Surprising Ways To Use Olive Oil In Your Home

If you cook at home with any regularity at all, there's a very good chance that you have a bottle or two of olive oil in your pantry. It's a staple, neutral oil that can be used for searing, sautéing, and much more. However, did you know that it actually has a surprising amount of uses outside the kitchen as well? That's right — if you're only grabbing that bottle of olive oil when it's time to cook, you're missing out on all the other uses it can have in your home. In fact, there are so many unique ways to use olive oil that you may even want to get a small bottle to keep with your cleaning supplies.

Now, there's just one caveat, as Real Simple flags — save the expensive, extra virgin olive oil for your salad dressings and other culinary needs. If you're looking to use olive oil in your cleaning or for other household uses, just get a regular, budget-friendly bottle for that purpose. Additionally, for the majority of these surprising uses for olive oil, you'll also want to be fairly conservative with the amount you use, applying a few drops rather than a few glugs, unless you want to make a massive mess. Here are five surprising ways to use olive oil in your home.

Make stainless steel or brass sparkle

Sometimes, metals like stainless steel or brass can get a little dull, and you may be wary of using harsh cleaning agents, lest they damage the metal in some way or impact the appearance of the metal negatively. You also typically don't want to be too aggressive with your scrubbing, again, to avoid any scratches to your brass or stainless steel fixtures or accessories.

It turns out, a great way to make stainless steel or brass sparkle is actually to use a little olive oil, as Real Simple recommends. You don't want to use too much, and if there's a bit of excess, you'll want to make sure to buff the metal surface so that there's no unwanted residue lingering on your item. However, the simple solution works surprisingly well.

Additionally, as Taste of Home explains, olive oil also works wonders when it comes to preventing tarnish, corrosion, and streaks — all issues that plague metal. So, not only will it make your stainless steel or brass items shine, it'll also help prevent future issues. Talk about a win-win!

Keep your wood furniture and décor looking incredible

Since it's a natural material, wood can get dried out in certain climates, or simply with age. As SF Gate explains, the natural oils in wood essentially evaporate over time, which is what causes it to dry out and look less than lustrous. Sometimes, you need to add a bit of oil to help restore those lost oils.

That's where olive oil comes in — a drop or two will allow you to create a homemade furniture polish of sorts, as Expert Home Tips suggests, that will have your wood looking incredible in no time at all. The olive oil adds a bit of a sheen and moisture to the wood, conditioning it and improving the appearance at the same time. It can even be used on smaller wooden pieces in your home, like charcuterie boards, dough bowls, and cutting boards.

As Taste of Home suggests, if you're worried about that olive oil aroma lingering on your furniture, you can add some essential oil to your homemade furniture polish to give it a particular scent. And, as an added bonus, olive oil does double duty as a dusting agent, so your furniture will not only look stunning and far more moisturized, it'll be dust-free as well.

Protect all kinds of gardening tools

Olive oil isn't just a great solution for many issues inside your house, it's also a versatile option for some of your outdoor needs — namely, protecting your various gardening implements. After all, unlike the tools you use indoors, your gardening tools may occasionally get left out in harsh conditions and need a little extra TLC to revive them.

While gardening tools come in all kinds of materials, metal tools with wooden handles are relatively common — and luckily, olive oil works incredibly well to protect both! As per Bob Vila, olive oil can help protect the metal components of your tools by keeping rust at bay. And, as The Spruce explains, olive oil can also allow dirt and other debris to more easily slide off your tools. Finally, as if that weren't enough, the lubricating substance can also be used to loosen up tools like pliers, clippers, or anything with moving parts, so that everything works the way it should.

If you happen to have wooden handles on your tools that have dried out a bit and even cracked after being exposed to the elements, olive oil can introduce some much needed moisture to help things improve.

Condition leather surfaces

While leather is quite a durable material in some ways, there are also quite a few things that can wreak havoc on it. As Gold Eagle reports, a lot of exposure to sunlight can damage leather, as can too much heat, or even too rapid a switch in temperatures. And, it may simply look a bit worse for the wear as you use the particular piece of furniture over and over again.

Before you go out to buy expensive products specifically made for leather, did you know that olive oil actually does an incredible job conditioning it so that it's as buttery soft as when you first bought it? Just make sure to go quite light with the olive oil, using just a few drops and buffing it in, as The Spruce recommends.

Olive oil also helps to improve the appearance of small scratches, so if a piece of leather furniture managed to get a little scrape or two over the years, give olive oil a shot to address the issue. As with any substance used on a big-ticket item like furniture, though, you may want to do a small test patch on an inconspicuous area of your furniture first, just to be safe.

Quiet any squeaky doors

So you have one door hinge in your home that always squeaks, alerting everyone in the household every time it's opened or closed. Before you rush out to the store to grab a lubricant like WD-40, though, consider checking your pantry for that handy bottle of olive oil — as you might guess, given the lubricating properties of oil, it works wonders.

The one thing you should be mindful of, as per Real Simple, is the amount you're using. You don't want any of that olive oil dripping down your door frame and damaging your carpet or other surfaces around the door, so you'll want to make sure you use enough to get rid of that squeaking sound without making a huge mess.

You can even use oil to lubricate a doorknob that's making a racket, although it may be a bit tougher to apply than to the door's hinges. As Hunker suggests, you'll want to turn the knob repeatedly to help distribute all that oil throughout it rather than it just lingering on the surface.