A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

22 Uses for Mayonnaise You Probably Didn’t Know About

Updated: Feb. 01, 2023

The reliable creamy condiment is so versatile in the kitchen, as we learned by hanging out in Hellmann's test kitchen with actress and author Ellie Kemper, but you may be surprised to know that mayonnaise's many uses don't end there.

1 / 22
Mayo_Ellie Kemper_Grilled Cheese
courtesy Jeff Bogle

Upping the ante on grilled cheese

To produce a rich, golden crust on your kid’s grilled cheese, or better yet, on your decadent adult version with caramelized onions, braised beef short rib, and Gruyere, brush the outside of a crusty Italian bread with Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise instead of butter as Ellie Kemper, one of the stars of Bridesmaids, demonstrates. The result is the most gourmet, Instagram-worthy meal you can produce in only minutes. Mayonnaise truly is the secret to making the best grilled cheese ever.

2 / 22
Sliced tasty chocolate cake on wooden table background
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Secret ingredient for the moistest cake ever

What is mayo, really? Eggs and oil, which is what’s probably going in your cake recipe anyway. But adding straight Hellmann’s Mayonnaise to your cake mix will produce the moistest cakes you’ve ever baked. Weird, we know, but you’re welcome!

3 / 22
Houseplant and cactus at home.
rattiya lamrod/Shutterstock

Make your plants shine

Everyone has a plant or two adorning their home, the neglected leaves of which are, probably, dull and dusty. Shake off that accumulated dust, put a dab of mayo on a cloth, and wipe each leaf giving them a shine. Mayo gives your plants new life, just like these hacks and tips for healthy houseplants.

4 / 22
courtesy Jeff Bogle

A green goddess of a dip

Sure, guacamole is delicious but a surefire way to blow your guests’ minds during your next summertime picnic is to whip up a batch of green goddess dressing by smashing together avocados, green onion, lime juice, parsley, basil, and garlic mayonnaise. The result is an epic dip for chips as well as for a darling crudités platter.

5 / 22
courtesy Jeff Bogle

French fry condiment

If you’ve ever been to Europe, specifically the tasty trio of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, you may not be surprised to see mayonnaise drizzled or lumped unceremoniously atop a paper cone of frites. There’s a reason why—it is sublime! Try mayo instead of ketchup the next time you order a basket of fries no matter where you are. Here’s why American’s put ketchup on their fries instead of mayo.

6 / 22
A young man with severe sunburn. Sunburn treatment: special burn ointment, salve, cream, gel. Burned skin

Sunburn soother

For when you run out of aloe or that expensive after-sun lotion you bought in a panic when your kid was crying in pain after a hot day at the beach, crack open a jar of mayo and rub some cool, creamy mayo on you or your kiddo’s sunburn. The soothing impact is instant…as is the urge to lick it off.

7 / 22
Bowl of sour cream yogurt on dark wooden background

White barbecue sauce

For BBQ sauce every bit as creamy as it is smokey, give this super simple and quick Alabama white barbecue sauce recipe a try the next time you smoke ribs or grill chicken. You may never go back to that store-bought reddish-brown BBQ sauce again.

8 / 22
Lemon bars decorating
Aleydah G/Shutterstock

The surprise in lemon surprise bars

The crust of these light, summery sweet bars are made with only three ingredients: flour (2 cups), mayo (3/4 cup), and sugar (1/2 cup). When topped with sugar (1 1/2 cups), all-purpose flour (1/4 cup), four eggs, and the juice of two lemons, then baked in two stages (crust alone for 15 minutes, crust with topping for another 20) at 350 degrees in a 13×9 pan lined with foil, these bars will quickly become a family favorite you won’t mind making because your kitchen barely gets dirty during baking.

9 / 22
Street wall covered numerous multicolored stickers.
Yupa Watchanakit/shutterstock

Sticker residue remover

This mayo hack from One Good Thing by Jillee is pure genius: We’ve all bought a super cute mason jar or similarly adorable decorative items only to find that the price and bar code stickers refuse to come off without leaving behind a sticky residue. Mayo can help! Get as much of the stickers off as you can with your fingers, then apply a thick layer of mayonnaise and let it sit for a few minutes. The fat in the mayo will start to dissolve the adhesive allowing you to simply rub away the rest. Note: mayonnaise also works to help remove that bumper sticker you regret putting on your car.

10 / 22
courtesy Jeff Bogle

Grilled street corn topping

Instead of boring old butter, stir some garlic, ginger, lime, and Sriracha together with mayo then liberally brush that creamy spread on the corn as it comes in hot off the grill. If you like the taste of cilantro, sprinkle some of the greenery atop the finished product to give your grilled corn a gourmet restaurant presentation.

11 / 22
Woman washing her hair with shower, water

Hair conditioner

Per our pals at Taste of Home, “the egg yolk in mayo is naturally moisturizing as well as nourishing because it is rich in fats and proteins.” If you can stomach it while naked and wet, “apply mayonnaise to hair like you would any conditioner, let sit for 20 minutes and then rinse and cleanse with a gentle shampoo.” Try these 19 hair home remedies to treat all your hair woes.

