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Updated on April 21, 2013

Uncommon uses for Sugar

Sugar is very versatile in the culinary world but how many of you know that it has many other uses outside the kitchen; or at least outside of cooking, if not the kitchen?

So what are these alternative uses?



Banana Body Scrub

Here’s a great way to use up over-ripe bananas. Mash up a banana, add a teaspoon of oil, sunflower, olive or any other kind of cooking oil you have to hand. Finally mix in a cup of sugar. Use to exfoliate skin and then shower to rinse away.

Fragrant Body Scrub

Mix sugar and oil to make a paste with a nice spreadable consistency. I find that Sweet Almond Oil works well but really any kind will do as you will be adding fragrance. Mix in a few drops of a pure essential oil of your choice. I love Jasmine; although it is quite expensive to buy. Rub on body and shower off after a few minutes. The longer you leave it on the softer your skin will be.

Hair Removal

Sugar can be used as a hair remover rather like wax. Mix together 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a pan over a low/medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Simmer very gently for 25 minutes until just turning a dark golden brown colour. Let it cool a little then pour into a lidded airtight container. Warm in microwave before use for sugaring.


If your lips are dry and flaky, rub them gently with a paste made from Caster Sugar and Olive Oil (granulated sugar is a little too harsh). This will make them smooth again.

Set lipstick and make it last longer by applying sugar over the top of freshly painted lips. Allow to stay on for a minute and then lick it off gently.

How to remove hair with the Sugaring method



Coffee Mill Cleaner

Sugar will clean and leave spice and coffee mills clean and fresh. Fill with granulated sugar and run for 2 minutes. Make sure you give them a good wipe to get rid of traces of sugar.

Grass and Moss Stains

Grass and moss stains can be removed from clothes by preparing a thick paste of sugar and water and using it to rub the stains until the green disappears. This works well because sugar is a mild abrasive.

Hand Scrub

Mix equal parts of Granulated Sugar, Olive Oil and Biological Detergent Powder and use to scrub dirty or oily hands. The Olive Oil stops the hands from drying out.




If you are having trouble getting the barbeque going and don’t want to use firelighters or paraffin, simply sprinkle the charcoal generously with sugar and light it. Your bbq will be glowing in no time at all.


Attract butterflies to your garden by applying this mixture to garden surfaces such as trees and rocks.

Mix together:

1 bottle of stout (gone flat)

1 black Banana

½ cup of Orange Juice

½ tot of Dark Rum

2 cups of sugar

½ cup of maple syrup

*Unfortunately this recipe may also attract ants so use with caution.


Cut Flowers

When arranging, place a Tbsp of sugar in an eggcup full of warm water and dissolve. Add this to a litre of cold water and place in a vase. Arrange the flowers as you wish and they will stay fresh longer. You can add a splash of vinegar too if you want to keep the water from smelling.


Boil sugar, water, ½ tsp chilli pepper and leave in a bowl. Flies will be attracted by the sweet smell and fall into the bowl. This will keep them away from your al fresco supper.


Check out your plants for parasitic nematodes and roundworm. Knotting of roots, distortion and colour fade are all indicators of an infestation. Eradicate them by dissolving a cupful of sugar in 1 gallon of water. Pour into the soil around the plant. Or you can simply mix dry sugar into the soil. These methods will help increase bacteria production in the soil and kill the nematodes


Boil sugar and water together to make a syrup. Place in narrow necked jars and leave in a warm spot outside. Wasps will fly in and become trapped. Simply dispose of them as you see fit.




Drop a few cubes of sugar in the bottom of your biscuit barrel. This will help stop the biscuits from going stale or soft and they will keep longer.


When your cakes are cooked and you take them out of the oven, sprinkle a little sugar on the top whilst they are still hot and cover with a clean tea towel. This will keep them moist and make them stay fresh a little longer


I haven’t tried this but I am told that if you put a sugar cube in with your cheese it will stop it going mouldy.


Eradicate the blighters by mixing equal parts of baking powder and sugar; sprinkle this in the areas where they have been spotted. Keep applying until all traces of them are gone.

Dead Roach
Dead Roach | Source


Burning Mouth

If the curry you are eating is too spicy; try sucking a sugar cube to take away the burn. This also works well if you burn your tongue on hot food.

And this is most interesting:


Old wives tales reported that sprinkling sugar on bedsores or ulcers would heal them. Recent research shows that when poured directly into chronic wounds such as ulcers or amputation sites which refuse to heal due to bacteria, often succeeds when other treatments such as antibiotics have failed.

In the news recently is the story of an amputee who, after medical staff tried every kind of dressing and conventional treatment, allowed a lecturer to apply sugar to his wound in a traditional African healing remedy. After 3 weeks of gradually decreasing amounts of sugar being applied the wound has finally come together. The lecturer, who is carrying out a six month study at a hospital in Birmingham UK, is from Zimbabwe. There, sugar is traditionally used for cuts and wounds. The sugar method works because it deprives the wound of moisture by drawing it away and bacteria need water to thrive and multiply.

Ancient Egyptians packed battlefield wounds in the Megiddo war with lard and honey. Honey, being a sugar has the same properties of drawing out water from the wound.

© Susan Bailey 2013 All Rights Reserved


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