15 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Mayonnaise

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...what's the most versatile condiment of them all? It's mayonnaise, of course!

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Homemade mayonnaise in bowl with eggs and spice on wooden background

It’s not all that surprising mayonnaise is such an incredibly versatile condiment when you consider what it’s made of: olive oil, egg yolk, lemon and salt. (Here’s a quick recipe for homemade mayo.) Each of those ingredients can enhance the moistness and richness of about any food, and can also do wonders around the house.

Psst… Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the most of your mayo.

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Delicious chocolate cakes on table close-up
Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Bake a moist chocolate cake

The oil makes any cake more tender, a little extra egg yolk enriches any baked good and the acid in lemon has a way of making the flavor or chocolate pop! Put ’em all together, and you’ve got mayo, which is the secret to this top-rated, super-moist Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake. And you won’t even have to crack an egg!

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Grilled cheese sandwich
George Dolgikh/Shutterstock

Make the best grilled cheese ever

When it comes to creating the crispest, tangiest crust on your grilled cheese sandwich, butter is good, but mayo is better.

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Grilled Sardine
Shutterstock / Bajjioui

Unstick your grilled fish

Ninety-nine percent of the time, when I fail at cooking fish on my outdoor grill, it’s because the fish sticks to the grates. How to remedy this? Why, mayo, of course. It adheres so nicely to the fish, plus it adds a slightly acidic richness to the end result. Slather an even layer of mayo all over the fish you’re about to grill, and grill away!

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Crusted fish on a baking sheet
Taste of Home

Make bread crumbs stick to fish

Regardless of where you’re cooking your fish, ever notice how hard it is to get bread crumbs to adhere to the surface? The solution is simple: mayonnaise. Slather your fish in a thin layer before bread crumbing for best results.

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Parmesan chicken with mushroom wild rice
Taste of Home

Keep chicken breast moist

Slathering chicken breasts in mayonnaise before cooking will not only tenderize the chicken (thanks to the acid from the lemon) but will also keep your chicken moist while it cooks. The proof is in our delicious Parmesan Chicken!

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Creamy grilled potato salad
Taste of Home

Perfect your potatoes

Grilled potatoes are great. But grilled potatoes with mayo are even greater because the mayo helps the potatoes retain a bit of moisture while they grill up crusty on the outside. You can toss the cubed potatoes with mayonnaise and seasonings before you put them in a foil packet.

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Mexican street corn bake
Taste of Home

Make Mexican street corn

Did you know that mayonnaise is a key ingredient in Mexican street corn? Make it on the cob…or make it an even easier dish to enjoy with this Mexican Street Corn Bake.

See all our best takes on Mexican street corn!

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Male hand cleaning and rubbing an hardwood floor with a microfiber cloth.
Shutterstock / Stokkete

Remove watermarks from wood

To eliminate watermarks on wood, rub mayo on the mark, let it rest for several hours and wipe. It works because the moisture in the mayo displaces the moisture locked in the wood, effectively unlocking it. And mayo stays moist long enough to do the unlocking (whereas oil would tend to evaporate).

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Hand in glove wiping children drawing on wallpaper
Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Remove crayon marks

Did a young artist let creativity reign…on your walls? The oils in mayo are perfect for breaking down crayon marks. Simply dab it on, let it sit for a bit and then wipe away.

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Female hand wiping down front part of stainless steel dishwasher with microfiber towel
Shutterstock / tab62

Wipe away fingerprints on stainless steel

A little mayo on a microfiber cloth does wonders for making fingerprints disappear from your stainless steel appliances.

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Boy blowing a bubble
Shutterstock / Suzanne Tucker

Get chewing gum out of your hair

We won’t ask how it even happened, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Simply rub a bit of mayo onto the affected hair, and it will soften up the gum so you can remove it painlessly (and without scissors). Don’t miss these other gum-be-gone solutions,too.

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woman with beautiful manicure playing the piano

Polish ivory piano keys

This is a real tip, according to music experts Merriam Music. The bacteria present in mayonnaise helps clean your yellowed ivory piano keys gently. Be sure to buff with a dry cloth after cleaning.

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Female hands in gloves wipe dust from houseplants.
Shutterstock / TanyaRozhnovskaya

Shine up those houseplants

Treat your houseplants right because not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they improve your air quality (especially these houseplants). A microfiber cloth plus a dab of mayo will have them looking polished in no time.

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Sunburn from beach sun light on the shoulder and back of caucacian girl
Shutterstock / Jingjits Photography

Soothe your sunburn

The oil and egg yolk in mayonnaise and its soothing texture make it a perfect salve for soothing sunburn.

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Woman applying hair conditioner. Isolated on white.
Shutterstock / B-D-S Piotr Marcinski

Condition your hair

Rich in fats and proteins, the egg yolk in mayo is naturally moisturizing as well as nourishing. The oil seals in that moisture. Apply to hair like you would any conditioner, let sit for 20 minutes and then rinse and cleanse with a gentle shampoo.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.