Put the sweet stuff to good use without ingesting a single calorie

By Ysolt Usigan
October 31, 2012

Cakes, pies, coffees: yes, no doubt, we put sugar in these. But there are so many other (surprising) uses for sugar that don't involve derailing your diet. From exfoliating your body to soothing burns and treating wounds, find out how you can put the sweet stuff to use!

Keep Flowers Fresh


Just add three teaspoons of sugar and two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water in your vase to keep those flowers uber-fresh. The sugar is good for the stems, while the vinegar can stop the growth of bacteria!

Soothe Burns from Spices


Yes, dairy works too. But if you don't want to drink milk with lunch or dinner, you can use sugar to soothe a mouth burn from eating spicy foods. A dash of the sweet stuff should do the trick. You don't even have to swallow if you're really counting calories.

Treat a Wound


The old wives' tale is true. You can use sugar to treat wounds and cure painful infections. Researchers at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham put the traditional African remedy to the test by pouring granulated sugar on bed sores, leg ulcers, and amputations before dressing and found that it can kill the bacteria that prevents healing and causes chronic pain. How it works: Bacteria need water to survive but sugar draws water from the wound into the dressing.

Exfoliate Your Body


Simply mix sugar with oil (like almond oil or even olive oil). To make it smell nice, add the essential oil of your choice. Rub onto skin and rinse off in the shower. You'll remove all those dead skin cells and reveal soft, supple skin as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Make Your Lipstick Last


Who knew? You can also use sugar to extend the wear of your favorite lipstick. Simply sprinkle sugar on your lips (after you apply lipstick, that is). Wait a moment, then lick it off.

Get Rid of Grass Stains


Grass stains are so easy to get yet so hard to get out! If you're fearful of bleaching (like if the fabric is a mix of colors), then a paste of sugar and water can do the trick. Apply on the stain, let it sit for an hour, then wash as you normally do. Prepare to be amazed.

Smooth Your Lips


To nourish dry lips, simply mix equal amounts of sugar and olive oil to form a paste. Apply the mixture on your lips and let it sit for 30 seconds. Wipe it off with a damp cloth, and voila! You're ready for some silky smooth smooches.

Clean Your Grinder


Are you grinding coffee beans? If so, sugar makes cleaning your grinder a cinch! The sweet ingredient can actually absorb those flavor and smell residues from coffee and other spices you put through the grinder. Just pour sugar into the grinder the way you would beans and grind for a couple of minutes.

Soothe a Burned Tongue


Just like sugar can help with a mouth ailing from spicy food, it can do the same for a tongue that's been scorched with a hot beverage. Sprinkle some sugar on the affected area, and the pain should subside instantly.

Clean Greasy Hands


Sometimes soap and water just won't cut it, like when you're trying to clean grimy hands from grease. The solution: Add a mixture of olive oil and sugar (equal amounts of each will suffice) to the sink. Rub your hands together and watch the filth disappear.


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