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11 Extraordinary Benefits of Using Olive Oil

Updated: Jun. 07, 2022

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.

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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. If you’re in awe of these numerous olive oil benefits, check out these 13 amazing uses for tea tree oil.

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Clear up acne

OK, 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.)

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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. And olive oil isn’t the only oil good for your skin, these 11 essential oils will leave your skin feeling soft and glowing.

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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.

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7 extraordinary uses for olive oil painting

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. These are the best oils for your beauty routine from your the hair on your head to the tips of your toes! Want other amazing uses for everyday objects? Try out these surprising ways to use bananas. 

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Make your own furniture polish

Another thing to add to your list of olive oil benefits includes shining up furniture in a jiff! 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.

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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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Soothe your throat

If you’re suffering from a cough that just won’t quit and don’t have any cough medicine sitting in your kitchen cabinet, a tablespoon of olive oil could be a quick, temporary fix until your next drugstore trip. The oil helps lubricate your throat and reduces inflammation thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory agent, oleocanthal. If your cough worsens or persists, consult your doctor immediately. For more natural remedies to get rid of a cold, try these best essential oils for the cold and flu.

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Lubricate squeaky doors

There’s no need to waste a trip to the hardware store for WD-40 when there’s a natural hinge lubricant sitting in your kitchen pantry—olive oil. Next time you hear your front door start to creak, wipe the hinge down with a cotton ball soaked in olive oil to lubricate it and eliminate the creaking noise. For those hard to reach nooks and crannies, try pouring the olive oil into a squeeze bottle to drizzle onto the hinge. (Don’t miss these healing facial oils that your skin needs in the fall and winter.)

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lying cat

Stop your cat from vomiting up hairballs

If you’re sick of finding coughed up hairballs on your living room floor, try putting a quarter to a half-teaspoon of olive oil in your cat’s food once or twice a day to prevent them from vomiting up hairballs. The oil helps lubricate the cat’s digestive system and keeps the hairball moving through without upsetting their stomach. But introduce it to your cat slowly because too much too fast could cause diarrhea or an upset stomach. And make sure you consult with your veterinarian first.

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Scandinavian style colorful nursery
Olga Mandra/Shutterstock

Peel stickers off the walls and furniture

Yes, you can add easy sticker removal to the long list of olive oil benefits. Parents of toddlers, you may rejoice now! Stop wasting your time using all that elbow grease scraping a Disney sticker off your coffee table when you can just dab olive oil onto a sticker and let it sit. After a few minutes, the sticker will easily peel right off with no residue left behind. And don’t miss these surprising uses for coconut oil that you never thought of.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest