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We’re guessing there’s a jar of mayonnaise lurking somewhere in the back of your fridge -- but there’s good reason to give the sandwich staple front-shelf status. Thanks to its high oil content, full-fat mayo is a multi-tasking wonder around the house and as part of your beauty routine. Here are 11 creative uses for the condiment:
1. Polish plant leaves. Borrow a trick from pro florists: After dusting plant leaves, rub a dab of mayo on them with damp cloth to keep them super shiny.
2. Clean yellowed piano keys. Smooth a tiny bit of mayonnaise onto dull, yellowed piano keys; wait a few minutes, and then rub off with a clean cloth.
3. Deep condition your hair. Mayo’s high oil content and rich, thick texture make it perfect for quick DIY hair mask, says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat.com. Massage a generous layer into your hair, making sure to coat the ends, and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. (For even more conditioning benefit, use mayo made with olive oil.)
4. Remove tree sap. Keep this tip in mind next Christmas, when sticky pine sap from trees and wreaths makes a stubborn mess: “Rub a small spoonful (of mayo) on your hands like lotion, and the sap will wash right off,” writes Bruce Lubin, author of Who Knew: 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems.
5. Get gum out of hair. Got a sticky situation involving a small child and a big wad of bubble gum? Put down the scissors and get a gob of mayo – just massage it in the gum/hair mess then work the gum out of the hair.
6. Exfoliate dead skin. Forget rough, grainy scrubs – there’s a smoother way to slough off dead skin, according to Lubin: Apply mayonnaise to dry, rough patches, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away with a damp, warm washcloth.
7. Clean crayon marks from walls and wood furniture. Yep, a swipe of mayo can erase a swipe of crayon – from walls as well as wood. Smear the stuff on the offending marks (test in an inconspicuous area first!), leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe away that “masterpiece” with a damp cloth.
8. Makeover your manicure. To keep the cuticles of your nails soft and moisturized, Lubin recommends putting some mayonnaise in a small bowl and submerging fingers in it for five minutes.
9. Remove sticker residue. Sure, you could scrape the gummy gunk off with your fingernail (and ruin your manicure in the process), but there’s an easier way to lift the sticky remains of a label or sticker on glass or a mirror, writes Lubin. “Cover it in mayonnaise and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then gently scrape off with a putty knife.”
10. Wipe out water marks. When a wet glass leaves an unsightly white ring on a wooden table, massage the area with a dab of mayo and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean (away!). For a really stubborn stain, let the mayo sit for an hour or two.
11. Squelch squeaks. Out of WD-40? A smear of mayonnaise is a quick, natural alternative for quieting a squeaky door hinge.