10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise

by Daniel Packer on 10 November 2011 8 comments
Photo: Peter Merholz

Moms know that mayonnaise make an essential addition to tuna. But did you know that mayo has some great uses for around the house? Here are 10 uses I bet you weren't aware of. (See also: Cut-Rate Condiments: Homemade Mayo)

1. Kill Head Lice

A few years ago, I unfortunately got lice. I tried all the products that the local drug stores had to offer and found that nothing worked. Afraid of killing more brain cells than lice, I refrained from using any more toxic chemicals on my hair and resorted to mayonnaise. It is a safe way to kill lice, and it works! Massage mayonnaise into your hair and cover it with a shower cap before you go to sleep. Wash it out in the morning and use a fine comb to comb out any dead eggs. If needed, repeat 7-10 days later.

2. Fix Cracks in Wood Furniture

Fill small cracks in your wood furniture with mayonnaise, then smooth over the top, removing any extra mayo. Leave the mayonnaise as is for a few days, and it will release oils and proteins that will make the wood swell up and shrink the crack, making it almost invisible!

3. Remove Sticky Adhesives

Want to get sticky price tags or glue type residue off containers, mirrors, glass, or bumpers? Instead of buying expensive products, use a little bit of mayonnaise! Rub the sticky spot with mayonnaise, remove with a cloth, and you will have a clean, smooth surface.

4. Condition Your Hair

After my lice fiasco, I discovered how soft my hair felt! Massage mayonnaise into your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave it in for a bit and then wash it out. The mayonnaise moisturizes your hair and gives it a great shine!

5. Relieve Sunburn Pain

If you’re like me, you sit in the sun for way too long and have to deal with the painful results. If you’ve run out of aloe, gently rub mayonnaise over the sunburns and feel instant moisturizing and cooling of the skin.

6. Give Yourself a Facial

Wipe away all those dead skin cells and leave your face feeling smooth and clean. Spread mayonnaise onto your face, and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Wipe off and rinse with water, then enjoy the results.

7. Clean Piano Keys

If your piano keys are looking a little less white recently from repeated use, mayonnaise can help you return them to looking their ivory best. Apply a tiny bit of mayonnaise on a damp cloth and rub each piano key, removing any yellow residue.

8. Strengthen Your Fingernails

Are your nails constantly chipping or breaking? An easy and cheep way to strengthen them is to apply mayonnaise to each finger nail for five minutes and wash off with warm water. This will help reduce the number of hangnails you get too!

9. Remove Crayon Marks

Are kids destroying your wooden floors with crayons? Put some mayonnaise on the crayon marks and let it soak for a few minutes. Wipe away the marks with a damp cloth.

10. Make Your Plant Leaves Shine

Plants looking dull? Wish they would shine the way they did when you first purchased them? Get a clean and shiny look that will last for week or even months. Take a little bit of mayonnaise and rub each leave using a paper towel to get the sleek shine professional florists get with their plants.

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Guest's picture
Staino

You missed a big one... Remove water stains from wood tables. Cover the stain in mayo, leave overnight, wipe off. Stain gone (or much less).

Guest's picture
KJ

I don't know about the other ones but from working in the plant care industry for several years the last thing I would do is put mayo on the leaves just to shine them up. Not only are you clogging all the pores on the leave but you are introducing an item that will spoil which could introduce rot you will draw pests to the plants which could spread and basically ruin all your house plants.

If you want shiny leaves use a soft cloth and some warm (not too hot) tea. Most tropical house plants are acid loving and they will enjoy this as well as having the warm tea soften and spread the natural oils on the leaves to shine them and make them healthier.

Do not do this on succulents (jade tree etc.) or fuzzy leafed plants (african violet) as they don't like the acidity.

Guest's picture
Jonny

does brand name matter? what about high fat vs low fat?

these are the questions that uninquiring minds are too lazy to inquire about

Guest's picture

I printed your post. I didn't know all these are possible. Thanks!

Guest's picture
Caia

There's no need to use mayo, just use oil. The oil in mayo does all that. But I'm with KJ, don't put oil on leaves.

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Barbara

When I was a unit secretary in the ER, when a burn victim came in... I was sent to the cafeteria to get a gallon jar of mayo. I do not mean the major trauma burn that ended up in a burn unit, but definitely more than sun burn level.

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Guest

My favorite use for mayonnaise is to get pine sap off of everything. Hands, shoe soles, automobiles, and fast too. Just rub on and wipe off!

Guest's picture
Ree

I agree with the deep hair conditioning trick. In high school I had very long hair and would pack may hair in mayo, let it soak, then wash it out. It took a while to get it back out, since my hair was so long and thick, but it sure stayed in place during the soak period.