25 Uses for Olive Oil Around the House

Olives from Jordan
Olives from Jordan | Source

My family had an ornamental olive tree when we lived in Colorado, and I remember passing hours around and on it while I was growing up. It's where I learned to climb trees, it's what held the tire swing, and it's where I learned to make two leaves whistle when you put them between your thumbs. The leaves were long and slender, fuzzy and a soft sea green on the bottom, and deeper, darker green on the top. The trunk looked like something out of a fairy tale. And yet after all that, I didn't know very much about real olives or olive trees.

Apparently wild olives were collected in prehistoric times, as early as 8,000 BC. Originally found exclusively in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and western Asia, they have now been planted in similar climates throughout the world.

The word for "oil" in many languages stems from the root word for olive. The tree itself is an evergreen shrub, very short and broad, and often has a gnarled trunk. I sort of imagine Old Man Willow when I think of olive trees. Olives are harvested when they turn green or purple. One thing I didn't know was that black olives become black using artificial means, namely ferrous sulfate (an edible form of iron.)

There are all sorts of olive oils out there, and I'm going to recommend that for the purposes listed in this article, don't buy the expensive stuff! There's cheaper olive oil out there, and that's probably what you should use here. It's pricey stuff when you get into the specialty types, but in a bind, a little dab of even the good stuff will get your makeup off.

Health & Beauty

  • Bath - Add about 3 tbsp. olive oil to your bath. You know that saying, "like a duck out of water"? In this case, that's awesome! Water will glide effortlessly off your skin as you towel dry, and will look and feel amazing and supple.

Cuticles | Source
Diaper rash
Diaper rash | Source
Exfoliate | Source
Makeup | Source
Shaving cream
Shaving cream | Source
Snoring | Source
  • Cuticles - Moisturize and treat your cuticles to some pampering by rubbing olive oil onto them and over your finger and toenails. As an extra special treat, mix 1/4 cup warm water + 1/4 cup olive oil, and soak your fingers and toes. This will re-hydrate your cuticles and stop them from cracking and splitting.
  • Cough - Is a throat tickle making you cough over and over again? Want some relief? Take a sip of olive oil and kiss your cough goodbye. Dear cough, you won't be missed.
  • Diaper rash - Your poor baby! Help sooth your baby's diaper rash. Gently dab your baby's bottom with a clean cloth dipped in olive oil. Repeat at every diaper changing and see your baby smile again.
  • Earache - Help cure ear aches by gently and very carefully rubbing a cotton swab dabbed in warm olive oil into the ear cavity. This will also help break down earwax.
  • Exfoliate - Use olive oil to help exfoliate your face and hands once a week. It's great to do this in the bath, if you have one, and is luxurious and makes you feel great. Rub your face, hands, or body with straight olive oil, then course sugar or salt. Rinse off with warm water. Your skin is left feeling invigorated and supple.
  • Hair frizz - I don't know about you, but in the winter I become a static magnet, and my hair goes nuts (especially after wearing my favorite wool hat.) To combat the frizz naturally, rub a few drops of olive oil onto your comb. Comb this through your hair, and voila! Sleek, soft, smooth hair.
  • Lip balm - You can use it straight, or mix it up. Try this: mix olive oil + melted bee's wax in a 1:1 ratio. This really hits the spot when you can't find anything but petroleum products on the store shelf.
  • Makeup - Remove your makeup with olive oil! It's natural, green, and leaves your skin feeling soft and supple. Don't use harsh, carcinogenic chemicals! Dab a few drops onto a cotton disc and wipe makeup away. It's that easy.
  • Sex - Looking for a natural, safe, non-toxic lubricant? Food grade? Look no further. Olive oil is tried, tested, and healthy, and has been used for thousands of years.
  • Shaving cream - Olive oil is a safe, natural lubricant that can help you get a better, closer shave. In fact, many shaving creams add olive oil as a "special" ingredient. Why not just go straight to the source and cut out the harsh chemicals, scents, and dyes?
  • Skin - Turn your rough elbows, knees, and bothersome patches into baby-soft skin in days. Rub olive oil onto the offensive spots daily, making sure it soaks into the skin. You're such a baby!
  • Snoring - Take a sip of olive oil before bedtime. Depending on the cause of your snoring, this might help. It'll lubricate the muscles in your throat that contribute to snoring!

