What Materials Absorb Olive Oil the Best?

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Olive oil is a common cooking ingredient, but it can stain.
Olive oil is a common cooking ingredient, but it can stain. (Image: Bottle of Olive Oil image by kellykramer from Fotolia.com)

Olive oil has a range of uses. Not only is it commonly employed in the kitchen to lubricate pots and pans and add flavor to a wide variety of dishes, but it also can be used to polish metal, condition leather or even repair damaged hair or skin. However, if the oil gets somewhere it shouldn't, it can stick and stain the material if not absorbed quickly. Fortunately, there are a number of powders that are effective absorbers of olive oil. After pouring a small amount over the spilled oil, these powders will soak it up, removing the majority of it, making cleanup easier.

Corn Starch

Another common kitchen material, corn starch, can be used to absorb excess olive oil. It is used in a variety of recipes to thicken a sauce, so its absorbent powers are well known. Just a small quantity can absorb large amounts of liquids and oils. Simply sprinkle the fine powder over the oil to be absorbed, allow it to sit for a few minutes and wipe up the starch with a paper towel.

Baking Soda

Another kitchen staple, baking soda has a variety of useful purposes, and olive oil absorber is one of them. Like corn starch, baking soda can be poured over the oil, but unlike corn starch, it carries the added benefit of deodorizing the spilled area. So if there is a particularly pungent olive oil spill that needs to be cleaned up, baking soda might be a better option.

Baby Powder

In a pinch, baby powder can also be used to sop up olive oil. While found far more often in diapers than in the kitchen, baby powder is designed to cleanly absorb large amounts of moisture for prolonged periods of time, so it is well-suited as a way to deal with olive oil messes.

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