Introduction: 10 Unusual Uses for Sugar

Picture of 10 Unusual Uses for Sugar

Sugar is the most versatile thing we all have in our kitchen. Oddly enough we only use it in a few applications. Sweetening coffee, adding some sweetness to that delicious pudding you made. Sugar does however have a lot of different uses of which we would never think.

The internet is full of handy tips and tricks but often lacks the proper instructions or guidelines. I'm listing my favourite 10 alternate uses with correct instructions!

I'll be entering this Intractable into the "Sugar" contest. If you liked reading it, please drop me a vote!

Step 1: Make Flowers Last Longer

Picture of Make Flowers Last Longer

This is probably the most commonly known alternate use for sugar out there. Keeping flowers in a vase of water provides the flowers with to little nutritions to sustain for a long period of time. Adding the vinegar prevents the bacteria to grow.


- 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar

- 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar

- Fresh flowers

How to:

- Simple start by cutting the stem of your fresh flowers at a 45° angle. This will provide more pores in the stem to absorb water and therefore extend their life even longer.

- Fill a vase with water.

- Add 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar to a small bowl.

- Add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar to the small bowl.

- Mix until dissolved.

- Add to the flower vase.


Enjoy your flowers for a few days/weeks longer!

Step 2: Sugar Scrub

Picture of Sugar Scrub

Something that's pretty heavily priced at the stores but can be made in under 5 minutes.


- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

- 1/2 cup of olive / amandel or coconut oil

- overripe fruit or essential oils (optional)

How to:

- Add the sugar and the oil together.

- mix (don't mix it too long, we don't want the sugar to dissolve in the oil!).

- use a liberate amount on your skin in the shower.

- simply rinse off.

You can add over ripe fruit which you would normally throw away

- Add the sugar and the old together

- mix (don't mix it too long, we don't want the sugar to dissolve in the oil!)

- squish over ripe fruit like bananas or kiwi's (or add some essential oils)

- add to the sugar mix and mix some more

- use a liberate amount on your skin in the shower.

- simply rinse off


Skin smooth as silk!

Note: If you want to make a whole batch, keep it in an airtight container. Only add the fruit to a part that you wanne use at instantly.

Step 3: Removing Grass Stains

Picture of Removing Grass Stains

Great for parents or kiddults.


- 1 cup of granulated sugar

- 1/2 cup of warm water

- Grass stained piece of clothing or fabric

How To:

- Mix the water with the sugar.

- Apply the paste onto the piece of clothing.

- Let it soak in overnight.

- Throw it in the washing machine as usual.

Result :

You'll be amazed on how good this actually works. It does do quite a good job on shoes ass well, just apply it to the green part liberally and scrub it off a day later.

Step 4: Sooth Burned Tongue

Picture of Sooth Burned Tongue

Burned your tongue? Either from the hot delicious soup or from that spicy curry you made? We've all been there.


- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

- A human being who was too confident with the spicy curry.

How To:

- Put the sugar in your mouth.

- Suck on it and work it around in your mouth until it dissolves.

Result :

Continue your happy pain free life!

Note: It's good to keep a small coffee-sugar sachet in your bag or purse. It'll come in handy once in a while!

Step 5: Greasy Hand Soap

Picture of Greasy Hand Soap


- 1 spoon of granulated sugar

- 1 spoon of olive oil (any kind of kitchen-oil works)

How To:

- Mix the oil and sugar in your hands.

- work the mix around in your hands.

- scrub the mix inside your hands.

Result :

Clean hands without any chemicals!

Step 6: Remove Strong Odours

Picture of Remove Strong Odours

Fish is tasty, the odour that sticks to your hands for hours isn't.

- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

- handsoap

How To:

- pour the sugar into your hands.

- wash your hands with regular hand soap.

Result :

crispy fresh, odour-free hands!

Step 7: Treat a Wound

Picture of Treat a Wound

There've been a quite a few studies which show that sugar speeds up the healing process and reduces pain experienced.


- A sprinkle of granulated sugar

- A small wound, cut, bedsore or ulcer

How To:

- Clean the wound accordingly.

