DIY Mayonnaise: 8 Handy Uses (That Don’t Involve Food)

DIY Mayonnaise

It’s been about a decade since I last bought a jar of mayonnaise.  Not because I don’t like it. On the contrary. Mayonnaise is an incredibly versatile condiment, at home on a turkey sandwich, in potato salad or deviled eggs. There are even some pretty good cake recipes that call for it. It also happens to be shockingly simple to make. Once you learn the secret of homemade mayonnaise, you may also leave the store-bought stuff behind and find yourself exploring its many great uses, including quite a few that don’t involve eating it.

This basic recipe will get you started. Flavorings may be adjusted, but the balance of egg, vinegar and oil must be adhered to for successful emulsion (the process that allows the oil and egg to combine). Farm-fresh eggs are recommended, due to salmonella concerns associated with raw egg.

Homemade Mayonnaise


2 eggs

2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups vegetable or olive oil

Instructions: Combine eggs, vinegar and spices in a blender. With blender running, slowly add oil until desired consistency is reached.

Voila! Homemade mayo in less than 2 minutes. If you have a stick blender, ingredients can be blended in a pint jar to eliminate the need to transfer for storage.

The magic that is mayonnaise does not end with lunch. This perfect blend of oil, acid and protein can be used in unexpected ways well beyond tuna salad.  Consider some of these great uses for homemade (or even store-bought) mayo outside the kitchen.

1. Sunburn relief: Cold mayonnaise will soothe a sunburn, provide much-needed moisture and the vinegar even serves as a natural anesthetic.

2. Remove tar: Apply a bit of mayo to road tar, let it rest a few minutes, then wipe it clean.

3. Condition hair: Mayonnaise is a nearly perfect combination of moisturizing oil and nutrient-building egg proteins to help revitalize dry hair. After washing hair, apply a thin treatment of mayonnaise and let rest one hour before rinsing to bring body and shine back to damaged hair.

4. Shine houseplants: An old trick. Rub a little mayo onto plant leaves with a paper towel and wipe clean to add a healthy shine to houseplants.

5. Strengthen fingernails: Immerse fingers in mayonnaise for 5 minutes or so to strengthen nails and restore cuticle health.

6. Kill lice: A thick coating of mayonnaise applied to the hair and left overnight will kill lice without the need for expensive chemical treatments. Nits are not affected, and multiple applications would be necessary to fully eradicate those pesky critters.

7. Lubricate hinges: All out of WD? Smear a little mayo on a door hinge to stop that squeak.

8. Restore wood furniture: Water stains will wipe away with a brief application. If cracks have formed on wood surfaces, fill the cracks with mayonnaise, and leave it for a few days before wiping clean. The combination of oil and protein will cause the wood to swell, closing up those unsightly scratches and gaps.

use homemade mayonaisse to shine wood furniture

35 Responses

  1. Eufa says:

    I made our mayonnaise in South America for years and no one ever got salmonella poisoning. The mayonnaise there was made from palm oil which is very unheathy, so I was able to substitute canola or olive oil for a healthier end product.
    Just FYI….baby oil is also an excellent remover of tar and oil from petroleum spills at the beach.

  2. DWA says:

    If you're making cornbread, you can use mayo in place of the eggs and oil as well.

  3. mshau72 says:

    How long should the eggs or yolks be cooked prior to using? Boiling, microwaving or what? My Dad used to make homemade mayo back in the day, and it was the best. Would love to make some myself, but have been concerned about salmonella. Thanks!

    • Nancy says:

      We've never had a problem with eggs, and we make our own mayo. We have for now. Make it up and keep it cold for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Make sure to use it up by then.

  4. Obama is evil says:

    Wouldn't leaving mayo on wood or a door for lubrication attract bugs?

  5. Maggie says:

    I have been washing my face with Mayo for years and have beautiful skin (52 yrs old)

  6. mike says:

    Hellmans mayo is the best! Have made mayo many times , and its pretty good.Never worried about raw eggs . Try it ! its pretty good!

    • Dan DaMann says:

      Ohhh, but I beg to differ. The best mayo in the entire civilized world is Blue Plate. Made in New Orleans and regional to the southeast.

  7. arthurb3 says:


  8. mpm says:

    I make mayonnaise with raw eggs it taste much better, but if i have visitors and to be in the safe side then I make them with cooked yolks for them, it`s safer than raw eggs. It`s the same recipe in this post except for the egg white and the mustard.

  9. lynn says:

    Wow..thanks for that! I've been searching for a soybean free mayo to no avail. Can't believe it is so easy..and i raise hens for eggs so…bookmarking this page.

  10. FIFOGal says:

    Sweet Grandma, you are correct. The acidic property in the Mayonnaise (vinegar) acts as a barrier and bacteria is repelled by anything that has more acid than alkali. Alkali breeds bacteria under the right environments (heat). The likelihood of salmonella in very, very low. The right breeding conditions for salmonella is raw eggs AND the right temperature – 50 to 140 degrees. Just keep the prepared Mayonnaise refrigerated. Discard after two weeks and prepare a fresh batch accordingly.So yes, go on and use its properties just as Mike Tempklin shared with us.