12 / 22
Healthy raw kale and quinoa salad with cranberry and almonds
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Make kale and quinoa tasty for nonbelievers

Kale and quinoa are extremely healthy but some folks still are not on board because of taste and/or texture. Mix Hellmann’s or Best Foods Vegan Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread with chopped shallots, fresh dill, white balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard along with cooked quinoa and baby kale to produce the most flavorful way to introduce kale and quinoa to nonbelievers.

13 / 22
crispy zucchini fries with garlic yogurt sause. top view
Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock

The healthiest kind of French fries

No frying oil and no potatoes are used in the making of these healthy French fries! Brush a baking sheet with mayo then cut a small zucchini into sticks and place neatly on the sheet. Brush the veggies with more mayo before coating them with a panko bread crumb and Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes and never look at zucchini the same way again.

14 / 22
Baby's drawing with crayon color on the wall. Works of child. Abstract sketch background.

Clean your home

It is possible that mayo might be magic. Not only can it be used to make everything from barbecue sauce to cake, according to Taste of Home, mayonnaise is capable of cleaning nearly as good as baking soda. Some mayo on a clean cloth will remove fingerprints from stainless steel appliances, take watermarks away from wood furniture, and, get this, make crayon scribbles disappear from your child’s playroom!

15 / 22
Roasted whole chicken overhead view

Thanksgiving’s golden brown surprise

Rub Tom Turkey with mayo before popping him in the oven and when the timing goes off hours later, your bird will be Instagram fabulous.

16 / 22
Little boy itchy his head stress face headache

Head lice treatment

We haven’t tried this yet (and hope we never have to!) but when it comes to lice in our kid’s hair we are open to any and all ideas to quickly and painlessly kill them all. One Good Thing tells us to apply mayo to the affected hair, cover completely with a shower cap, and sleep on it. In the morning, comb out the hair then shower and, with luck, the lice will be dead and gone forever. If you like this, you’ll appreciate these other home and beauty uses for mayonnaise, too.

17 / 22
Various party food, Hamburgers, French fries, potato chips, pickled cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and cold beer bottles, rusty black concrete background copy space
Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

A burger binding agent

You may enjoy a smear of mayo atop a burger with a swirl of ketchup too but try putting mayo into the ground meat mixture (maybe with some ground brisket and short rib to take your grilling game up a level this year). The oil and egg will bind the meat together perfectly and help to make every bite extra decadent.

18 / 22
Nude Nails. Woman Showing her Manicure, Holding Hands Together

Cuticle repair

Honestly, the best part of using the fat in mayo to both repair cuticles and at the same time strengthen fingernails and moisten dry skin is getting to lick your digits clean after the at-home mayonnaise treatment is finished. Try using mayo to soften your dry, callous feet too. Here are 8 other natural ways to get amazing skin.

19 / 22
overhead view of Gougeres, cheese puffs balls on a black plate. Traditional french cheese choux buns on a concrete table, view from above, flatlay, close-up, copy space
from my point of view/Shutterstock

10-minute biscuits

This recipe is a real surprise! Mayo in biscuits? Yep, together with just 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 cup of milk, just a 1/2 cup of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise will deliver shockingly scrumptious biscuits in only ten minutes at 450 degrees after dropping 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto an ungreased baking sheet.

20 / 22
Close up hand removing sticky chewing gum from black textile or clothes
Piyawat Nandeenopparit/Shutterstock

Gum be gone

It is inevitable that every single child will eventually get gum stuck in their hair. Instead of busting out the scissors, open the fridge and grab some mayo. According to Rachel Ray Every Day, “the natural emulsifiers [of mayonnaise] may help soften the sticky gum,” making it easier to remove, thus leaving their precious locks intact. Should you keep your mayo in the fridge? Here’s where the condiment storage debate ends.

21 / 22
Fresh Spring Roll with shrimps, Vietnamese Food
Ratov Maxim/Shutterstock

Easy vegetarian summer rolls

Buy a pack of spring roll wrappers this summer to make an easy vegetarian treat to serve at a backyard picnic or just simply as a delicious veggie-filled lunch on a random weekday. Mix together some Hellmann’s Organic Chipotle Mayonnaise with thin strips of cucumber, matchstick carrots, broken-up thin prepared rice noodles, and sliced green onion. Fill the roll wrappers according to the package directions and voila, you’ve used mayonnaise to quickly make a light, healthy meal or snack.

22 / 22
Close up of hing on the old wooden door

A clean WD-40 alternative

Don’t have any WD-40 on hand to silence that squeaky door? No worries, because mayonnaise does the trick as well and without the inevitable oil drips on the floor. Just put a dab of mayo into any squeaky door or cabinet joint or hinge and let the magic properties of this delicious oily condiment go to work. And if you do have WD-40 on hand, you’ll definitely want to know these 46 amazing uses for it.