Life Hacks

10 Household Uses for Plain Yogurt That Will Make Life So Much Easier

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Rather than letting a tub of yogurt sit in your fridge, use it for more than just enjoying with granola. Here are 10 household uses for plain yogurt that will make everything from shining dull jewelry to unclogging a drain much easier to do!

1. Brighten jewelry stones naturally.

Your turquoise necklace has lost its luster, but you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to clean it. To the rescue: plain yogurt. To do: Gently rub one tablespoon yogurt onto the stones, then wipe clean with a soft cloth. The stones will absorb the yogurt’s milk proteins, resulting in a radiant shine. Bonus: Yogurt is also safe on soft stones like ivory and tortoiseshell.

2. Reveal radiant skin for pennies.

Winter-weary skin looking a little dull? No need for a pricey face mask. Simply combine two tablespoons of plain yogurt with three teaspoons of lemon juice. Apply to a clean face and let sit for five minutes before rinsing. Lactic acid in yogurt dissolves dulling, dead layers of ashy skin while its fats deeply hydrate the complexion. Lemon juice’s vitamin C repairs damaged cells. Gorgeous!

3. Soothe a painful canker sore.

Next time you find yourself dealing with the sting of a pesky canker sore, reach for some plain yogurt. Swish a spoonful of it in your mouth for five seconds before swallowing. Yogurt’s cool creaminess will provide instant relief, while the probiotics it contains will quickly work to kill the bacteria causing the lesion.

4. Ease a dog’s tummy troubles.

Eek! Your furry pal has been noticeably gassy lately, creating a stink around the house. What can help: yogurt! Simply mix the plain variety into his food until symptoms subside. (Some vets recommend two tablespoons a day for larger dogs and one tablespoons a day for pups under 25 pounds.) Probiotic bacteria in yogurt helps counteract gasforming bacteria in the gut, so Fido will feel better fast, and you can breathe easy.

5. Tame hair flyaways.

This time of year, dry air often causes annoying flyaways. To tame the static that causes them, try a DIY hair mask. Whisk four tablespoons of yogurt and one egg, then work into hair and rinse after five minutes. The yogurt’s alpha hydroxy acid will smooth the hair cuticle to lock in moisture from the egg.

6. Unclog a drain naturally.

If your sink is slow to drain, try this plumber-approved fix: Pour 1 cup of plain yogurt down the drain and let sit overnight. Then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. Yogurt’s enzymes will dissolve the clog-causing sludge so the water can rinse it away.

7. Banish stubborn foot fungus.

Ouch! The thick socks and boots you’ve been wearing to keep your tootsies warm have caused itchy foot fungus. The solution: Apply a thin layer of yogurt to affected areas, let dry and rinse with warm water before patting dry. Repeat twice daily as needed. Yogurt’s active bacteria will fight off the infection.

8. Guarantee tender steak.

You scored a great deal on London broil at the supermarket, but last time you cooked this cut, it ended up tough and chewy. To ensure a delicious meal, simply submerge the meat in a bowl of plain yogurt and let sit for six hours in the refrigerator. Then shake off excess yogurt and season the meat before cooking as usual. Many marinades are unable to penetrate more deeply than the meat’s surface, but the enzymes in yogurt tenderize to the center. Yum!

9. Revive copper cookware fast.

While putting away your cookware, you notice that your copper pot is looking a bit tarnished. The easy fix: Rub one tablespoon of plain yogurt onto the discolored areas and let sit for five minutes. Then rinse with cool water and buff the pot dry with a soft cloth. Acids in the yogurt will help break down the dark copper oxide that’s causing the stain, leaving the pot in tip-top shape.

10. Prolong the life of houseplants.

Yikes! One of your favorite indoor plants seems to have powdery white mildew on it. To the rescue: yogurt! Simply mix one tablespoon of the plain variety with one cup of water, then pour into a spray bottle and spritz generously on the plant. Microbes in the yogurt will destroy the mildew so your plant will soon be back to its healthy self. It’s clear that the household uses for plain yogurt are endless!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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