- Sprinkle some sugar on and around the wound. (don't over-do it).

- Wrap the wound.

Result :

A wound that heals up much faster!

Note: Amputee's often use this to help with nerve pains!

Step 8: Keep Bread, Cookies or Cake Fresh!

Picture of Keep Bread, Cookies or Cake Fresh!

Nothing's worse than eating a stale cookie or dried out bread.


- A few sugar cubes

- Fresh bread, cookie or cake

- An airtight box

How To:

- Place the fresh cookies in the airtight box.

- Add a few sugar cubes.

- Close the box (after you've eaten a cookie because you just accomplished something!).

Result :

Your cookies/bread/cake will stay fresh for days!

Note: You can also do this with cheese to prevent it to mold!

Step 9: Instant Fire Booster!

Picture of Instant Fire Booster!

Lighting a fire with damp wood or with coals that won't take a light is not fun! Easy solution to the rescue. Sugar acts as a booster and nutrition to feed the fire, it will keep it burning long enough for the wood/coals to take over!


- A handful of granulated sugar

- A fire that won't light

- A safe place to light a fire

How To:

- Prepare the fire by stacking the wood/coals.

- Throw half a hand of granulated sugar on the wood/coals.

- Try to light it again.

Result :

A cozy warm fire!

Note: I'm using a candle where the wick is wet and not working propperly!

Step 10: Sugar Insect Treatments!

Picture of Sugar Insect Treatments!

Insects can be bold and beautiful. Hearing them buzzing around the garden is nice, until they come up and sting you in the arm. Let's treat those and prevent it from happening again!

Treating insect sting / Bug bites!


- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

- 1/2 cup of cold water

- Unfortunate human being

How To:

- Mix the water with the sugar.

- Apply the paste onto the sting or bite.

- Rinse with cold water after half an hour.

Result :

The mixture will receive the pain and prevent you from scratching which would cause more itching.

Preventing insects/bugs to come around you

- 1 cup of granulated sugar

- 1 cup of warm water

- Jar or lid or any sort of container

How To:

- Mix the water with the sugar.

- Boil the mixture.

- Allow the mixture to cook in until it's sirupy (let it drip of your fork, if it makes long strands, it's ready!)

- put the mixture into different jars/containers and let it cool.

- Place te containers in different spots, a few feet away from where you normally sit outside.

Result :

The insects will be attracted to the sirup and get stuck in it. Their faith is in your hands at that point.

Note: try adding some baking soda to the mix, it will kill ants and cockroaches.


mtlaw55 (author)2016-11-08

Excellent article but please proofread your article for spelling errors. These errors detract from the article and cause the writer to look sloppy. Otherwise, very informative. Thanks.

canoeist144 (author)mtlaw552016-11-08

Relax a know what she was telling us and that is the important thing.

mtlaw55 (author)canoeist1442016-11-09

Thanks for your concern. I am very relaxed. I work as a copywriter and life/success coach and recognize the importance of details in all areas of life. You will notice I thanked and complimented the writer for the article. Thanks again for your comments.

WannaDuino (author)2016-11-08

Grappig hoor,

Brodapoda (author)2016-11-08

Wounds, shaving cuts, Cayene pepper works wonders. Bleeding stops within 20-60 seconds. Slight sting but not unpleasant. Used this for years, absolute magic.

Abeytj (author)2015-11-21

Sure cure for hickups: Keep a teaspoonful of granulated sugar in your mouth slowly dissolve it and drink, even the worst hickups gone in a few seconds

YourMagesty (author)Abeytj2016-11-07

My mom, who raised her 7 sibs (and herself) following their mother's early death, when mom was in 11th grade, and who raised 5 of her own kids, as well as 2 in-house grandchildren, used to run water on a bottle nipple, let it drip off, dunk the tip in the sugar bowl..lightly, then added water to the bottle and capped it when a baby got the hic-cups. The baby would suck the sugar as well as the bottle of plain water, and more hics! (Can't beat experience like that)!

(I miss her). : (

Leners (author)Abeytj2015-11-26

I'll keep this in mind, thank you!