Around The House

  • Condition leather - Old, worn leather can look like new again. Use a cloth to rub olive oil into old, beaten-up leather jackets and baseball mitts. Let the oil soak in for 30 minutes, then shine with a clean cloth. The leather will be supple and nice once again.

Leather | Source
Gum | Source
Lamp oil
Lamp oil | Source
Squeaky hinge
Squeaky hinge | Source
Wood polish
Wood polish | Source
Zipper catches
Zipper catches | Source
  • Garden tools - It's great to have clean, rust-free garden tools. Rinse dirt off each time you use them, then rub olive oil onto the cutting and digging surfaces of your garden tools. Also works great on lawn mower blades. The olive oil will repel dirt and rust and keep your garden tools spruce and looking like new.
  • Gum - Remove gum from your shoes (or hair) with, you guessed it, olive oil. Soak some olive oil into a cloth or tissue, wrap around hair or let sit on shoe for ten minutes. Gum will break down and slide right out of hair and off of shoe.
  • Hairballs - Have you ever seen a cat trying to cough up a hairball unsuccessfully? The cat looks freaked out and unhappy, and I bet if you looked at yourself in a mirror, you'd look just the same as you watch them. Make it a more comfortable experience for them (and you) by adding a few drops of olive oil to their food each day. It also gives your cat a shiny fur coat.
  • Lamp - You can use olive oil to make an emergency lamp, or burn it in your favorite oil lamp. You'll need to have some oil lamp wicks and a shallow bowl or plate. Pour some olive oil into the container, place an oil wick into it, and make sure one end sits a little bit out of the oil. Light this end and you've got a functional oil lamp.
  • Paint - Remove paint off your hands with olive oil. That's right! Rub olive oil onto the painted parts, let sit 5 minutes, then rinse with soap and warm water. It's gone.
  • Shoes - Polish your shoes with a thin coating of olive oil. Put a few drops on a clean cloth, rub, rub, rub your shoes, then polish off with a dry cloth. Perfecto!
  • Stickers - Remove stickers painlessly and fast by using olive oil. Dab oil onto the sticker, or soak a tissue or cloth in olive oil and let it sit over the sticker for a while. Sticker will slip right off and take all the sticky residue with it. It works.
  • Squeak - Do you have a squeaky door or hinge? Instead of going to the store to buy dry graphite or more chemically products, try using olive oil first. Drip a few drops of olive oil onto the top of the squeaky hinge. Move hinge back and forth a few times to work it in. The squeak should be gone.
  • Tarnish - Your pots and pans will thank you. Rub a very thin layer of olive oil over your stainless steel and brass. Buff off with a clean, dry cloth until shiny. This will prevent them from tarnishing and corroding, and also prevents streaks.
  • Wood polish - Lackluster wood table and chairs? Shine them up and preserve the wood's natural moisture by rubbing with straight olive oil. For more cleaning power, mix 1 tbsp. olive oil + 1/4 tsp. vinegar, put small amount on cloth, and rub mixture onto the wood.
  • Zippers - We've all been there; mostly with metal zippers, and occasionally with plastic ones. Everyone's ready to go, you go to zip your zipper, and... nothing. It's totally messed up and you just can't get it to zip up (or down.) Use a cotton applicator swab to dab olive oil onto the "teeth" of the zipper. No more problems!

