For nearly three-quarters of a billion people around the world, olive oil is a culinary must-have. But for those of you seeking household and beauty remedies that are less expensive, less environmentally caustic and equally as effective, olive oil could become your newest lifestyle must-have. In case you’re unfamiliar with the various grades of olive oil, here’s a quick run-down. Just note, for these non-food uses, the lower grades work just as effectively and are less expensive, so save your EVOO for the kitchen.
Olive Oil Grades:
Extra-Virgin (EVOO): comes from the first pressing of the youngest olives; highest quality
Virgin: has an acidity level less than 2% and contains no refined oil content
Pure Olive Oil: usually a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil
Extra Light: usually more of a marketing term than a grade; usually highly processed, may be mixed with other oils or may be just pure olive oil grade. The “light” refers more to flavor than caloric content.
Pomace, Cake or Lampante: not intended for human consumption; used for industrial purposes, such as soap making or lamp oil.
– After polishing copper or brass, rub it with olive oil to slow down tarnishing
– Can be used as a stainless steel cleaner; apply sparingly and buff with a soft cloth
– Rub small amounts into wooden cutting boards to prevent cracking, staining and marking
– Remove paint from hair or skin by dipping a cotton ball into olive oil and applying it to affected area
– Use it to lubricate hinges
– Use to unjam zippers—use a Q-Tip to apply
– Apply sparingly to shoes to restore shine
– Old leather can be made more supple by rubbing in olive oil—spot test first
– Apply a thin layer to garden tool blades to prevent dirt from sticking and rusting
– Mix 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil to make a wooden furniture polish
– Rub into fingernails and toenails before and after manicuring
– Extra light olive oil can be used as a massage oil
– Use olive oil as a shaving cream substitute
– Dip a razor into olive oil after use to prevent rusting
– Apply to chapped lips to alleviate dryness
– Can be used as a makeup remover
– Make your own castile soap
– Banish acne—mix 4 tbs. of salt with 3 tbs. olive oil. Work paste around in your hands and apply it to the face; let it sit for 2 minutes then rinse with warm, soapy water.
– Condition your hair—heat up ½ cup of olive oil and apply it to your hair, paying close attention to the ends. Cover your hair in plastic wrap and then a towel to retain the heat. Let it sit for 45 minutes then shampoo and rinse as usual