x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Home Improvements: get the most out of your olive oil

If you've only been using olive oil as salad dressing, then you're missing out on its many purposes beyond the kitchen.

We don't recommend using your finest cold-press extra virgin stuff, but a cheap bottle of olive oil is also a useful household product.

Mix some with a little vinegar or lemon to make an effective wood polish, or use a little of it neat to shine up stainless steel or brass. It's also a good substitute for lubricants such as WD-40 - in other words, good for fixing a squeaky door or a sticky pair of garden shears.

You can also mend a stuck zip with olive oil: carefully dab a little on the stuck teeth with a cotton bud, then ease the zip down.

My essential tip, though, is using it to remove paint stains from my hands. Leave it to soak in for five minutes, then wash off with soap and water. It's far kinder to your skin than harsh white spirit, plus if you add a little salt or sugar, it's an excellent exfoliant that leaves your hands super soft.