Ethan1023 (author)2016-11-07

"Note: You can also do this with cheese to prevent it to mold!"

*but mold is good for cheese!*


Karen LoBach (author)2016-11-07

I heard that putting Sugar cubes in with your cheese helps keep it from getting moldy so fast.

SHOE0007 (author)2016-11-07

Really interesting Instructable. Sugar is also key for microbiology, etc.

GedmundB (author)2016-11-07

This was very useful information. Thanks, I intend to try most of them.

LarryMouse (author)2015-12-11

If you get two sugar cubes and rub them against each other very fast, they will glow brightly for a short period of time. Cool trick to do in the dark!

Leners (author)2015-12-08

Thanks you all for voting!

Cat00x (author)2015-11-16

Wow. Thanks so much for this. I found a little typo: under Sugar Scrub you say,

"- Add the sugar and the old together"

I assume you mean sugar and oil, right?

Leners (author)Cat00x2015-11-26

Those typo's always get me, thanks for noticing and letting me know!

Arsehole1 (author)2015-11-15

Some good tips here.

Leners (author)Arsehole12015-11-15

thanks you!

wilki242 (author)Leners2015-11-15

Hi There

Years ago I remember an old dear living close by who used to soak lace doilies in suger solution then drape them over an upturned flowerpot or bowl and allow to dry then they could be removed from the support stiff and taking on the shape of the pot.

she would then fill with dried flowers as a table centrepiece.

In the 50s it was not uncommon for girls to put their hair up using a spray of sugar water as a substitute hair lacquer.

Girls also used cocao powder in suger water on their legs to give the appearance of nylon stockins often suplimented by an eyepencil line down the back of their led to give the appearance of a seam

kimwhite (author)wilki2422015-11-17

Our nana did the same thing with her doilies, and we would sneak and suck on them because they were sweet (we didn't get much candy)

Also, swallowing a teaspoon of sugar gets rid of my hiccups

Leners (author)wilki2422015-11-15

That's amazing! I can't imagine how it would be to walk around with sticky sugar nylons. Maybe because i'm a man?

Thank you for your input!

gcai_fwb (author)wilki2422015-11-15

seamed nylons - how very retro!

bambuino (author)2015-11-16

Took a dirty bayonet in the thigh on a lurp. One of the montagnard fellas wrapped my leg with sugar. Later at college learned some sort of osmotic gradient is set up that draws off bacteria from wound site. More a French thing I suppose, dating back to Napoleon.

steve.fenster.5 (author)bambuino2015-11-17

Works really well. We use is sometimes on large open wounds.

JamesL32 (author)2015-11-15

Do the experiment: One loaf, alone, in an air tight container (Eliminate the oxygen), one with a sugar cube(in an airtight container). Which lasts longer?

Cheese: When storing it, Wrap tightly in plastic, eliminate the oxygen, when cutting it, DO NOT handle it with your bare hands (keep the plastic around it as much as possible) or breath directly on it , thus preventing mold spores and viruses from contaminating the cheese unnecessarily. That will help keep your cheese palatable longer. Then too, what is Bleu Cheese or Winsleydale but purposely spoilt cheese?

Leners (author)JamesL322015-11-15

Perhaps using both methods would even further improve longer lasting bread,cake.. The sugar cubes mostly serve the purpose to absorb all moisture in the air around. Therefore keeping it fresh for longer!

JamesL32 (author)Leners2015-11-16

It is the O2 that spoils food, not necessarily moisture. My Gmom put apple slices in the bread bag to keep moisture in it!

JamesL32 (author)2015-11-15

A better fire starter: Light a bag of Fritos. They burn like a candle. Did you know "Fritos " is Spanish for "Fire Starter"?

skylane (author)JamesL322015-11-15

Frito bags put out toxic fumes when burned.

Frito is spanish for fried.

Iniciador de fuego is spanish for fire starter

JamesL32 (author)skylane2015-11-16

I'm a Scout leader and yeah, the bag would be toxic, but the Fritos , boy they burn good. Jo habla espaniol humoroso.....

