Ways to use olive oil for cleaning

Olive Oil Cleaning Hacks: This Stuff has Star Power!

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Have you ever wondered if there was more to that bottle of olive oil in your kitchen than pouring it into your pan? The great Sophia Loren attributes her amazing skin to a love of life, spaghetti, and a splash of olive oil in her bath. I’m not knocking that use, but did you know you can use olive oil for cleaning, too?

So, what makes olive oil a good cleaning agent? It’s all about the concept of “like dissolves like.” Olive oil cleans because it breaks down substances similar to itself, like greasy dirt and wax. But it doesn’t stop there: olive oil can also create a protective barrier to prevent stains and damage. Read on, and I’ll explain!

1. Keep Wood from Cracking

You can’t give furniture a bath, but mixing olive oil with an equal amount of white vinegar to make a natural furniture polish is almost as good. Use a soft cloth to rub it in following the grain, then buff away the excess. The vinegar helps the oil penetrate the wood and create a protective barrier that locks in moisture. No wonder Sophia swears by it.

2. Pearl Polish

Sophia Loren is famous for her sense of style and the gorgeous strands of pearls she wears. Maybe she knew that olive oil makes a gentle, effective polish for them? Gently wiping pearls with a couple drops of olive oil on a soft cloth cleans and protects them so your pearls retain their glamorous shine.

Did You Know?

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil not only for cooking but also as a medicine, a beauty product, even as a lamp oil.

3. Crayon Stain Solution

If your little Picasso left crayon marks on the walls of your villa, don’t fret. Because “like dissolves like,” olive oil is a great way to remove waxy wall stains without damaging paint. Press a cloth dampened with a small amount of oil on the mark for a minute or two, then wipe it away. Remove any oily residue with soap and water, then wipe again and let it air dry.

4. Freedom from Fingerprints

Put your stainless steel appliances in the spotlight by keeping them shiny clean with olive oil. Just add a few drops to a cloth and wipe the surface following the steel’s grain to remove grime and fingerprints. Buff with a new round to create a protective barrier so smudges don’t steal the show.

5. Sparkling Silver

If you notice your favorite spaghetti fork looking a bit tarnished, don’t panic. Silver tarnishes in reaction to compounds in the air, but cleaning it with an olive oil and baking soda paste gets rid of the tarnish. Plus, the oil leaves a thin protective layer that protects your silver, too.

Did You Know?

Olive oil has been a valued commodity since ancient times. In Greece, it was even used as a prize for Olympic Game winners. Modern athletes probably wouldn’t be as thrilled to get an urn of cooking oil, though.

6. Mosquito Control

Just like true superstars evade the paparazzi, olive oil can help protect against buzzing nuisances in your backyard. Add a few drops of olive oil to bird baths, ponds and fountains to create a thin film that keeps mosquitoes from laying eggs in them without disturbing local wildlife.

7. Table Rescue

When that glass of wine you had for your health leaves a mark on your table, reach for the olive oil. Rub spills, hazy spots and water rings on wood with warmed olive oil. Let it soak in to eliminate the spot then buff the area to restore the shine.

8. Sticker Grime

Labels and price tags can leave behind a tacky mess. Rub olive oil onto sticker grime and wait a few minutes for the oil to dissolve the adhesive. Gently wipe away the residue with a warm, soapy rag then wipe with plain water and voilà—all clean!

9. Clean Paint Brushes

Cleaning up after you’ve finished painting a room or canvas can be tedious but this olive oil hack does most of the work for you. Just wipe the excess paint off your brush and soak the bristles in olive oil for 5 minutes. Watch as the oil acts as a powerful solvent, lifting the paint from the bristles and making cleanup a breeze.

10. Scissor Sharpening

Before you toss out your old, dull scissors, give them a new lease on life with this clever combination of hacks using aluminum foil and olive oil. Fold a piece of foil in half several times then cut thin strips into it with the scissors to sharpen the blades. Finish by wiping them all over with olive oil, including the pivot point, to protect against rust.

11. Skin Saver

Sophia Loren didn’t keep her skin supple into her 90s by using harsh cleansers and neither should you. Reach for olive oil to get hair dye, paint, and ink off of your skin. Just rub it in and wait 15 minutes then wash with a mild soap or shampoo. Stupendo!

Now, read all about ways to use Castile soap around your home—it’s the ultimate olive oil cleaning agent.

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2 Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Absolutely marvellous, I so enjoy getting these emails and your YT channel. Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you enjoy them, Christine!

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