10 Who-Knew Uses for What Beer Can Do

1. Make Jewelry Sparkle
Using a light ale and a clean towel, polish gold jewelry to remove dirt. The beer’s natural acids help bring back the shine, says Timothy Dahl, editor of home improvement and green site Charles & Hudson. Try this on tarnished copper pots, too.

2. Give Your Hair Shine
Put life back into flat hair with flat beer. Mix 1 cup lager with 1 egg yolk and massage into strands. Leave on for a few minutes and wash with shampoo, says skin-care therapist Julia March, who grew up using beer as a hair rinse in eastern Europe.

3. Loosen Rusty Bolts and Screws
Stop fighting with stuck-in-place screws! Pour a few gulps of beer on the frozen hardware, wait a few seconds, then give it a turn. The carbonation helps break down the rust.

4. Banish Brown Spots on the Lawn
Your grass likes to kick back with a cold beer on a hot summer day, too. Just pour a small amount (less than half a cup) on the problem areas. The fermented sugars kill any fungus and feed the grass, allowing it to come back healthy and green, says Jess Lebow, author of The Beer Devotional.

5. Conquer Cast-Iron Cleanup
Cooking food in cast iron is easy and delicious, but scrubbing those heavy pots and pans afterward is a total chore. Make cleanup a breeze by pouring a little beer into the still warm pan. The bubbly liquid keeps the mess from sticking and can even season the pan, enhancing the flavor of food cooked in it.

6. Turn Out Fluffier Pancakes and Waffles
If you like your flapjacks on the puffy side, sub your favorite lager for the liquid called for in the recipe. You?ll be amazed at how light and airy they turn out — and how the flavor gets kicked up a notch! Also try using beer when making matzo balls or baking bread.

7. Cook Juicy Chicken
Prop a whole chicken over a half-full can of beer (the can goes in the cavity) and season with salt, pepper and spices. Then place it vertically on a hot grill or a pan in the oven — the beer evaporates into the bird as it cooks, creating a supermoist chicken. Delish!

8. Prevent Garden Pests
Fill small jars with beer and place them in the garden. Insects are attracted to the sugars, and when they slip in for a sip, they aren’t able to crawl or fly out. This is a great way to keep wasps and bees away from parties, too: Place a bowl of beer several feet away from the main area, and bugs will buzz away from guests.

9. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Wash your pillowcase in water spiked with a little beer. Hops are sometimes used as an herbal remedy for insomnia. They have the chemical compound dimethylvinyl carbinol, which has a calming and slightly sedative effect, Lebow says. Bonus: Hoppy brews like IPAs leave a light nutty scent on fabric.

10. Soothe Your Soles
The enzymes in beer soften callused feet. Try this at-home soak from March: Make a mixture of room-temp beer and warm peppermint tea (about half and half); dunk your toes for 20 minutes. Tired feet will feel frisky again!

Post courtesy of Rachael Ray, content written by Jennifer Conrad, and photograph by Burcu Avsar.

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