10 brilliant uses for beer
Make gold jewelry look like new
You scored a gorgeous gold bracelet at a yard sale, but it has lost its luster. The fix: Pour flat, light-colored beer onto a soft cloth and use it to rub the jewelry, then buff with a dry cloth. Beer’s carbonic acid will dissolve stuck-on oil and dirt so the bracelet shines. (Just be sure not to get the beer on gemstones as it may dull or damage the stone.)
Outsmart garden pests
The vegetables in your garden are thriving, so it’s no surprise that hungry slugs keep coming around for a snack. To protect your crop, fill a disposable foil pie plate with flat beer and place it in your garden. The slugs will be attracted to the smell of the beer, so they’ll crawl in the pan but will be unable to escape.
Uncover glowing skin
Instead of splurging on a skinbrightening face mask, make your own: Mix 1⁄2 cup of flat beer, 1 egg white and 2 tsp. of lime juice and apply to your face; let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Beer’s hops, B vitamins and yeast break down dead skin cells, the egg white hydrates and the citric acid in the lime exfoliates for a gorgeous glow.
De-skunk a dog’s coat
Yikes! While playing in the yard, Buster had a run-in with a skunk. To eliminate the odor, combine two bottles of beer and 2 Tbs. of vanilla extract in a bowl, dip a washcloth in the solution and rub it all over your pup’s fur. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then bathe him as usual to remove the beer. Yeast cultures in the brew break down the water-resistant oils in skunk spray, and the vanilla extract acts as a natural deodorizer.
Tenderize tough cuts of meat
You picked up flank steaks on sale for dinner. To ensure they cook up tender and juicy, not tough and chewy, marinate them in flat beer for a few hours before cooking. Acids in the brew will break down tough muscle fibers.
Soften callused tootsies
For silky-smooth feet, fill a basin with cold beer and soak callused areas for 10 minutes. Enzymes in the beer will soften the thick patches. Bonus: The alcohol in the brew will kill odorcausing bacteria so your feet smell fresh.
Get bathroom fixtures sparkling
The chrome showerhead in the bathroom is looking dingy, and no amount of cleaning has helped. What will: Pour flat beer into a large plastic zip-top bag and wrap it around the fixture so the showerhead is submerged in the liquid. Use a rubber band to hold the bag in place. Let sit overnight, then wipe with a damp cloth. Beer’s acids will cut through grime without leaving spots.
Ensure a good night’s sleep
If you struggle to drift off night after night, try this: Toss your pillowcases in the washing machine, add 3 to 5 Tbs. of flat beer to the cycle and wash as usual. The hops in beer have natural sedative properties, and the light aroma they leave behind can help lull you to sleep. (For more powerful results, use India pale ale, which contains more hops.)
Polish wood for pennies
You want to give your table a quick clean before your dinner party, but you’re all out of furniture polish. To the rescue: beer! Simply soak a soft cloth in flat beer and use it to wipe the table, then buff with a clean, dry cloth. The beer’s alcohol will cut through dirt, the color will bring out the wood’s hue and its proteins will lock in moisture.
Eliminate yellow patches on grass
If your yard is starting to show yellow spots, reach for flat beer and pour just enough of the brew to wet the grass on discolored areas. Natural acids in beer will kill the fungus that causes the spots while beer’s fermented sugars will feed the grass to stimulate growth.