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8 Brilliant Sugar Uses That Have Nothing to Do with Baking

You can use this household staple for more than baking. Here's our list of clever sugar uses and simple DIY projects!

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Domino bag of white sugar on a wooded countertop in a kitchenJustine Valentine/Taste of Home

Sugar plays a role in sweetening everything from chewy cookies and our best brownie recipes. Sugar also caramelizes while baking, which creates that beautiful golden brown color on many treats. But sugar isn’t just for baking!

While we most often use sugar in the kitchen, this ingredient can be put to work in other rooms of the house, too. Read on for clever sugar uses that are sure to surprise you.

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Cut cat sleeping next to a vase of flowersJena Ardell/Getty Images

Extend the Life of Flowers

Sugar can provide nourishment for flowers. Once you get home with a fresh bouquet, put it in a vase with 4 quarts of warm water. Add in 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. The vinegar will help keep bacteria from growing, while the sugar promotes the opening of blooms.

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close up of oatmeal cookies on platedolgachov/Getty Images

Keep Cookies Fresh

Once you’ve baked a batch of perfect chocolate chip cookies, the last thing you want is for them to dry out. Soft, chewy cookies can be kept for days with the use of sugar. Store your cookies in an airtight container, and add a sugar cube along with them. The sugar cube will help absorb any moisture in the container that can cause cookies to lose their texture.

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Body scrub in glass jar, freesia flowers and lemon on wooden tableLiudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Make a Quick Sugar Scrub

While sugar scrubs can be store-bought, they’re also quite simple to make at home. Mix together 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of honey for a quick and easy scrub. Scrub it on your lips and then rinse with lukewarm water. The abrasive quality of the sugar will help to exfoliate lips.

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Boy holding soccer ball on field with grassy kneesSean Justice/Getty Images

Remove Grass Stains

Have pesky stains on clothing? Grass stains are particularly tough to remove—but sugar can help. Mix together a paste of sugar and water. Scrub it on the stains, allow it to sit for 30 minutes and then wash the piece of clothing. The properties found in sugar can help draw out the stain.

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Man washing hands, close-upHans Neleman/Getty Images

Scrub Your Hands

If you just finished a project, leaving your hands covered with paint, grease or other grime, it’s time for sugar. Sugar is abrasive, making it perfect for handwashing. Wash your hands as normal, but put a spoonful of sugar in your hands with your soap. It will help to remove dirt while exfoliating at the same time.

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Chef's hands with knife cutting a cheese on the wooden boardFotoDuets/Getty Images

Keep Cheese Fresh

Keep your cheese fresh and preserve its texture longer by adding sugar to the cheese storage container. Place a sugar cube in the airtight container or zip-top plastic bag you’re storing the cheese in. It’ll act as a sponge to help soak up the excess moisture, so your cheese doesn’t!

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Glass jar full of fruit fliessaulgranda/Getty Images

Trap Bugs

Sugar can be one of the most helpful ingredients for trapping pests such as gnats and flies. Mix together apple cider vinegar, dish soap and a spoonful of sugar for a simple solution. The bugs will be drawn to the sugar in this DIY bug trap, ultimately getting stuck in the vessel.

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Hands are Grinding Coffee Beans On A Manual Coffee GrinderKarl Tapales/Getty Images

Clean Your Grinder

Do you use a hand-held grinder in the kitchen? While this gadget is most often used for coffee, you may need it for spices or other ingredients from time to time. Avoid having residue left in the grinder by cleaning it out with sugar. Grind a cup of white sugar to eliminate any lingering odors.

Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.