Introduction: The Mayo Clinic - 9 Unusual Uses for Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, besides being a delicious French sauce from the ‘naise family, has a number of uses beyond the kitchen. If you’re caught without emollients or Goo-Gone but have access to mayonnaise in individual packets (or a whole jar, if you’re lucky), mayonnaise can save the day.

Containing the magnificently useful triumvirate of egg, lemon juice, and oil, mayonnaise is easily adaptable for a variety of uses for everything from hair conditioning to removing bumper stickers.

Here are 9 uses for mayo that will make your sandwiches insanely jealous.

Step 1: Polishing Ivory Piano Keys

Your ivory piano keys are probably filthy. Which is a shame, given that some poor elephant gave up his life for an afterlife of people playing chopsticks on his teeth. If you’re going to tickle the ivory, perhaps you should brighten it up a bit with some mayonnaise.

Just dab a little onto the dull key and leave it for five minutes or so. Then wipe off the mayo, and buff with a different cloth until the ivory shines.

Step 2: Conditioning Dry, Brittle Hair

Mayonnaise has some delightfully emollient qualities. It’ll soften and smooth hair for a sleek and chic look that can go straight from the runway to the kitchen.

Shampoo normally and towel dry.

Comb in at least a tablespoon of real mayonnaise (no need to go for the light stuff here, very little will be absorbed through your scalp and deposited directly into your arteries) starting at the top of your head and working your way to the tips. Be sure to coat each strand of your luscious mane.

Leave it in for at least one hour. Try to stay inside while you wait because, you know, you’ll have mayonnaise on your head and not everybody will understand its amazing conditioning properties. You might even get French fries rubbed on your head. To avoid staining all of your furniture, wrapping with plastic wrap couldn’t hurt. Just don’t wrap over your nose and mouth.

After your hour is up, wash your hair again using either a mild shampoo (like baby shampoo) or use a tiny amount of regular shampoo. It’ll eliminate the fresh-out-of-a-French-bistro scent, but that’s probably a good thing.

Style normally. Look extraordinary.

Step 3: Exfoliating Your Skin

Remember one step ago when we discussed mayo’s emollient qualities? Well, it’ll soften more than just hair. Got rough, dry patches of skin or elephant elbows? Mayonnaise to the rescue!

Apply a little mayo to problem areas like the elbows, knees, or your face. Leave it on for ten to fifteen minutes, then buff off with a damp towel or washcloth. Then use your normal moisturizer or lotion to lock in the freshness.

Step 4: Cleaning Up Crayon Marks

If you’re not great at coloring inside of the lines, or you know someone under 3 feet tall who is into unintentional graffiti art, you may find yourself in need of some crayon cleanup.

Rub a little bit of mayo onto the crayon mark and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Then watch it magically disappear when you wipe it away with a damp cloth.

Step 5: Strengthening Fingernails

There is jazzercise for cardiovascular health, spinning for aerobic exercise, and weight training for your biceps, but what about your nails? How can you improve your chalkboard attention grabber without pulling nails out like a new hire in the gulags?

Try dipping your nails into a mayo bath. Soak your nails, cuticles, and the rest of your fingertip in some mayonnaise. Then rinse. Voila! Stronger nails. You'll be opening bottles and clamshell packaging bare-handed from now on.

Step 6: Removing Tar, Sap, and Sticker Residue

Now we venture further afield with our mayonnaise hacks. The car! Or bicycle. Or big wheel. Motorcycle. Hybrid Learjet. Whatever you’ve got parked on the street, under a tree, or in the garage, mayonnaise can take off whatever sticky, dirty mess you managed to get onto your mode of transportation.

Cover the mess with some mayonnaise and let it sit for several minutes. Then wipe it off with a soft, vehicle-approved cloth. It may take a few tries for the tougher grime, but the lemon juice and oil combine to create a Goo-Gone equivalent that can be found for free in some delicatessens.

Step 7: Restoring Wood Furniture

If your wooden furniture is covered in water rings, try to buff them out with some mayonnaise. Just like the crayon hack, leave a little mayo on the stain for five to ten minutes, then buff out the stain. Try this on a surreptitious spot before you do it someplace conspicuous or you may end up putting leg-warmers on your table or committing to a year’s worth of seasonal placemats.

Step 8: Removing Rings

Mayonnaise will not only take the water rings off of your wooden furniture, it will also take rings off of your fingers.

The oil in the mayonnaise makes an excellent ring lubricant for those times when you must remove your ring but don’t have any WD-40 on hand. Just work some mayo into the area around and underneath your ring (inside? whichever preposition feels most appropriate to you), then slide the ring off. You may find that twisting helps, but stop if you feel any excruciating pain, numbness, or your finger falls off.

Step 9: Polishing Houseplant Leaves

Growing up, my parents strove for parity in the household chores assigned to my sister and I. While I vacuumed the house, she would polish the leaves of our plants. Back then, I refused to believe that people actually polish their plants' leaves, but my mother assures me that it is a thing. And it is a thing that can be done with mayo.

Rub a little bit of mayo onto your matte and dull leaf. Buff it to a shine, then you'll have the shiniest ficus leaf in the world. Because leaf-shining isn't really a thing.

(Right? It's not a thing? I actually called my mom for more mayonnaise ideas, and this one was the second one she thought of. SECOND. She's either really committed to the lie, or this is real. Confirm for me in the comments, please.)

Step 10: Mayonnaise Resources

If you're living in a place without mayonnaise but really want to get your hands on some, don't panic. Mayonnaise can be made in the comfort and privacy of your own home, provided you have access to some basic culinary supplies.

Check out jen7714's awesome healthy mayo instructable at

Or take a gander at mje's awesome garlic mayo at!/

For further mayonnaise usages, please see randofo's extraordinary use of mayo at