  11. Sweet Grandma says:

    That is not so Fladabosco, I have used it for water marks that my grandkids, left on my wood coffee table, really works. And no smell or bacteria growing. You have to really rub it in and then rub off with a clean soft cloth. Marks are gone!!!!

    • jim says:


      Old fashioned two ply diaper works best too…..:-)

    • Denise says:

      It might interest everybody who reads this to know that Mentholatum and Vicks Vapo-Rub do the same thing for water-damaged wood furniture. they both contain camphor which is why they work. Also that Petroleum Jelly is great to shine black shoes. And that fingernail polish remover does by far the best job of cleaning white leather shoes: no waiting for the usual white "paint" to dry; no "paint" stains on slacks or other garments; all black scuff marks gone!

  12. Fladabosco says:

    Whoever wrote this doesn't know a lot about food. In many parts of the US raw eggs are dangerous to eat, unless you enjoy salmonella. You also don't need the egg whites and they are rarely included in the classic recipe. I also doubt that the mustard does anything other than taste good.

    You can make the mayonnaise much safer by lightly cooking the egg yolks first. I have done it many times.

    And if you put it in the crack of wooden furniture and leave it for a few days it's going to get bacterial laden and stinky!

  13. karenm says:

    Will it work on creosote?

  14. robint says:

    Just curious of all the things mayo is good for are related to the fact it has oil? Wouldnt just plain oil do the same things as the mayo aside from the hair and nails needing the protein. And protein is the only thing that you can actually add to hair that fixes it. Hair gets chips in it that causes it to frizz and look bad and protein molecules fill those gaps and "heal" it. That's why buying the really cheap hair products really dont fix your hair they just mask issues. Anyway the tar and wood polishing stuff seem like just oil would do the trick without the mayo.

  15. delmy says:

    I used as treatment for my hair with a shower cap as moister an then my hair live shinny

  16. micktelkamp says:

    Hi Shannon,
    It'll keep its flavor a couple of weeks in the fridge. Of course, if you're in it for the furniture polish, you may have more time!

  17. [...] 8 Surprising Uses of Mayonnaise (DIY) [...]

  18. Leo says:

    Let me correct a couple things: The plug is well above grade and about 2-3' from the rock. I've got it hidden in the landscaping and covered so rain does not get to the plug. Sorry about the typos!

  19. Donna Baker says:

    DIY is great i am 64 yrs old and still learning from you, wish i could win a makeover for a yard fountain, have any ideas? Thank you, Sincerely Donna Baker Nancy, Kentucky fan…

    • Leo says:

      Yep. My wife saw a rock in a home show that was drilled through and water bubbled out of it. After seeing an ideal rock (oblong and about 12-18" in diameter), we had a 3/4 hole drilled through it longways. I dug a hole in the ground for a water reservoir (3 times the diameter of the rock), installed a rubber liner, put two blocks at the bottom of the hole, put a filterless pump in the hole of the block, strung a hose from the pump about 6-10" into the rock, hooked up power to it (the plug is well about grade and about 2" away from the reservoir hole), then a heavy duty plastic grate that the top was about 4" below grade, placed the rock upright and centered on the grate. After making sure the pump was working properly and the water bubbled the right height (about 4-6"), I put several hundred pounds of river rock around the large rock. This covers the grate and the water that runs down the rock simply drains back into the reservoir. Because the ground is so cool, the water seldom turns green. When it is getting cloudy, I put a cup or two of bleach into the reservoir and, presto, in a few hours I have sparkling clear water! My yard fountain water was always turning green and it was a nuisance throughout the summer as I tried to maintain it. Now, we get untold hours of pleasure listening to bubbling water when we sit on our patio!

      • robint says:

        what does this have to do with mayonaise?

        • Mack Easton says:

          It's a test to see how many idiots will do exactly what you do, nit pick! The "rock" stuff was a reply to Donna Baker's post. And also a compliment to DIY. What does this post have to do with mayonnaise? To advise YOU to check your spelling!!! " mayonaise" is wrong!!!

      • mike says:

        You need to reroute the hose so its just above head high, of course you will be lieing on the ground . And let the cool waters sooth your overworked brain!

  20. Mrs. UraLee Wade says:

    Thank you for the 8 tips given on other uses for mayonnaise beside eating it. I was not familiar with any of those.I will immediately begin to useall of them with the exception of the Lice killing.Don’t have lice. You have enlightened me.Again,Thank You DIY Networks Personnel and Staff.

    UraLee Wade

    5-6-13 5:38pm Central

  21. Shannon says:

    How long does it keep in the refrigerator?


About Mick Telkamp 


A former Midwesterner living in North Carolina, I write about my adventures in backyard chicken-keeping and suburban homesteading over at HGTVGardens, and my exploits in the culture of Southern cooking ...

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