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Burn the Midnight (Olive) Oil: 6 Household Tricks

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Kara
07.19.13

Extra virgin, Spanish, Greek or Californian. Regardless of what type you prefer, olive oil is probably a staple in your sauté pan. But have you ever thought about bringing this culinary king outside of the kitchen? Olive oil can be as much of a crowd-pleaser in the cleaning world as it is in culinary circles!

Don’t just take our word for it – give it a try! Here are six of our favorite olive oil home tricks:

1. Polish Wood Furniture 

Skip the store-bought furniture polishes (and their VOCs) by buffing your wood furniture with olive oil, instead. The oil will help remove dust, protect the wood from scratches and even prevent future drink rings. Combine two-parts olive oil to one-part lemon juice and apply it to the wood with a microfiber cloth or cheesecloth in a circular motion. Note: Make sure to only use this polish for finished woods. For unfinished woods, use mineral oil.

2. Clean Garden Tools 

Dab some olive oil onto an old (but clean!) rag and apply the solution to the metal parts of your garden tools. The olive oil will help prevent dirt buildup. When you’re done gardening, simply wipe the tools clean with the same rag. If it looks like your garden tools are in need of a more thorough clean, read: Clean Your Garden Tools.

3. Fix a Squeaky Door 

Squeaky doors can be a major irritation. If you’ve been avoiding fixing this problem because you don’t have any WD-40 handy, today is your lucky day! You can lubricate the hinges and silence the squeak with olive oil. Use a rag or cotton swab and apply the oil directly to the top of the squeaky hinge. Hear that? It’s the sweet, sweet sound of silence.

4. Protect Wicker Furniture

To help keep wicker or rattan furniture from cracking, carefully rub warm olive oil into the furniture with a clean cloth. Tip: To get in-between the small weaves of wicker material, use an old paintbrush to apply the oil.

5. Shine Stainless Steel

Make sure your steel is dirt-free before you start shining. To clean stainless steel, use a sponge and warm, soapy water to wipe away any debris. Then, pour olive oil on a clean, soft cloth (a microfiber cloth works well). Buff in a circular motion with firm pressure until the surface shines like a new penny.   

6. Oil Baking Utensils

To keep gooey substances like honey and syrup from sticking to measuring cups, dab a small amount of olive oil on a paper towel and coat the cups before you cook. They’ll be much easier to clean when you’re done, and you’ll be able to avoid any flour-stuck-in-cup situations. Tip: Use the same paper towel to grease up your baking pans, too. Few things are more annoying than losing half of your muffin to the inside of a muffin tin. 

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