Spring brings us sunshine, blossoms, renewal . . . and a desire to clean. Because olive oil is natural, it won’t release harsh chemicals into the air like many common household cleaners. I’ve highlighted 10 spring cleaning tips with olive oil. As we get our homes organized, well functioning and clean, first of all check your current supply of olive oil and test for freshness or for fraudulently labeled EVOO.
How do you test for freshness?
- Check the harvest date: An unopened new bottle of EVOO will last about 2 years from the date of harvest. Once opened, EVOO is best consumed within 60 – 90 days
- Test the freshness of your olive oil: use your senses to smell and taste.
- If the oil seems rancid in any way, get a new bottle.
Now use that old olive oil for everyday household cleaning tasks:
- Polish furniture: Combine 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice or white vinegar in a bowl or a clean spray bottle. Using a circular motion and following the grain of the wood, apply or spray a thin coat onto the wood surface. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then use a clean, dry, soft cloth and buff to a deep shine.
- Condition leather: You can use olive oil to lightly condition your leather sofas and chairs. Use a clean, dry, soft cloth for a nice shine. Remember safe for leather, NOT for suede. And only use a small amount.
- Clean & polish Slate, tile & hardwood floors: After sweeping the floors to remove all of the large particles of dirt and dust, apply several drops of olive oil and several drops of the juice from a lemon on a dry mop and oil mop the floors. Any remaining small particles of dust will cling to the mop. If you have just washed the floors, you can always use the oil as a follow-up treatment. Your floor will appear to be positively gleaming and will be much cleaner with this process. Remember – only a small amount of olive oil and lemon will do the trick!
- Clean pewter and polish brass: Mix ½ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Dip a dry cloth into the olive oil mixture. Rub the cloth onto to pewter and spots with disappear. You’ll see your precious pewter or brass shine.
- Polish kitchen cabinets: Put olive oil on a dry cloth and polish your cabinets.
- Lubricate squeaky hinges: Use a spray bottle filled with your old olive oil to lubricate the squeaky hinge.
- Clean Stainless Steel: If you use a drop or two of olive oil, you can instantly clean your stainless steel appliances. They’ll be bright, shiny and new again!
- Remove tree sap or tar spots off the floor: Combine ½ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Dip a dry cloth into the mixture and rub on spots to remove.
- Remove paint from furniture: Put olive oil on a clean cloth and rub the paint off the furniture.
- Clean gardening tools: Wash and dry tools after each use. Then apply olive oil for rust prevention.
And one more tip: you don’t have to use just during Spring. Clean with olive oil – all year. For more tips, see chapter 1 in The Passionate Olive Book.