Everyone Should Know These Brilliant Sugar Hacks

It’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with sugar. This sweet substance is one of the most common ingredients in food, but too much of this tasty treat can lead to negative health effects.

Luckily, sugar has plenty of other uses that don’t have anything to do with eating. Whether it’s keeping flowers fresh, removing grass stains, or trapping insects, there are numerous household hacks where sugar can come in handy. Keep reading to see how it can be used in your everyday life.

Mary Poppins Had The Right Idea

mary poppins holding a bird while singing
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

When the Sherman brothers were writing “Spoonful of Sugar” for 1964’s Mary Poppins, one of them remembered that their child was given their medicine with a spoonful of sugar. Just like in the song, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

There was also a study where the effects of sugar with medicine were tested on infants. The babies who reacted better to taking medicine were the ones who were fed sugar beforehand.

Sugar Can Help Remove Unwanted Hair

a woman waxing a man's arm
Fairfax Media/Getty Images
Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Removing unwanted hair can be a long and painful process, but sugar can help. All you need are two cups of sugar, a quarter cup of lemon juice, and a quarter cup of water.

Boil the mixture in a stainless steel pot until it turns a dark, amber color with a thick, sticky consistency. The substance can be used with waxing strips or placed directly on the skin to get rid of the hair, but it’s important to remember to let it cool before applying.

Why Cheese And Sugar Go Great Together

a man holding a giant cheese wheel
Gurcan Ozturk/AFP via Getty Images
Gurcan Ozturk/AFP via Getty Images

Both cheese and sugar are considered to be some of the most highly addictive foods, but the pairing of the two can be a good thing. Cheese will likely become moldy if it isn’t stored properly and sugar can prevent this.

Placing a sugar cube in a sealed container with cheese helps it stay fresh by soaking up the moisture that causes mold. Sugar cubes can also be packed with other foods that easily absorb moisture such as cakes, cookies, and berries.

Not Everyone Can Handle Spicy Food

woman eating a red chili pepper
Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images
Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images

After eating something extremely spicy it may feel like there isn’t anything that can counteract the heat. Sometimes foods with a lot of acidity or dairy products can do the trick, but sugar can help as well.

Placing a teaspoon of sugar or honey on your tongue will absorb the oil-based capsaicin that remains burning in your mouth. According to the Scoville Heat Unit, the heat in chili peppers is based on the amount of sugar needed to neutralize the heat. This means that eating sugar will take the spice away before putting another flavor in your mouth.

Sugar Can Be Used To Feed Butterflies

butterflies drinking water
Harald Lange/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Harald Lange/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Butterflies actually love sweetness, so sugar is one way to attract them. One butterfly rescue organization found that making a simple syrup with water, sugar, Gatorade, and soy sauce can attract and feed them.

People can spread the mixture on trees, fence posts, rocks, bushes, or leave it soaked in a sponge, and soon enough the butterflies will come. Butterflies drink through something called a proboscis, which is like a long straw they can move in all directions.

Remove Grass Stains With Ease

close up of a grass stain on Brandon Lloyd's football jersey
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Removing a grass stain may seem like a laundry nightmare, but sugar can get it right out. Just mix some sugar with an equal part of water to create a warm paste.

Once the mixture is ready, soak it into the stain for a couple of hours and then wash the garment normally. Sugar helps remove stains because it contains special enzymes that break down when they come into contact with the chlorophyll of the green grass stains.

Fix Chapped Lips Without Chapstick

paris hilton applying lipstick
Scott Gries/Getty Images
Scott Gries/Getty Images

Several things can cause chapped lips such as saliva, spicy food, and very cold or dry weather. It’s often an irritating condition, but sugar can ease the symptoms. It acts as an exfoliator to soothe the skin.

One easy sugar scrub recipe can be made by mixing one part coconut oil with two parts fine sugar. Baking soda can also be added. Remember to not scrub too vigorously and apply a natural lip balm once the sugar scrub is rinsed off your lips.

How To Extend The Life Of Flowers

a woman placing red tulips in a crystal vase
Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It can be tricky keeping flowers alive after they’ve been removed from the soil. Placing them in water often helps, but there are other ways to lengthen their lifespan. This trick works best with fresh-cut flowers.

All you need to do is add three teaspoons of sugar and two tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of warm water and pour the mixture into a vase. The sugar nourishes the flowers to help them bloom and the vinegar helps maintain the pH levels of the water.

Use Caution With This Helpful Sugar Hack

two men sitting around an outdoor fire
Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images
Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images

Lighting a fire with damp wood or coal can be a challenge and using a lighter or lighter fluid doesn’t always work. Sugar acts as a fire booster and will keep it burning for a longer period of time.

Before using sugar it’s recommended to find a safe place to start the fire because things can easily go awry. To ignite the fire just throw about half a handful of granulated sugar on top of the wood or coal and light it.

Get Gunk And Grime Off Your Hands In An Instant

a woman washing her hands in the sink
BSIP/Getty Images
BSIP/Getty Images

Hands get messy all too often, whether it be from cooking, cleaning, or other daily activities. Some of the hardest things to wash off are dirt and grease, which don’t always disappear with soap and water.

