5 Surprising Uses For Olive Oil In Your Home

Olive oil is one of the most popular oils folks use when cooking, and it has many benefits and antioxidants that are great for the body. According to Nourish by WebMD, consuming olive oil helps to enhance heart health, reduce the risk of strokes, and prevent Alzheimer's disease by improving the brain's memory capacity. Although, on a non-health-related note, olive oil makes food taste better, a whole cake primarily uses olive oil.

You might be thinking of the different meals you've cooked using olive oil, and it may be a surprise to hear that folks can use it for non-cooking purposes. For example, if your favorite coat's zipper isn't working correctly, adding the tiniest bit of olive oil can get it to zip without struggling. SBS Zipper suggests using it on zippers attached to plastic fabrics since it can stain most materials. If you decide to use it on a clothing piece, try adding tape to the fabric or an unused cloth to prevent a stain on your clothes. Zippers are just one of the many things you can use olive oil with; we've compiled a few other ways to use this excellent household product around your home.

1. Grease measuring utensils

When measuring sticky ingredients such as caramel, honey, or even ketchup in a small half tablespoon, the easiest cooking hack is using olive oil before filling up the spoon, notes Food52. It can be tedious measuring anything sticky in a ¼ teaspoon utensil and have most of what you need refrain from leaving its temporary home. Food52 claims that pre-greasing the measuring spoons with olive oil will help the ingredient to pour out quicker.

Depending on what the recipe calls for, some might not require any oil at all, but a small drop of it on the measuring spoon will get the job done. Food52 suggests looking over the recipe when using a measuring cup to ensure you're allowed to use any oil, not a flavored one. Other oils, such as avocado and canola, will work for non-flavored oil recipes if you need a backup. You can also try using cooking spray, which can get all over your hands and your counters, so resorting to the oil method will go a long way.

2. Remove unwanted oil-based paint

Whether you pick up painting as a new hobby or try out a new paint color trend in your room, one thing we know is that it can be messy. You can be extremely careful, but it'll always be on your skin or clothes. While water can easily clean up most paint, oil-based paint won't work well since oils don't mix with water. Choose Marker claims that any vegetable oil, like olive, can help speed up the process. Simply rub a little olive oil on the paint and remove it with a clean washcloth.

If the paint doesn't let up on the first try, use soapy water to remove as much as possible before going in with olive oil again. First, wet the area with warm water and rub any liquid soap onto the paint, then rinse and dry the area (per Choose Marker). Next, add the olive oil to the remaining stain and allow it to sit for a few seconds before wiping it away. You'll be left with clean and softer skin.

3. Stop any squeaks

Have you ever tried sneaking into the kitchen at midnight to make a snack, but the loud squeak from your door prevents that from happening? Knowing that if the door gets opened, the sound will wake everyone in the house and, depending on the intensity, your neighbors. While the neighbors might not hear your door creak, the mere thought of the noise awakening someone is enough to stay put. To stop the squeaking and creaking, olive oil on the door hinge will fix the annoying sticky door.

Aspire claims a few sprays from an olive oil can will make the creaking stop after it's applied. You can also use a pipette if you don't have a spray can, so it isn't messy. Once you apply the olive oil, clean around the hinge with a cloth, so it doesn't leave any stains behind. Just a few simple drops will get you closer to your midnight snacks.

4. Remove gum

As an adult, you might not have the issue of gum getting stuck in your hair, but this item can be difficult to remove when it adheres to other things, such as clothes. If you have kids, gum might appear in their hair or places it shouldn't now and then. Most folks resort to the ice cube method, where you rub it on the gum, hoping it removes — although that sometimes works, it's not as effective as olive oil.

If you find gum stuck in your carpet, attire, or other fabrics, Maid Right suggests putting a little olive oil on a cloth and rubbing it on the area where the gum is. Then, use a knife or credit card to scrape off the gum. It'll remove easily, but remember it will pull a few fibers out, so you'll want to scrape it gently. If there's oil residue, use soapy water to clean it up.

5. Use to restore wood furniture

A great way to restore wood furniture is with olive oil. From coffee tables to cabinets, olive oil can help eliminate some stains and make them shine. According to Old Town Olive, applying the oil to the stains will seep into the wood, expanding it and bringing out its natural color. You might think it'll create a more prominent splotch since some oils can do that, but instead, it'll help nourish the wood allowing it to gleam.  

Mix half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of white vinegar in a bowl; using a dry cloth, dip it into the bowl and wipe the spot or entire surface (via Old Town Olive). Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes so it can soak properly, then wipe off the remaining oil with a new cloth towel. Instead of using a bowl, fill an empty spray bottle with the olive oil and white vinegar, spray the surface, and wipe it down after a few minutes. The great thing about olive oil is that even if you don't have wood furniture that needs restoration, it's still an excellent product for cleaning and polishing.