
Use as hair conditioner
Is your hair as dry and brittle as sagebrush in the desert? Put the moisture back into it by heating 1/2 cup olive oil (don’t boil it), and then liberally applying it to your hair. Cover your hair with a plastic grocery bag, then wrap it in a towel. Let it set for 45 minutes, then shampoo and thoroughly rinse.
Clear up acne
Okay, the notion of applying oil to your face to treat acne does sound a bit wacky. Still, many folks swear this works: Make a paste by mixing 4 tablespoons salt with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pour the mixture onto your hands and fingers and work it around your face. Leave it on for a minute or two, then rinse it off with warm, soapy water. Apply daily for one week, then cut back to two or three times weekly. You should see a noticeable improvement in your condition. (The principle is that the salt cleanses the pores by exfoliation, while the olive oil restores the skin’s natural moisture.)
Photo: Nicholas Everleigh
Substitute for shaving cream
If you run out of shaving cream, don’t waste your time trying to make do with soap—it could be rough on your skin. Olive oil, on the other hand, is a dandy substitute for shaving cream. It not only makes it easier for the blade to glide over your face or legs, but it will moisturize your skin as well. In fact, after trying this, you may swear off shaving cream altogether.
Clean your greasy hands
To remove car grease or paint from your hands, pour 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt or sugar into your palms. Vigorously rub the mixture into your hands and between your fingers for several minutes; then wash it off with soap and water. Not only will your hands be cleaner, they’ll be softer as well.
Remove paint from hair
Did you get almost as much paint in your hair as you did on the walls in your last paint job? You can easily remove that undesirable tint by moistening a cotton ball with some olive oil and gently rubbing it into your hair. The same approach is also effective for removing mascara—just be sure to wipe your eyes with a tissue when done.
Make your own furniture polish
Restore the lost luster of your wooden furniture by whipping up some serious homemade furniture polish that’s just as good as any of the commercial stuff. Combine 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice or white vinegar in a clean recycled spray bottle, shake it up, and spritz on. Leave on the mixture for a minute or two, then wipe off with a clean terry-cloth or paper towel. In a hurry? Get fast results by applying olive oil straight from the bottle onto a paper towel. Wipe off the excess with another paper towel or an absorbent cloth.
Recondition an old baseball mitt
If your beloved, aging baseball glove is showing signs of wear and tear—cracking and hardening of the leather—you can give it a second lease on life with an occasional olive oil rubdown. Just work the oil into the dry areas of your mitt with a soft cloth, let it set for 30 minutes, then wipe off any excess. Your game may not improve, but at least it won’t be your glove’s fault. Some folks prefer to use bath oil to recondition their mitts.
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