Most gunk and grime can easily come off with a mixture of sugar and olive oil. Place about a palm’s worth of each ingredient in your hands and rub them all over the dirt particles. Once it’s all rubbed in wash it off with soap and water.

The Fastest Way To Stop Hiccups

a man putting his hands over his mouth
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Once the hiccups start it can be very challenging getting them to stop. Instead of holding your breath, getting startled, or chugging a glass of water, it may be time to try a different remedy.

Eating a spoonful of sugar is great for stopping hiccups because the graininess of the sugar will irritate the esophagus. This will cause the phrenic or vagus nerves to reset themselves, making the hiccups go away. Just one teaspoon of sugar can stop the diaphragm from spasming.

Time To Clean Out Your Coffee Grinder? No Problem!

a coffee grinder, a spilled bag of coffee beans, and a cup of coffee
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Many people depend on their daily coffee intake to keep them going throughout the day. Those who use a coffee grinder should know that it needs to be regularly cleaned. This can be done in one quick step.

Sugar can clean coffee grinders because it absorbs the oils and strong flavors left behind by the coffee beans. All that needs to be done is pouring about a quarter cup of sugar into the grinder and running it for a few minutes. When it’s done just dump out the sugar and wipe it clean.

Shoo Away Bugs Without Bug Spray

cockroaches on vertical separators
Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images
Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

Since there are more bugs in the world than there are people, it is often a tough job getting rid of them. They can cause damages in the garden, inside the house, and on the body, but not everyone wants to use a spray with lots of chemicals.

Mixing equal parts sugar and baking soda will remove unwanted pests, so sprinkle the mixture anywhere the bugs have gone or could go. The sugar will attract them and the baking soda will exterminate them.

Sugar Is A Natural Healer

a man with a bandage on his arm
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Sugar has been used for centuries in aiding injuries. Wolverhampton University found that pouring granulated sugar directly into bed sores, leg ulcers, and amputations helped wounds heal faster than they would with antibiotics and other medication.

In order to treat a wound with sugar simply pour it directly on the affected area and place a bandage or wrap over it. The granules in the sugar will soak up any moisture that attracts bacteria. When the bacteria is removed the wound can heal quicker.

Lipstick Smudges Will Be A Thing Of The Past

a woman with red lipstick drinking a glass of water
Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images
Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Anyone who wears lipstick knows how it can stick to almost everything. Lipstick smudges on glasses don’t always come out in the dishwasher or by hand washing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t another way.

Rubbing sugar on the lipstick smudge after it comes out of the dishwasher can make it disappear. If you need a bit of extra strength, toothpaste mixed with sugar can also remove the stain. Sugar can also help get rid of watermarks on glasses.

Melting Ice And Snow Has Never Been Easier

a man with a cowboy hat shoveling snow
Davis Turner/Getty Images
Davis Turner/Getty Images

During the winter seasons it can be a grueling task trying to get rid of the piles of snow and ice around your home. Shoveling it can take hours of hard labor, but there are alternatives to melt it away.

Some may turn to salt, but sugar also has a similar melting effect on snow. Sugar (and anything else that can dissolve in water) has the ability to melt ice. It does this by lowering the water’s melting and freezing points and interfering with the water molecules.

Say Goodbye To Nematodes

A worm crawls into a hole in a raised seed bed
Ben Birchall/Getty Images
Ben Birchall/Getty Images

Nematodes are a type of pest garden worm that can ruin the plants and roots in your garden. It can be a hassle trying to get them to go away because they are usually buried deep in the soil.

Sugar can get rid of them in a flash. Sprinkle handfuls of it on the plants and into the soil. This creates a hostile environment for the nematodes and encourages “good” microorganisms to reproduce in the soil.

The Easy Way To Fix Your Self-Tan

a woman getting a spray tan by a blonde man
Jaimie Trueblood/WireImage/Getty Images
Jaimie Trueblood/WireImage/Getty Images

Getting self-tanner or spray tans to look completely natural is almost impossible and there’s bound to be a few hiccups along the way. Instead of washing it off and starting over, there’s a simple fix.

First, mix one tablespoon of sugar with a quarter cup of coconut oil. Then, scrub it into the areas where the tan looks strange. Sugar is used to exfoliate the excess self-tanner, while the coconut oil will nourish and moisturize the skin.

Sugar Can Soothe A Sore Throat

a woman holding her neck from a sore throat
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There’s a reason why people will often suck on a cough drop or lozenge when they have a sore throat. That is because the sugar in them increases saliva production to keep the throat moist and lubricate the irritation.

This shouldn’t be done often though because increasing amounts of sugar can start to rot the teeth and cause tooth decay. Other foods that can help relieve a sore throat are popsicles, eggs, milk, mashed potatoes, and cooked vegetables.

Eliminate Smelly Cooking Odors

a spoonful of sugar over a pot of water
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

Certain foods can leave a smelly odor in the kitchen and around the house after they are cooked. Sometimes opening a window, turning on the fan, or spraying air freshener won’t get rid of them.

Burning some sugar can remove those unwanted odors. Start by adding one tablespoon of vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar to a pot of boiling water. Cook the sugar until it turns a medium-dark caramel color and wait for the bad odor to be transformed into a sweet aroma.