5 Surprising Things You Can Clean with Olive Oil

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

Olive oil is more than just a healthy cooking oil. It’s also a cleaning tool that can nourish surfaces and loosen stains, grease, and grime. While you wouldn’t want to use your fancy artisanal bottles for cleaning, it’s a good use for the stuff you buy by the gallon for regular cooking purposes.

And it’s a good way to put any spills to use (I know I often end up with some puddles on the countertop every time I try to decant my gallon jug into the more manageable one I use for day-to-day cooking!). Next time you make a mess, grab a cloth to wipe it up and tackle one of these spots around the kitchen.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

1. Stainless steel appliances

Remove grease with vinegar, then use a little bit of olive oil (other oils like coconut oil work, too) and use a paper towel or cloth to work it into your stainless steel appliances in a circular motion. This will remove additional grime and restore shine.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

2. Leather chairs

Olive oil — and other cold-pressed oils, including nut oil and beeswax — can repair scratches, restore color, and add luster to worn-out leather seats (as well as shoes and other leather items). Just dab a little onto a soft cloth and gently rub it in.

(Image credit: Franke Chung)

3. Kitchen cabinets

Olive oil can condition wood too! Try mixing it with lemon juice (one part juice to two parts oil) to rub it over cabinets as well as wooden tables and chairs.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Cast iron pans

If your cast iron skillet has stuck-on food and you don’t have any lemons around, you can make a scrub using coarse salt and olive oil to remove debris and keep the skillet’s surface seasoned, too.

(Image credit: Kitchn Video)

5. Silverware

Slow tarnish on silverware by giving it a protective coating of olive oil: Just use a soft cloth to rub your cutlery with a small bit of oil.

Do you use olive oil for other cleaning tasks? Tell us about them in the comments below!