10 Mind-Blowing Ways to Use Sugar

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Top view of white sugar cubes on blue concrete background
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There are reasons beyond taste that account for why sugar is so ubiquitous in the modern Western diet. Not only does sugar make your pumpkin-spice latte taste amazing, it is a stabilizer, a fermenter, a preservative, a moisturizer and a texturizer — all of which make sugar the perfect go-to for these 10 sweet non-culinary hacks!

Feed Your Flowers

Spring yellow mimosa flowers. Acacia dealbata, silver wattle or mimosa in glass vase on table close-up, against background of the window. Flower spring background, 8 March, Easter. Sun rays, backlight
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It's hard to sit around and be pretty all day, which is why flowers need beauty fuel! Like humans, fresh-cut flowers convert the carbohydrates in sugar into energy (glucose). Adding a pinch of sweetness into your vase will keep those flowers feeling fine. Instructions: Create a solution of 3 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of white vinegar per quart of water, and pour the concoction into a vase of fresh-cut flowers.

DIY Stain Remover

Big, brown coffee stain on light, white cloth. Woman's hand strewing washing powder from a cup or scoop. Spilled beverage stain removing. Dry cleaning concept. Clothes care. Chores of housewife.
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If your new top has come into contact with oil, grease, grass or coffee — the enzymes in sucrose (table sugar) and other sweeteners are effective stain removers. Similar to how sugar creates a simple syrup with fruit, it also breaks down the organic matter in stains and strips fabric fibers of existing blemishes through absorption. Instructions: Create a paste by blending 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup warm water; thicken mixture with a tablespoon of sugar if necessary. Rub the sugar paste into the stain and let sit overnight before washing normally.

Cool Your Hot Mouth

hot pepper in a bottle
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If you've overdone it with the spices, simply sprinkle sugar onto your tongue. It's no mystery that snack-makers use sugar primarily for it's sweet ability to overpower all sensations in the mouth. Sugar scientists call this the "taste threshold," and everyday table sugar (sucrose) has a "relative sweetness" that will crush those chili peppers! Method: Sprinkle a dash of sugar on your tongue or roll a sugar cube around in your mouth.

Lip Scrub

Woman's red lips strewed with sugar
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Sugar will help keep your kisser set for smooches! Because sugar binds with water, reactions that need water are delayed when sugar is present. This is why sugar is used as a preservative to help cakes stay moist. Instructions: Blend 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil, 1/4 tp honey and 3-4 drops of peppermint essential oil (or a few squeezes of citrus fruit) in a small dish with a fork. This quick recipe makes a small batch that you can store in an old lip-gloss container.

Soothe Bug Bites and Cuts

Child with a plaster on her knee
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Sugar is an old-fashion remedy for drawing out the toxins from bug bites and bee stings. Companies like Band-Aid even sell patches infused with sugar crystals. There's no reason to pay for fancy bandages when you can turn to your sugar bowl for instant relief! Instructions: Create a paste by mixing sugar and water at a 3:1 ratio. Clean the wound or bite before applying the paste. Cover with a bandage for 30 minutes.

Remove Odor

High Angle View Of Broccoli In Boiling Water
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Sugar will bid a sweet farewell to kitchen and other household odors! When sugar is heated above its boiling point, magic occurs in the form of caramelization. A delicious aroma is released as the sugar browns! Method: On medium-low heat, add 2 tbsp of sugar to a pan until it's caramelized. Bonus: Add a tablespoon of sugar and vinegar to a pot of water before boiling "smelly" vegetables to keep the cruciferous odor under control.

Clean Greasy Hands

Mixed race woman washing her hands
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Sugar gives jams, cookies and breads a robust mouthfeel. It's this same texture expression that turns a few dashes of sugar into a powerful scrubbing agent that removes dirt and grime. Instructions: Add a tablespoon of sugar to a palm full of soap, bring to a lather and then rinse. Bonus: Skip the suds and create a 2:1 mixture of sugar and olive oil that moisturizes while it cleans.

Better Berries

Wild berries in bowl
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Create a simple syrup that transform fresh berries from boring to bold without any fancy toppings or added calories. The enzymes in sugar produce a juicy, natural molasses by breaking down the fibrous, pulpy berry skin. Translation: sugar + berries = syrup! Method: Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar to every cup of berries and let sit for 15-30 minutes (until the berries have macerated and a syrup has formed).

Homemade Exfoliant

Handmade Lemon Scrub With Coconut Oil. Toiletries, Spa Set.
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Sweeten up your skincare routine with several spoonfuls of sugar! Sugar is so frequently added to baked goods because of its ability to add bulk and texture. These same properties make sugar an impressive cleanser and exfoliant. Method: Blend 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil and either several drops of essential oils or juice from overripe fruit. Bonus: Simply add a 1-2 tbsp of sugar to your body wash or facial soap to create a quick, affordable exfoliant wash.

Preserve Baked Goods

Homemade dessert Apple Pie With Whipped Cream and pink jelly
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Not only does sugar keep lips and skin sweet and kissable, the hygroscopic properties of sugar make it an effective food preservative. This is literally why it's added to most every processed food item on grocery store shelves. Sugar absorbs moisture from its surrounding environment, which helps in preserving and extending the shelf-life of baked goods like cookies, cakes and other confections. Method: Add a few sugar cubes alongside baked goods in a storage container. Hack: This trick works with cheese, too!

52 Faces: Jenna Chong

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10 Mind-Blowing Ways to Use Sugar

There are reasons beyond taste that account for why sugar is so ubiquitous in the modern Western diet. Not only does sugar make your pumpkin-spice latte taste amazing, it is a stabilizer, a fermenter, a preservative, a moisturizer and a texturizer — all of which make sugar the perfect go-to for these 10 sweet non-culinary hacks!