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10 Surprising Ways You Can Use Olive Oil Around the House

When it comes to tackling your chores, olive oil really comes in handy.

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Polishing Antique wood furnitureSimone Madeo/Getty Images

Polish the furniture

Yes, olive oil makes a wonderful bread dip or hearty cake, but that’s not all this oil can do. Did you know it makes a wonderful furniture polish? It’s true! Simply add a bit of olive oil to a soft rag, and gently wipe over your wooden furniture. To make it smell less like olive oil, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

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Close-Up Of Brown Leather Sofa after being conditionedNenov/Getty Images

Condition leather

For shiny, supple leather furniture, turn to olive oil. Rub olive oil into your leather chair or other furniture and let it sit for 30 minutes, then wipe away the excess. Your leather will be grateful. These are our Test Kitchen’s favorite olive oil brands—but you may want to keep the good stuff for the kitchen, not the living room!

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Overhead view of various measuring cups on wooden tableCavan Images/Getty Images

Make cleaning measuring cups easy

Make cleaning measuring cups and bowls full of sticky baking ingredients like honey, corn syrup or molasses a breeze. Just rub some olive oil into the measuring cup before filling it with a sticky ingredient, and it’ll slide right out. (By the way, if you see white stuff in olive oil, this is what it means.)

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Close-Up Of stuck Zipper On yellow Sweatermikroman6/Getty Images

Free a stuck zipper

Got your zipper stuck halfway? No worries: Olive oil has your back. Simply apply a dab of it with a cotton swab to the teeth of your zipper. Then, gently ease your zipper into the direction you want it to go. Just remember to skip the extra virgin olive oil here and use the regular stuff.

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Cleaning and polishing stainless steel oven with a towelGrace Cary/Getty Images

Shine stainless steel and brass

Apply olive oil to stainless steel or brass using a clean rag. It not only brings the shine but also prevents streaks, corrosion and tarnish. Here’s more on how to clean stainless steel appliances with oil.

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4 Hands covered in paint after a day of paintingSanyaSM/Getty Images

Remove paint from your skin

DIY painting can save you money, but afterward, how are you supposed to get the paint off your skin without rubbing it raw? Easy: Rub on a dab of olive oil like you would lotion, let it soak for a few minutes, then rinse with soap and water.

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Wooden door with double hingesdrpnncpp/Getty Images

Fix a creaky door hinge

Olive oil is a lubricant, after all, so it only stands to reason that applying it to a squeaky door hinge can quiet the creakiness. Cool! Did you know there are health and beauty benefits of olive oil, too?

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Smart flat black professional shoes that have been polishedPeter Horrox/Getty Images

Polish your shoes

Shoe polish smells terrible. Olive oil smells like…olive oil. And it doesn’t stain your hands. So what better way to shine your shoes than to spray a bit of olive oil and buff them to a high shine? These are the five main reasons you shouldn’t wear shoes inside.

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Close-Up Of dirty Gardening Equipment Hanging On WoodNatalie Board/Getty Images

Clean your garden tools

A bit of olive oil applied to your garden tools before digging into the dirt can cut down on dirt buildup. It can also help prevent rust and corrosion. This trick works even if your olive oil has gone bad.

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Brunette girl in red shirt with gum in hairTarah Russell/Getty Images

Remove gum

Got gum in your hair? We hope not! If you do get into this sticky situation, just grab your olive oil. Soak some into a washcloth, wrap it around the gummy hair and let it sit for 10 minutes. The gum will break down and literally slip right off your hair. Here are tricks for getting gum off just about everything.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.