Mayo to the Rescue: 10 Unexpected Non-Food Uses for Mayonnaise

10 Unexpected Non-Food Uses for Mayonnaise

If you're anything like me, you probably think it's borderline sacrilege to even think about a sandwich or a burger that doesn't have a layer of smooth mayonnaise. But I don't just keep a jar of it in my fridge for lunch—it's also there for practical purposes.

I learned this at a young age when I got a little too exuberant in climbing a sap-covered tree. After observing me fruitlessly trying to wash the sap off of my hands for what seemed like an eternity, my dad opened the fridge, pulled out a jar of mayo, and slapped some on my hands. Voilà! Lesson learned.

Mayonnaise is a lot more than just a condiment that perfectly pairs with carbohydrates. Here are 10 surprising uses for the stuff:

1. Removes Sticky, Greasy Stuff from Your Hands

If something won't come off with soap and water, chances are mayo will do the trick. From the aforementioned tree sap, to car grease, oil, and tar, mayo (followed by hot water and soap), is the key for getting tricky stickies off of your skin.

Image via wikiHow

2. Give Your Plants the Star Treatment

Ever wonder how every leaf at the florist's shop is so shiny that it looks plastic? Well, their trick is simple and humble: mayo. Florists dab mayonnaise on a paper towel, and use it to shine their plant's leaves, because it makes them look sleek and slick.

Image by Kim Christensen/A Real-Life Housewife

3. Remove Water Stains from Wood

You know those annoying glass marks on your tables and night stands, left by people who (whoops!) left their glass or mug on the wood with no coaster? Mayonnaise can eliminate some of them! Put a spoonful of mayo over the mark, give it a little rub with some paper towels, and leave the towel over the spot for a few hours. The science behind this is that mayo extracts the water, which the towel then absorbs.

4. Kill Lice

If you're a parent, there may be no better combination of words than "kill lice." And you can do it with mayo! It's a great chemical-free way to kill lice, but be warned: you need to use a lot. Lather a thick layer on the scalp, and leave it for a few hours: it will suffocate the lice trapped beneath it.

5. Make Homemade Hair Conditioner

Making hair conditioner out of mayonnaise is quite simple. Here's a list of the ingredients: mayo. That's it. Just use it as you would conditioner, and the eggs, vinegar, and oils will do wonders.

6. Ease Sunburn Pain

Mayo as a sunburn ointment is a bit of a myth. It's commonly used to heal sunburns, but it won't actually do much. It does, however, feel good, because the cold is soothing, and the oil comforting. So, contrary to some beliefs, don't use mayo to heal sunburn, but do use for temporary pain relief.

Image by wilgubeast/Instructables

7. Get Rid of Crayon Stains

If parents were excited by killing lice, chances are they'll be equally excited by this: scrubbing mayonnaise on a wall can get rid of crayon marks left by unattended and artistically creative children!

Image by Laura Moss/This Old House

8. Give Strength to Your Nails

It seems a little silly that one of the softest foods in existence can help with strength, but it's been touted as a remedy for weak nails for a while: mayo makes your nails stronger, just by rubbing it on them.

There's not a lot of science to back this up, but our guess is that mayonnaise is a top-notch moisturizer, and moisturized nails are more flexible and less prone to breakage.

9. Make Your Piano Look Brand New

If your piano keys are looking a little worse for wear, skip any expensive cleaners and polishers, and treat them like bread by lathering them up with mayo. They'll look concert hall quality in no time.

Image by Heather Martindale/Sew Sweet & Fabulous

10. Get Those Stickers Off!

What do jar labels, bumper stickers, and tape all have in common? They all leave behind that sticky residue that seems impossible to get off. Well, it's not impossible: it just needs mayonnaise.

Condiments Are Powerful Cleaning Agents

Sure, ketchup makes burgers and fries taste great, but it can also clean tarnished metal while mustard can de-stink old smelly jars.

Photos by Brady Klopfer/Food Hacks (unless otherwise specified)

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