The application of olive oil is one of the traditional practices used in umbilical cord care in Turkey. The study was conducted experimentally, so as to compare microbiologically the efficacy of olive oil use and keeping the stump dry. Data were obtained using a personal information form and an omphalitis follow-up form, as well as from cultures taken from the infants' umbilical cords. Cultures were taken from the neonates' umbilical cords at three different times. The Pearson chi-square test, student t test, percentages, and averages were used for statistical data analysis. The average time for separation is 9.46 days. For the control group, this period is 9.8 days, while for the study group, it is 9.1, lacking a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.05). However, when the cut-off point for umbilical cord detachment is set at 10 days, the cords of 71.6% of the neonates in the study group, compared with 55.6% of the control group, are observed to have separated before 10 days, representing a significant difference between the groups (P < 0.05). In all of the cultures collected, growth was noted in 35.9% of the study group and 33.3% of the control group. The correlation between the method used for the care of the cord and the total culture results was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Olive oil can be used in the umbilical cord care of neonates under appropriate conditions; we recommended that this investigation be repeated on expanded sample groups.