What are Some Uses for Mayonnaise?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2019
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Mayonnaise, often shortened to mayo in casual use, is a creamy emulsion of egg yolks, oil, salt, lemon juice and mustard. There are any number of uses for mayonnaise, many of which have little to do with its appeal as a food. It can be used on sandwiches, as a base for dressings, as a dip, or even for various beauty treatments.

Some mayonnaise recipes call for vinegar in place of lemon juice, or various gourmet oils such as olive or safflower oil. The ingredients are blended until the egg yolk and oil form a stable suspension of fat globules. This sauce has been a staple of French cooking for centuries, but only became commercially available in the United States in 1905.

Perhaps one of its most common uses is as a condiment for sandwiches, along with ketchup, mustard, and relish. Many sandwich meats are very lean, which may improve their flavor but do little for the overall "mouth feel" of the sandwich. A thin layer of mayonnaise spread across the bread provides moisture and the satisfying feeling of fats. Used as a condiment, it works well on hamburgers, cold cuts and deli sandwiches.


One of the other uses for mayonnaise is as a base for salad dressings or sauces. Adding pickle relish, chopped onions, or cabbage to it can create a good tartar sauce for fish dishes. Blending it with ketchup and relish yields a decent Russian dressing for Reuben sandwiches. Mayonnaise can also be used as a binder for cold salads such as chicken, tuna or seafood salads. More elaborate sauces may call its use base with additional herbs and spices heated in a saucepan.

Over the years, consumers have developed other uses for mayonnaise. Some prefer it to ketchup as a dipping sauce for french fries, known as chips outside of the United States. It is also used in certain fruit dips, after a bit of sweetening has been added. It is not unusual to find containers of mayonnaise alongside ketchup and mustard in European bistros and cafes.

Once consumers leave the confines of the culinary world, there are a surprising number of uses for mayonnaise:

  1. It can be used as a natural hair conditioner. Individuals can massage some into the hair, much in the same way as a normal post-shampoo conditioner. The person can then cover her head with a shower cap and allow the sauce to remain on the hair for several minutes. It should be rinsed thoroughly, and the result should be shinier and softer hair.

  2. Mayonnaise can also be used as a facial cleanser. A person can apply a layer as he would a deep cleansing facial soap. After 15 or 20 minutes, it can be wiped off and the face rinsed thoroughly. The oils and salt in the sauce can restore moisture and remove impurities.

  3. In case of a sunburn emergency, cold mayonnaise can be applied to the affected area. The coolness of the mayo will reduce the pain and the oil will provide much-needed moisture.

  4. Some physicians are now recommending mayonnaise to fight head lice infections. Certain strains of head lice have become very resistant to the traditional chemical treatments, but leaving mayonnaise in the hair overnight with a shower cap will cause the lice to suffocate and die. Any remaining nits can be combed out with a fine tooth comb, and the process repeated seven days later.

  5. It can also be used to lubricate stubborn rings. If a ring becomes too tight to remove, the wearer can try applying a generous amount of mayo to the entire finger, especially under the ring itself. Mayonnaise is very slippery, so it should reduce the friction well enough to allow removal of the ring.

  6. People can also remove bumper stickers and residue with mayonnaise. A layer applied to the remnants of a bumper sticker should soften the paper and dissolve the glue after several minutes.

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Post 8

Tuna salad and chicken salad are both great mayonnaise dishes. They have totally different flavors, but I love them both.

I put celery, pecans, mayo, chicken, and grapes in my chicken salad. In my tuna salad, I use boiled eggs, celery, pickles, mayo, and tuna. Both taste great on whole wheat bread.

They are so full of moisture that they keep the bread from having that dry texture that makes it hard to chew sometimes. The only downside to these dishes is that they only keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. If I want to eat the leftovers, I have to do it soon.

Post 7

I don't like the smell of mayonnaise, but I heard it could make my hair really shiny. I put up with the smell long enough to let it soak into my hair, and it looked so healthy after the treatment.

I wonder if you can use organic mayonnaise as conditioner, too? I use the kind that is full of preservatives.

Post 6

@OeKc05 - I am not a big fan of the taste of ketchup or mayonnaise, but when they are combined, they taste so much better. I've tried a sauce like this, and it was surprisingly good.

I generally only like mayonnaise when it serves as a background ingredient or base for a dish. My favorite recipe involving mayonnaise is for coleslaw.

I take a bag of coleslaw mix, which is just chopped cabbage and carrots, and I mix in half a cup of mayonnaise. I also use a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, a quarter cup of chopped onion, and some salt and pepper.

I could eat this stuff as a meal with nothing else! It's so funny, because I don't really like mayonnaise, but this dish is full of it!

Post 5

My husband uses mayonnaise in a homemade dipping sauce. It tastes a lot like comeback sauce, which is what he modeled it after.

He mixes mayonnaise with ketchup until it achieves a peachy flesh tone. Then, he adds plenty of black pepper and salt. It makes the best dip for french fries and chicken tenders, and it is also good on chicken sandwiches.

Post 4

My mother makes organic olive oil mayonnaise sometimes, especially if we have run out of the mass produced kind. It only has a few ingredients, and can be jazzed up with herbs, garlic or other spices.

I don't think it tastes as good, but if the standard mayonnaise calorie count makes you faint it's a decent alternative.

Post 3

The best dessert I have ever eaten in my life was mayonnaise chocolate cake. My gran used to make it that way when she had no eggs or oil but wanted to bake.

Most of the recipes I see these days recommend you add the mayo on top of other fats, which sounds incredibly rich to me.

Post 2

I remember trying one of these unusual tips for mayonnaise when I was a high school student. Money was tight when it came to beauty products so it seemed like a good idea to use what was free in the family fridge.

The bad news is that I didn't realize what I was using was something my mother had made herself, after looking at recipes for mayonnaise online. Let's just say that curry powder isn't the most alluring scent for hair conditioner!

Post 1

my question is can I use mayonnaise to take out a hair perm? What other products can I use to take out my perm?

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