7 Sweet Ways to Use Sugar

Monday, May 23, 2016

I spend quite a bit of time on here talking about sugary cake recipes, and it's kinda gotten me thinking about other ways I could be using the sugar in my kitchen. Here are seven great ways to use sugar—aside from baking with it.

Face (and body) scrub

Exfoliating your face one to two times per week is key to keeping your skin smooth and radiant, and you can use a face scrub to do this. You can even make your very own face scrub at home using a few simple ingredients, such as superfine (caster) sugar, some coconut oil, and your favorite essential oils. You can also play with ingredients like coffee grounds, tea, and citrus peel. Superfine sugar (also called caster sugar) makes for a great ingredient for your face scrubs because it isn’t as abrasive as granulated sugar, and according to this article, it actually contains the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is great for your skin because it gently eats away at the outermost layer of your skin, allowing for that fresh skin underneath to shine through. Just be sure to protect your skin with an SPF product after using your scrub, as your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight. Tip: Try using your face scrub as a body scrub as well for smooth supple skin all around.

Lip exfoliant

Sugar also makes for a great lip exfoliant that keeps your lips soft and supple, even in dry weather. Try making one at home using sugar, coconut oil, and your favorite essential oils.

Hand scrub

Did you recently work on a car or bike, only to be left with grease stains all over your hands? Use equal parts liquid soap and sugar at the sink and scrub your hands thoroughly to remove the stains.

Flower food

Did you know that sugar is a substantial ingredient in those little flower packets that come with bouquets of flowers? Try adding a few teaspoons of sugar to your flower water, along with a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to fight bacteria growth. Bonus tip: put your flowers in the fridge at night to help them last even longer.

Soothe your tongue after spicy food

Chose to add a little too much spice to the chili you ordered for dinner? Sugar can help. In fact, the Scoville scale that is used to give a numeric measurement to the spiciness of various chili peppers is actually based on the amount of sugar water needed to dilute a chili pepper. Simply grab a sugar packet and add it to about 8 ounces of water; then drink the sugar water to soothe a tongue that’s on fire.

Heal a wound

Yep—this traditionally African therapy seems to be effective on cuts, scrapes, burns, and pressure sores. The sugar actually draws water from the wound and into the dressing, which inhibits bacteria growth in the wound. It can also help reduce swelling, promote the formation of connective tissue, speed up the healing process, and reduce scarring. To use sugar on a fresh wound, start by extracting any foreign objects or debris from the wound and cleaning it thoroughly using soap and water. Pat it to dry. Then, pour sugar directly onto the wound, making sure some of it actually gets into the wound. Alternatively, you can add honey to the wound if you’re having trouble getting the sugar to stay in place. Then cover the wound completely with a bandage and secure the bandage in place with tape. Change the bandage and repeat this process once a day.

Remove stains

You can use sugar in the laundry room as well on a few different types of stains. For tea stains, for example, add a few tablespoons of sugar to a quart of warm water, and then soak the stained fabric in the mixture for a few minutes. Then rinse the fabric in warm water and then let it air dry. For grass stains, meanwhile, you’ll want to use the sugar to create more of a paste. Start with a bowl containing half a cup of sugar and add enough warm water to create a paste. Spread the paste onto the grass stain and then wash the clothing as usual. The sugar contains enzymes that will actually break down the chlorophyll pigments in the grass. Repeat this process if necessary to remove the grass stain completely.

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