Amazing Olive Oil
Amazing Olive Oil | Source

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Comments 51 comments

Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 4 years ago from Southwest England

thanks for some very useful tips here - I must try it on stickers, hadn't heard of that before

ChuckG 4 years ago

Use information. Thank you so much.

cherylone profile image

cherylone 4 years ago from Connecticut

Thanks for all of that great information. I never thought to use olive oil for any of those things. Voted up and useful.

kaitlincolee profile image

kaitlincolee 4 years ago

This is a great hub! I never knew olive oil had so many uses around the house as I only use it for cooking. I will give it a go at some of your suggested points. Cheers, KC

Derdriu 4 years ago

Faceless39: What an informative, practical, welcome summary of the many applications of the versatile oil of the beloved olive tree! It is so helpful the way in which you coordinate clear explanations with illustrative photos. This sort of audiovisual makes it so much easier to call to mind and put into practice.

Thank you, etc.,


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Faceless, I love this Hub! I also love olives and olive oil and use it for so many things, but learned some new ones from you. Lots of great info!

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I have to say I have always considered olive oil to be the elixir of the gods, but you have enlightened me to new uses for this amazing food. Thank you.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

What an amazing hub! Thanks a million for putting this together. I'm a big fan of olive oil and I've always felt every product we bring in the home should be multipurpose and earn its space - and olive oil certainly does.

Rated way up, bookmarked and shared. Yay!

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Thanks you guys for the awesome feedback. Olive oil has indeed earned its space, and I have to agree it's the elixir of the Gods! If anyone discovers or knows of any other uses for olive oil, (other than eating it on and with everything,) let us know. :)

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Excellent! I did not know about these. I have also used them for a temporary solution to ear mites in my cat. They didn't totally get rid of them, but they did drown some of them before I get her to the vet. Great hub! I am bookmarking this for reference purposes. Thank you!

Justsilvie 4 years ago

Great Hub! I know Olive Oil had a lot of uses, but your list is amazing.

Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 4 years ago from Maryland

Awesome hub, definitely one to bookmark! Take care, Erin

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

We lived in Greece for three years and our house was surrounded by rows of olive trees on two sides. And I like and cook with olive oil regularly but never in my wildest dreams would I have though of so many uses. Great Hub.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Wow, living in Greece sounds so amazing. It's such a rustic place, at least in my mental imagery (without the cities and buildings!)

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. Olive oil really is amazing stuff!

Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 4 years ago from India

Recently this oil though costly available in super markets in India..I wonder how to use have explained neatly my question that was in mind..

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

These are some great additional uses for olive oil! I wouldn't use the high quality extra virgin olive oils for these purposes, keeping them instead for culinary uses.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

Amazing hub on uses of olive oil. I enjoyed your pictures also.

CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

Excellent ideas for using olive oil for personal health and the things around the house that need attention.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India

Great ideas!Thanks!

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

BOOKMARKED!!! I knew of some of the advantages, but not all. I like the idea of having something I can use for mulitple purposes...and practical purposes too!

Thanks for the info Faceless39...voted UP AWESOME and USEFUL!!!

wwolfs 4 years ago

Very informative! Many great uses for olive oil. Some I didn't know of but plan to try.

Voted useful!

MelindaJGH 4 years ago

Thanks for your interesting and amusing article!

We like to dip crusty Italian bread into a little olive oil with black pepper. Very yummy.

I agree that it' s not necessary to buy very expensive olive oil, but on a salad, we like the flavor of the greenish extra-virgin olive oil. I cook with cheaper oil, such as canola, and save olive oil for use without cooking.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

I love dipping bread in virgin olive oil and crushed pepper, too!

Thanks for all the comments. Let us all know if You know of some other uses for olive oil!

Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 4 years ago from North America

Wow Faceless39,

This is an Excellent Hub very informative about olive properties & its benefits.

I am sharing the link & thumbs up too. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I had NO idea olive oil was good for so many things besides salads and cooking! Right now, of course, I only have extra-virgin, but will definitely be looking for a larger container of non-virgin. Thanks!

Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

These are fabulous tips! I'll use the olive oil on left over stickers on my truck. Voted up!

kimberlyslyrics 4 years ago

OMG thank you, this was incredible. I am printing it now and sending it to mom!

Voted way up!


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

I just used olive oil today to soak off a sticky label. I forgot to add that you may need to use a little soap afterward to wash the oil off, but.. it definitely works!

