You probably already know the health benefits of cooking with extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO. Researchers have found that consuming a Mediterranean diet heavy in olive oil helps lower your heart risk. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that eating more than four tablespoons a day can significantly lower your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, and can also lessen your chance of dying of heart disease.
What you might not know is the myriad ways you can use this wonder oil outside of the kitchen. Here are 15 uses for olive oil:
1. Paint remover. Removing paint can be a pain, but cleanup is slippery sweet using olive oil. Apply some oil to the skin where the paint is and rub it in. The paint slides right off.
2. Makeup remover. Add a few drops of olive oil to a makeup remover pad and gently wipe onto skin. Afterward, wash the oil away with your regular cleanser. Voila.
3. Bath oil. Don’t have any fancy bath oils? Add 1 or 2 tablespoons to bath water for a luxurious skin-softening bath.
4. Shaving oil. Out of shaving cream? This completely natural oil works wonders in its place. Apply to the skin’s surface and shave as usual.
5. Shoe or furniture polish. Dampen a soft cloth with EVOO and wipe down furniture, leather shoes or bags for a nice, polished finish that removes scratches and scuffs.
6. Cuticle oil. Massage into cuticles to soften and push them back during a manicure.
7. Fix for stuck zippers. Dab a cotton swab in a bit of oil and apply it to the teeth of a stuck zipper, then gently pull the zipper up or down to loosen.
8. Hairball prevention. Swab your kitty’s bowl with a paper towel with a little EVOO on it. Your cat will lick up the oil inadvertently while eating, which can help prevent hairballs and promote a shiny coat.
9. Lice treatment. Apply 1/2 cup of olive oil or enough to fully coat the hair and leave it on for at least 40 minutes. The oil smothers the bugs. Shampoo several times and comb the hair out with a nit brush.
10. Acne treatment. Make a paste of 3 tablespoons EVOO and 4 tablespoons salt. Apply to acne-prone skin and let it sit for several minutes. Follow with a gentle cleanser to clear out pores and improve acne.
11. Prevent wax from sticking to candle holders. Rub a thin coat of oil on the base of candle holders; when dripped wax hits, the wax peels away easily.
12. Hair conditioner. Swathe your tresses with a few tablespoons of olive oil as though you were applying conditioner. Stick on a shower cap or wrap your hair in a towel and let sit for 30 minutes. Then shampoo as usual for a soft, well-conditioned mane.
13. Sexual lubricant. If you don’t have any traditional lubricant handy, EVOO can be ooh-la-la in a pinch.
14. Snoring cessation. Eat a tablespoon of oil before hitting the sack to lubricate throat muscles and prevent dry, parched tonsils.
15. Cracked heel repair. Split, rough heels need moisture, and EVOO works like a charm. Exfoliate with a pumice stone, apply a generous amount of oil to heels before bed and put on cushy socks to let the treatment hydrate while you sleep.
Related on MNN: