What to do with a liter of slightly dirty olive oil?
August 18, 2011 7:07 AM   Subscribe

What to do with a liter of slightly dirty olive oil?

My son broke a bottle of olive oil and I vacuumed it from the kitchen tile. (Protip: water will cause the oil to rise up off a hard surface.) I didn't use any cleanser, so it's basically slightly dirty olive oil. What can I do with it, besides chuck it in the compost bin and cut my losses?

I don't have access to a good filter or something like that, nor am I interested in elaborate schemes with lots of a equipment. I am a capable, well-equipped cook, but I'm at my wit's end.
posted by wnissen to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use it to prevent rust on gardening tools? I'd chuck it.
posted by jon1270 at 7:10 AM on August 18, 2011

If it's just dirty with gunk and nothing hard, you can use it to oil an electric shredder, if you own one.
posted by griphus at 7:13 AM on August 18, 2011

Use as moisturizer (hair/skin) ?
posted by bearette at 7:20 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Make a foot scrub by adding a lot of salt? You'd have to shower off after using an oily/salty scrub anyway. I am not grossed out by the oil having been on the floor, but if it's actually been through a vacuum cleaner, that's kind of gross. What kind of vacuum is that and how are you going to clean it out?
posted by artychoke at 7:21 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Artychoke beat me to it, but I was going to say epsom salt+old jar+olive oil= pretty great scrub.
posted by brilliantine at 7:23 AM on August 18, 2011

There are household tips about how it's good for polishing anything from leather to wood, but it can discolour things over time, so it's not always the best thing to use. But, if you need a quick black or brown leather shoe polish, it's okay for that. I've used it for things like my daughter's Blundstones in a pinch. You can keep some of it in small bottles for things like getting band-aids and temporary tattooes and paint off skin, and getting gum out of hair. But I'd strain it through a cloth, because that would make me feel better about it.
posted by peagood at 7:26 AM on August 18, 2011

Apologies for the misconception; I didn't use a literal vacuum, but rather a Spot Bot carpet cleaner that is designed to suck up liquids. The scrub idea is pretty tempting. Can I make soap, is that easy?
posted by wnissen at 8:01 AM on August 18, 2011

Buy a modern reproduction of an ancient oil lamp and use it to open the lives of the ancients to your son's understanding.
posted by jamjam at 8:10 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Make castille soap. Lovely stuff. Very easy.
posted by yesster at 9:49 AM on August 18, 2011

Straining it through a paper coffee filter or two, and heating it above 250 degrees F for a few minutes ought to get rid of any visible impurities and keep any bacteria picked up in the process from making it go rancid, quickly, and help drive off any water picked up from a wet floor during the collection process. Olive oil makes a dandy pet food additive, particularly for pets accustomed to dry kibble. Making soap that actually hardens to shape from olive oil can take a long time, and you have to be willing to work with lye; if there is any contamination from water, don't use this oil for soap making.
posted by paulsc at 9:57 AM on August 18, 2011

That's a good point--cold process soapmaking assumes that you're measuring ingredients fairly exactly. If there's significant variation, the recipe might not work.
posted by gimonca at 10:04 AM on August 18, 2011

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