10 Ways to Use Olive Oil That Don't Involve Cooking

Fun fact: I am the only person in my six-girl apartment who isn't Italian in any capacity. I've always gravitated more to PAM or cooking spray rather than olive oil. Therefore, I'm not really sure the best ways to use olive oil in your cooking. To see what all the fuss was about, I called in my five other roommates for their expertise on this Italian specialty, and found out that there are way more olive oil uses than just greasing a pan. Thanks to my roomies, I now have more than enough reasons to actually use the stuff. 

1. Use it as a moisturizer

Regardless of which roommate I asked for advice on olive oil uses, they all gave me this tip right away. Apparently, olive oil is great in the winter for moisturizing dry hands. This is thanks to the antioxidants, vitamins (A, D, K, and E!), and anti-bacterial qualities found within olive oil.

Wary of putting oil on your skin? Most sites suggest applying olive oil to damp skin for best results. The water on your skin should reduce any greasy feeling that the olive oil would leave behind.

2. Use it as a cuticle oil

If you've ever gotten a manicure or even painted your nails at home, chances are you've either clipped or pushed back your cuticles. Doing so can make your nails appear longer, and even prettier. However, you should be showing this part of your hands as much love as the nails you're polishing.

The cuticle protects the part of your fingernail responsible for growth, and cutting them can cause them to splinter and risk damage to your nails. So, like you would moisturize your skin, you should be moisturizing your cuticles. The vitamins and antioxidants in olive oil are perfect for keeping your cuticles healthy enough until your next trip to the salon.

3. Use it to remove henna tattoos

Henna tattoos are a beautiful and deeply symbolic element of South Asian and Middle Eastern culture. The intricate designs of these tattoos are created using a paste from the henna plant, and are common for weddings and other religious events.

The designs can last a few weeks, depending on how long the paste is left on the skin. However, if you need to take off your henna earlier than expected, olive oil can come to your rescue! To remove the henna tattoo, take a cotton ball of cotton swab dipped in olive oil, rub it all over the tattoo, and let the oil sit for at least 10 minutes. Olive oil is a great emulsifier for henna, which is why this process works so well.

4. Use it as a lip balm

Have any beeswax lying around? Okay, maybe not. Or maybe you want to amp up your existing tube of Chapstick or Burt's Bees? Olive oil's got you covered. Just mix a little of the stuff with your lip balm for added moisturizing power.

Again, it's all the vitamins and antioxidants that are gonna help you out here. Just like they soften your hands and cuticles, these antioxidants and vitamins will keep your lips soft and healthy all winter long.

5. Use it to help soothe an earache

Olive oil, when combined with garlic, is a great home remedy for treating ear infections. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, which promote the healing of the earache. And olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, due to the potent polyphenols found within olive oil.

Olive oil has long been used as a base for salves and lotions, so it only makes sense that you could use it to help heal an ear infection. Plus, garlic is a common ingredient in most kitchens, so you can make yourself this treatment at home, without the hassle of a prescription.

#SpoonTip: If you have an earache, schedule an appointment with your doctor even if you're using home remedies to fix it. 

6. Use it to keep snoring at bay

Ever been told that your snoring keeps your roommate up at night? Maybe olive oil is the solution you need. Knock back a tablespoon of olive oil and kiss annoying snoring goodbye.

Olive oil helps to lubricate your throat and soothe the area around your tonsils, which can reduce snoring, and even help sore throats. Hey, you can even make this more fun by taking your olive oil in your favorite shot glass.

7. Use it to clean your leather couch

Couches experience a lot of wear and tear due to people constantly sitting on them. Treat your couch like you would your skin with a little olive oil treatment. Dabbing some olive oil onto your leather couch can help to rehydrate the material. And the best part is that this fix is quick and non-toxic.

8. Use it to make a more relaxing bath

Essential oils are all the rage, and are great for promoting overall health and wellness. If you don't want to spend big bucks on a tiny bottle of essential oils and an aromatherapy diffuser, why not just use some olive oil?

Add a couple of drops to your bath water and hop in. The anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil can help ward off sickness, and you'll leave your bath more moisturized and ready for bed.

9. Use it as a makeup remover

I love makeup, but hate having to constantly buy makeup remover wipes. If you're like me and like to wear makeup every day, those wipes add up in cost over time. So, why not just invest in a big bottle of olive oil rather than multiple packs of wipes?

Since a lot of makeup products are oil-based, the oil within olive oil will easily dissolve your makeup. Sure, bottled makeup remover might work a little better, but with the case of olive oil, you've found an all-natural remedy that's more cost effective.

10. Use it to pamper your pet

I think all pet owners want the best for their furry friends, and that includes a nice, shiny coat. In the same way that olive oil helps to moisturize human skin and hair, olive oil can moisturize skin and hair on dogs and cats. The oils and vitamins within olive oil will help promote healthy hair growth.

Just dab a little on a brush or comb and treat your pal to a little at-home grooming. Your pet will be the best looking one at obedience school for sure!

Olive oil uses extend way beyond whipping up an Italian feast in your kitchen. With these hacks for different olive oil uses, you're bound to save time, energy, and money. I usually don't spring for a bottle of olive oil when I hit the grocery store, but with all of these uses, it's definitely going on my next grocery list.