Gadget93 (author)2015-11-15

All of these are new to me. Thankyou. One question, you said sugar and vinegar mixed is good for flowers. Is it good for plants and small indoor trees also?

kmartin45 (author)Gadget932015-11-15

Nooo! Don't do it to them! The vinegar is much too acidic for most living plants. Once you cut something (like a flower), it loses its natural source of carbohydrates; you're just replacing them in the form of sugar. Have never been certain about the acid part (vinegar, lemon juice, citric acid) but suspect it slows decomposition (acts as a preservative).

On the money. It's only for cut flowers and foliage. May help with your holiday tree, though commercial preparations for that are cheap. Living plants will shrivel withapplicationof too much acifdity or alkalinity.

Gadget93 (author)kmartin452015-11-16


ac-dc (author)Gadget932015-11-15

Not really. Live plants require the soil to be within a certain pH range and any acid including vinegar reduces the pH. It IS possible to apply vinegar to intentionally lower the pH, and make some minerals more available as the acid reaction turns them into a water soluble mineral salt (where otherwise it takes a great deal of time and bacterial action (or acid rain) to reduce the pH for mineral uptake.

In other words you don't really want your live plants' soil sterile, free of bacteria but at the same time you want the right types of aerobic bacteria in balance, as well as keeping fungal growth minimized, which is why overwatering onto having perpetually soggy soil is bad.

Frankly I would just avoid using vinegar at all in (cut/dead) plant water. The plant is already dying so preventing bacteria isn't going to make that much difference, although if the vase is transparent it will keep the water cleaner looking but that also goes towards keeping fungus at bay which will more readily cloud the water than bacteria will, but again this is only for cut/dying plants, not live ones.

Gadget93 (author)ac-dc2015-11-16

That is so very informative. Thankyou for the information and for stoping me from almost making a mistake.

ron342 (author)ac-dc2015-11-16

Thanks for the plant chemistry lesson, I was ready to try the sugar and|or vinegar to cuttings I'm trying to get to root. I take it that vinegar would not help but sugar might?

Leners (author)ac-dc2015-11-15

I didn't know vinegar had such a great impact on things like this! Thanks for contributing!

Leners (author)Gadget932015-11-15

i'm not sure what vinegar would do to roots!

skylane (author)Leners2015-11-15

Vinegar is bad for roots. That's why they make horticultural vinegar,... to kill weeds.

John T MacF Mood (author)2015-11-16

Sugar has been known as a wound healer (using osmotic pressure & a natural antibiotic effect) since the Napoleonic wars. Glad to see you included it. It has saved lives, and maybe a few limbs for soldiers over the centuries. It's also included in the most common IV solution given to patients in need of volume replacement (hypovolemia can kill., it is a lowered volume of blood in the circulatory system). "D5W" Dextrose with 5 parts water is given until blood can be infused.

A great instructable...

As well, magicians have used powdered sugar as a means of creating a large flash and lots of smoke for a long time. NOT recommended for the feint of heart. A sugar dust explosion can result. Check Wikipedia for the Dixie Crystals disaster... That destroyed most of the sugar plant when it happened in Savannah, GA. The culprit was sugar dust and static electricity. They've implemented dust filtering and humidification as a mans of avoiding future catatrophic events.

gingerin (author)2015-11-16

you've definitely got my vote. thanks for the tips

dokle_vise (author)2015-11-16

I had cut on inside of my lip, and because it was moist (from my mouth) I couldn't stop bleeding for couple of days. I put some sugar on it, kept it dry for few minutes, and I had sweet tasty blood crust :)

ButchD (author)2015-11-15

dipilatory...Sugar waxing. Heat 1 cup sugar, 2 tbs lemon juice, stir constantly until golden brown, cool on non-stick surface. Warm to use.

Leners (author)ButchD2015-11-15

Very cool!

SabinaCowan (author)2015-11-15


Leners (author)SabinaCowan2015-11-15

Hello there! Looks like your comments got splitter, your other comment is above! ;-)

bamboobaby (author)2015-11-13

sweet! thanks for posting all these uses for sugar,

Leners (author)bamboobaby2015-11-15

Thank you!

Larry Pearson sr (author)2015-11-15

You should win. Thanks for the great info.

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