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10 Brilliant Uses for Beer Other Than Drinking It

You can get way more out of your favorite beer than a good buzz. See all the ways it can help with cleaning, your beauty routine. and more.

Nix stubborn rust from Buddy’s tag.

While clipping on your dog’s new collar, you notice his current dog tag is starting to rust. Instead of replacing it, save it with the help of beer. Simply soak a washcloth in the brew and wrap it around the tag. Leave in place for an hour, then rinse with water. Beer’s carbonic acid will dissolve the unsightly rust in no time, so Buddy’s tag will be as good as new.

Add oomph to flat, dull locks.

Give hair a voluminous boost with beer. To do: Combine 3 Tbs. of beer and 1/2 cup of water. Then after washing hair as usual, rub into hair and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. (Don’t worry — rinsing will remove the smell!) The beer’s B vitamins will heal damaged cuticles and add body.

Lift tea stains from carpeting in a flash.

Oops! You accidentally stumbled while carrying your glass of iced tea, and now there’s a noticeable splash on your carpet. to remove the stain, pour just enough beer to wet the area, then blot with a soft cloth and cool water until the spot disappears. (Be sure to spot-test in a small area first.) Beer’s carbonic acid loosens tea’s tannins so they can be lifted from carpet fibers.

Soothe tired, achy feet.

After walking around your neighborhood, your tootsies are feeling tired and sore. The easy remedy: Fill a basin with enough cold beer to cover feet and soak for 10 minutes. The beer’s enzymes will soften skin and smooth calluses while the cold temperature will refresh achy feet. Plus, its alcohol content will kill odor-causing bacteria so feet smell fresh!

Easily clean bathroom fixtures.

To get a chrome faucet sparkling, pour flat beer into a large plastic zip-top bag, fit around the fixture so the faucet is submerged in the brew and use a rubber band to secure. Let sit overnight, then wipe down with a damp cloth. Acids in the beer will dissolve grime without leaving spots.

Grill up tender meat every time.

You love tossing skirt steak onto the grill for a flavorful meal, but the cuts can be a bit chewy. What can help: Marinate the meat in beer for a few hours before cooking. The brew’s acids will break down tough muscle fibers, ensuring a tender entrée.

Reveal glowing skin for pennies.

No need to splurge on pricey beauty masks to give your skin a healthy glow. Instead, try this: Mix 1/2 cup of flat beer, 2 tsp. of lime juice, and 1 egg white and apply to your face. Leave in place for 10 minutes before rinsing. The hops, B vitamins, and yeast in the beer will dissolve dead skin cells, the citric acid in the lime will exfoliate, and the egg white will hydrate.

Attract butterflies to your yard.

Nothing brightens a day quite like the sight of beautiful butterflies. To welcome them into your yard, mix a small amount of flat beer with some mashed, overripe banana and spread on a rock or tree stump near your garden. The insects will be attracted to the scent of the beer and will be fluttering about your yard in no time to enjoy the delicious taste of both the fruit and beer you have offered.

Preserve cast iron cookware.

Scrubbing away at your cast iron pan is not only tedious, too much scraping can leave scratches. A better way: Pour in enough fresh beer to cover the bottom of the pan while it’s still warm. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before dumping and rinsing. The carbonation will lift any stuck-on food particles, while the beer’s nuttiness will enhance the flavor of future dishes.

Buff up wooden patio furniture.

On a sunny day of lounging on your deck, you notice that your wooden patio furniture is in need of some sprucing up, but you’re all out of furniture polish. To the rescue: beer! Simply wipe down the furniture with a soft cloth saturated in beer. Then finish by buffing with a clean, dry cloth. The foaminess from the brew will loosen dust, the malt’s color will help bring out the wood’s natural hue, and the alcohol will add shine.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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