No matter where you live, chances are you’re experiencing the depths of dry winter skin and hair right about now. One cure all that natural living proponent like myself always urge, is to have a bottle of good old olive oil around to pour into the bath, or rub onto elbows and cracked heels.

But did you know about many other household uses and solutions olive oil has? It’s truly a miracle ingredient to save time, money, and decrease your exposure to harsh chemicals.

Try these uses for “liquid gold” and make your dark winter days a little brighter and softer:

 Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag. Add a bit of vinegar of citrus juice to bulk up the cleaning power, and add a fresh scent.
 Fingernails. Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands before a manicure.
 Lubricate Measuring Cups and Spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, and sugar syrups,
 Control hair frizz. Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame the frizz and flyaways on humid days or in the winter.
 Dissolve bubble gum messes in hair or on clothes. Rub olive oil directly in hair to remove and untangle. Dab olive oil on a cotton cloth then gently rub fabric together to dislodge gum.
 Many children (teens, too) love decorative stickers and will literally slap then on anything that doesn’t move, including their own skin. Sticker glue can be stubborn, so to remove, rub sticker (or leftover sticker glue) with a cotton ball soaked in olive oil.
 Free a stuck zipper. Use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the teeth of a zipper, then gently ease the tab down.
 Care for your kitty. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, and provide a shiny coat.
 Shine stainless steel and brass. Rub a bit of olive oil on a clean rag to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.
 Exfoliate your face and hands. Rub your skin with olive oil, then scrub with sugar or coarse salt, and rinse.

 As you bathe, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your running bath water. You’ll be amazed when you towel off.
 Remove makeup. Dab a bit under your eyes, on your cheeks and forehead, then wipe with a damp cloth.
 Cure an earache. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax.
 Remove paint from your skin. Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, then rinse with soap and water.
 Treat lice. Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.
 Stop a throat tickle. Take a sip of olive oil to stop the itchy flicker that is making you cough.
 Fix a squeaky door. Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a problematic hinge in your home or automobile.
 Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.
 Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.
 Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup.
 Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.