Thanks for all the comments!

Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Wow, I didn't know it worked on stickers and wood, too. I've got a number of things I'll try this on over the next few weeks. Thanks!

Global-Chica profile image

Global-Chica 4 years ago from New York, NY

Whoa, so much uses of olive oil and to think, I've only been putting it in my salad! I'm going to start of by using olive oil to take off my make-up. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Excellent hub! Thanks for sharing this useful information. Voted up and SHARED.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Thanks always for sharing and for the great comments, and it would be great to know if anyone has some other uses for olive oil up their sleeves! I can attest that I used it in an oil lamp I made from orange rinds ( ) and it worked wonderfully!

weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia

I can eat a loaf of breat with olive oil and a little balsamic vinigar. Thanks for the great info, voted up!

d.william profile image

d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

I just ran across this article. What a wonderful write on olive oil. I have used olive oil for years for cooking and dry skin, but never imagined it being used in all these wonderful ways you list here. It is also very helpful for constipation, a couple of teaspoons before bed time will do the trick. And it is healthier than mineral oil.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Bread and olive oil are definitely a delicious combination. I also love grilling bread in the oven with olive oil, then adding cheese and accompaniments. Mmmm!

Thanks for the tip on constipation, it makes total sense to me that it would work well. I know firsthand that it works for soothing dry, rough skin as well.

Wonderful comments! Thanks for posting them and adding to the conversation.

pollobowl profile image

pollobowl 4 years ago from North Carolina

Nice hub! I'm always looking for safe, natural alternatives to things. My son goes to physical therapy and has to use the kinesio tape. That stuff will tear your skin off if you just try to pull it off. I use olive oil to loosen it up. I works great!

innerspin profile image

innerspin 4 years ago from uk

Really good collection of ideas, Faceless39, I'll be trying the makeup remover and leather conditioner. I do use olive oil on my fingernails, it's great for helping them stay shiny and healthy. Thanks for more suggestions.

cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

The tip about snoring? I did not know that.

conrad monica 2 years ago

is it good to rub on plant leafs

quildon profile image

quildon 2 years ago from Florida

Great tips here. I love black olives, but didn't know they were artificially made. I know olive oil is good for my nails though. If only I would use it more often. Voted up and useful.

BarbaraCasey profile image

BarbaraCasey 2 years ago from St. Petersburg, Florida

I like the tip about using olive oil to stop a cough. Lots of great info here.

Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

I love olive oil, and knew some. but not all of those tips. A really good well written Hub! Voted up as useful.

Marcus Baughurst 2 years ago from UK

This is a great hub, having recently visited an olive farm it's amazing how much work goes into producing it for all of these ideas.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

Wow..I had no idea. I knew a little bit but not nearly enough it seems.

I am pinning this as it is one I want to refer to often.

Like the one about our always looking for something to keep the drying and cracking away.

Angels are on the way this morning.

Voted up++++ shared and pinned

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 21 months ago from Maui and Arizona

Great hub! Cat food with a few drops of olive oil -- here we come. Voting up and away. Pinning.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 21 months ago from California

Wonderful ideas in this hub! Thank you!!

Babbyii profile image

Babbyii 15 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

Helpful hub with great all-around ideas. Didn't know black olives were artificially produced either. Probably good for speakers and singers too if it's good for coughs. Thanks for your thorough research! Voting up.

Justin 11 months ago

As a floor installer please do not use the wood trick on wood floors!

lrdl3535 profile image

lrdl3535 5 months ago from California

Great post, never heard of using it for shaving cream before. Also lamp oil sounds like a good idea as well.

Iliasandsons 5 months ago

Very well done! I'm always looking at how else i can write about all the things you can use Olive Oil for and could not think of over 25. I would also like to add use in Food, which is obvious but not on your list. We have just recently posted on our blog the Top 3 Health Benefits of EVOO. See here for more info.

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 5 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

Great lens. Though I use olive oil for cooking, I might be using it for other uses somewhere down the road. Thanks for sharing.

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