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8 things you won’t believe you can do with beer

Illustration titled 'Surprising Things Beer Can Do.' Far left: A gleaming wooden chair below the words 'Restore the finish on wood furniture.' Second from left: A group of five mosquitoes below the words 'Keep mosquitoes at bay.' Second from right: A comb lying on a flat surface below the words 'Add lustre to your locks.' Far right: A shiny saucepan and gold necklace below the words 'Shine pots, pans and jewellery.'

Sure, beer tastes great, but did you know it polishes metal and makes your hair and skin look amazing? Here are eight fresh ways to put brews to work

Guess what? You can do more with beer than just drink it. Outrageous, we know! Here are eight clever, effective things you can do with this incredibly versatile beverage — in the kitchen, in the shower, in the garden and more.

  • Clean yourself from head to toe

    Hey, see that brew sitting in your fridge? You might want to pour it over your head instead of into a pint glass (or in addition to pouring it into a pint glass). No, we’re not joking.

    Boil a cup of beer until it’s reduced to about 1/4 cup (60 mL). Let cool, and then add it to your favourite shampoo. Give it a shake, lather, rinse and voilà! You’ll notice a lustre to your freshly washed locks that you may not have seen in quite some time. Now you’re ready for your next games night or dinner party with friends.

    Tip: Look for handmade or commercial beer soaps that you can add to your shower routine. The natural sugars in beer can help create an out-of-this-world lather. As well, soaps made from suds moisturize skin well, can help prevent acne (the yeast acts as an antibacterial agent) and soothe irritation (hops are a skin-softening powerhouse).


  • Restore the finish on wooden furniture

    We’ve all been there: You crack open a beer with the intention of kicking back and enjoying a frosty sip, only to get called away to help a family member or neighbour. You completely forget about the bottle or can sitting on the coffee table, and suddenly there’s a stain on the wood surface (and fewer bubbles in your brew).

    No need to cry over spilled beer (or condensation, actually). Pour some of that flat beer on a soft cloth, wipe down the ring stain on the table and dry the area with a clean cloth. It should be as good as new. The irony is rich — what caused the stain fixes it — but it works!


  • Keep mosquitoes away

    Sometimes bug spray and citronella candles just aren’t enough to banish mosquitoes from your backyard hang. Curb all the buzzing and biting by pouring a bit of beer into a few small cups or mini-buckets, and then tuck them around the edges of your backyard or balcony, away from guests. Then watch as those pesky bugs dive-bomb the brew and not you.

    Tip: This is a great way to use up the flat dregs from a keg, bottle or can (save the fresh, bubbly stuff for sipping). And you don’t have to forgo those pretty citronella candles completely — leave them on the table, far from your sudsy mosquito traps, to keep the vibe bright.


  • Shine pots and pans and jewellery — oh my!

    After years of cooking up a storm in your kitchen, you may have a dull sheen on your pots and pans. Here’s how to turn up the sparkle with some suds: Pour beer on a clean cloth and apply some elbow grease to buff your metal cookware. The naturally occurring acids in the brew will remove dulling residue and make your pots and pans look as good as the dishes you create.

    Tip: You can use the same technique to glam up your fave gold jewellery, too.


  • Improve your lawn

    A hard day of lawn work merits a cold beer, naturally. But that beer can also help you create your own personal field of dreams.

    Spray a bit of your go-to brew on your lawn. They yeast in the beer will kill off any fungus, while the acid will help stimulate grass growth and ward off brown patches. This is another excellent use for party leftovers, and it’s all-natural and pesticide-free.


  • Kill rust

    Got a rusty nail or screw that’s tough to get out? Don’t torque too hard and strip it — simply pour some beer on it, wait a minute, wipe the rust off and try again. This trick can loosen up the corroded bits just enough for you to get that stubborn metal out without a special screw-remover tool. Talk about lowering the stress on home improvements.


  • Revive your feet

    Are your dogs barking? Beer can work wonders on your tootsies. Combine warm water and a dollop of beer in a basin, and then soak your feet in the mixture for half an hour. The yeast helps soften any calluses and primes your feet for a relaxing pedicure. And, hey, why not grab a beer to enjoy while you soak?


  • Boost the flavour of soups and stews

    OK, so this isn’t news to us — we add beer to everything we can. But let’s review the obvious: Beer is delicious. It’s natural, then, that adding it to your culinary creations is just another smart way to enjoy your must-have bevvie.

    Beer can be the perfect flavour booster in some of your favourite recipes. Think about subbing it in for some of the water when you’re cooking rice, or using it to supplement the liquid in your favourite chili or curry recipes, for example.

    If you’re looking for a place to start, we have a few ideas that will warm you up. First, try our White Bean, Kale & Parmesan Soup with Lager, packed with pantry-friendly beans and super-umami Parmesan cheese. Then dig into more yummy, beer-infused dishes, such as Thai Chicken Curry with Squash & Ale, Hearty Irish Stew with Stout and Easy Belgian Ale French Onion Soup.

    Tip: If you want to explore some other tasty ideas, we’ve rounded up a list of 11 ways beer makes cooking and baking better. It’ll help you take your suds even farther in the kitchen.

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