7 Surprising Things You Can Do with Mayonnaise

published Aug 13, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

You know what they say: Mayo every day keeps the messes away. Okay, they don’t say that, but who knew a kitchen condiment could pack such a powerful punch when it comes to cleaning? If you have a tub of mayo waiting in the fridge (or are simply looking for a new, go-to cleaner), check out some of its top uses — and instructions on exactly how to put your mayo to work.

1. Repair scuffs and scratches on wood floors

Mayo’s oily texture will create a greasy film in the tiny cracks of wood floors, which should take on the color of the floor, essentially masking the scratch. Here’s how to do it: First, rub an oil-based soap (like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap) on the floor to remove any surface-level grime. Then, coat the scuff or scratch with a generous serving of mayo, ideally overnight. Remove the mayo with a wet rag, and your floors should be as good as new!

2. Remove watermarks on wood furniture

Have some pesky, white rings on your wood furniture? Never fear, mayonnaise is here. For good-as-new tabletops, simply put a dab of mayo on a paper towel and press it into the watermark, allowing it to sit for an hour or so before wiping it clean. Buff the spot with a clean cloth afterwards. 

A quick caveat: While some users swear by this trick, others say the mayo made their watermarks worse. Exercise caution, and always try a test spot in a less visible area first.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

3. Remove adhesive residue

The oils in mayo are really efficient in breaking down adhesive. Whether you want to remove leftover label residue from a glass jar or take a bumper sticker off of your car, simply apply the mayo, let it sit for around 20 minutes, then wipe with a wet rag or peel the sticker off. You can also use mayo on sticky price tags — just dab it on and rub away the goo.

4. Clean piano keys

Finger smudges on your ivories? Apparently, mayonnaise will gently bleach your keys. Just apply a little bit of mayonnaise on the affected area, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then wipe off (and play a sonata).

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

5. Shine up fake houseplants 

Make your waxy houseplants as good (and shiny) as new by rinsing the leaves, then rubbing on a tiny dollop of mayo with a damp washcloth. Note: While some experts say the same trick works with real houseplants, others say it’s not the best idea. We say, keep this trick for faux plants.

6. Clean stainless steel 

Removing sticky fingerprints or other grimy residue from stainless steel appliances is as simple as grabbing your mayo from the fridge. Just coat the grimy area with a thin coat of the condiment, then wipe off immediately. 

7. Remove paint splatters

Add a little bit of mayonnaise to remove any stray paint drips that may have splattered on your tile, light switches, trim, or doorknobs. Just like with the adhesive, the oil in mayo helps break down oil in paint. The key is to apply the mayo before the paint hardens too much, so it’s easier to wipe off.