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Life Hacks

13 Brilliant Uses for Honey to Save You Time and Money Around the House

Discover the many ways this liquid gold can help you out!

Honey, a sweet golden liquid food produced by bees, has been long hailed for its health benefits since its discovery. But the sticky, yet delicious substance can be used for even more than you might realize! From elevating your beauty routine to soothing a dog’s stomach, there are many reasons to keep a jar on hand. Below you’ll find 13 uses for honey that will give your life and home a boost!

1. Uses for honey: Freshen breath in a pinch

Eek! While getting ready in the morning, you discover you’re all out of mouthwash. The natural alternative: Mix 1 Tbs. of honey with 1 cup of warm water, then gargle for 30 seconds. Spit and rinse your mouth with water. Honey contains antiseptic agents that eliminate the plaque-causing bacteria that can cause unpleasant breath.

Related: Dentists Say *This* GI Bother Is a Sneaky Cause of Bad Breath — Plus How To Fix It

2. Eliminate an ant problem

Uses for honey: Eliminating an ant problem

No matter what you do, it seems like an army of ants finds its way into your home. A cost effective way to get rid of them: Mix 1 Tbs. of honey and 2 tsp. of borax; place onto small cardboard pieces and set in areas where you’ve seen the bugs. (Note: Keep away from children and pets.) Ants will be attracted to the honey and carry it — along with the borax, which is toxic to them — back to their nests. (Click through for more ways to get rid of ants).

3. Uses for honey: Heal a scrape naturally

If you can’t seem to find your antibiotic ointment the next time you get a minor scrape, reach for honey! Simply wash and dry the area, apply a thin coat of honey and cover with a bandage. Propolis, an antibacterial compound found in honey, kills germs that could contribute to an infection. Plus, the honey retains water molecules to ensure skin stays moist and free of scarring.

Related: Natural At-Home Scar Remedies: Top Dermatologists Reveal the Safest Ones

4. Tame an overly spicy salsa

Everyone going to your sister’s party is looking forward to your homemade salsa, but when you give it a taste test, you discover it’s hotter than you wanted. To cut down on the heat, just stir a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lime juice into the salsa. The honey’s sugar, combined with the lime’s citric acid, will help cut down on the heat from the peppers. Your salsa will be a hit!

5. Uses for honey: Reveal a radiant complexion

Uses for honey: reveal a radiant complexion
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A spa-inspired way to pamper your skin: Combine 2 Tbs. of honey and 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and spread over your clean face; rinse off after 15 minutes. “Thanks to its robust antimicrobial and antioxidative properties, honey is our secret weapon to naturally cleanse the skin while providing a vital boost of hydration,” shares Stacey Tapping, CEO and owner at Beauty Sculpting Room. “This royal nectar revives tired skin cells, slows down wrinkle formation and enhances overall skin radiance — a perfect solution for those seeking a youthful glow without introducing harsh chemicals.”

Related: 8 Best Body Scrubs for Smooth + Soft Skin by the Time You Step Out of the Shower

6. Lift dark stains from clothing

Right after whipping up your raspberry tart, you discover you accidentally got some berry juice on your shirt. To avoid a stain from setting, change into a new shirt and rinse the stained area of the old one with warm water. Then cover with a layer of honey and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the shirt again and launder as usual. Honey works like an oxidizer to break down even dark, bright food stains, ensuring they can come out easily in the wash.

7. Uses for honey: Take the itch out of bug bites

You feel quite rejuvenated after taking a weekend hike. The bad news? You wake up the next morning covered in itchy bug bites. What can help: Rub a small amount of honey onto each bite. Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe irritated skin so you won’t want to scratch.  To learn more, watch the TikTok from @coxshoneyqueen below:

8. Treat a dog’s tummy troubles

Uses for honey: Treat a dog's tummy troubles
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Fido enjoyed a few too many treats again and now appears to be dealing with yet another stomachache. The simple way to make him feel better again: Just grab a small spoonful of honey and allow him to lick it all off. It contains enzymes that work to aid digestion, so his tummy trouble will be a thing of the past in no time. (Click through for more foods good for a dog’s upset stomach).

9. Uses for honey: Remove unwanted hair naturally

Skip chemical-laden wax products to nix pesky hairs that pop up. Instead, mix ¼ cup of honey, 1 cup of sugar and the juice of half a lemon in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Let cool to room temperature, then use a clean Popsicle stick to spread onto hair. Once it hardens, use your fingers to pull the formula off in the opposite direction of hair growth. The mix will bind to the hair, not the skin, for easy removal.

10. Ensure fresh-cut flowers last

Uses for honey: Ensure cut flowers last

Few things brighten your day quite like a stunning arrangement made from blooms in your garden. To help the flowers last as long as possible: Add 1 Tbs. each of honey and vinegar to the vase every time you change the water. Sugar in the honey provides nourishment, while acid in the vinegar kills off wilt-causing bacteria. Your flowers will thrive for days!

11. Uses for honey: Feel more alert in a blink

The next time you need to power through your to-do’s, but are feeling a bit sluggish, reach for some honey. “The carbohydrates in honey provide a quick source of energy, making it a popular choice for athletes and those in need of a quick energy boost,” says Samael A. Tejada, functional medicine expert and president/founder at Liquivida. “Just enjoy a tablespoon of it for a fast pick-me-up!”

12. Revitalize dry, damaged cuticles

Give your nails a little TLC with a DIY honey treatment. To do: In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp. of honey, 1 tsp. of aloe vera juice and 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Stir well, then massage onto your cuticles and under your fingernails. Leave in place for 4 to 5 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. The honey helps soften rough skin and cuticles, the aloe vera reduces inflammation and the olive oil moisturizes.

Related: Manuka Honey Is the Natural Cure for Inflamed, Dull and Wrinkly Skin — Here’s How to Use It

13. Uses for honey: Preserve fresh fruit

Uses for honey: preserve fresh fruit

To enjoy the flavor of raspberries, peaches and plums for months, try preserving them with honey; its earthy flavor pairs well with summer fruit. An easy recipe: Mix 3 pounds of peeled, chopped fruit, 1 cup of honey and the juice of a lemon in a saucepan; cook 30 minutes, stirring. Ladle into sterilized glass jars and set in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Store in the pantry or freeze for up to 6 months. (Need to know low glycemic fruits? Find out which are best!)

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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