Beer. We Aussies drink a lot of the stuff. Just think of all the beer you drank this year! But how much of that beer we drank was the warm, flat dregs left in the bottom of the bottle? Let’s admit it: the end of your beer is never as good as that first, chilled sip.
But don’t go throwing that last sip of beer away. And don’t force yourself to chug it down, either. We’ve got 9 ways you can put it to good use in your home, from spa treatments to cleaning to medicine. Yes, you read that right…
1. Bathe in beer
Well, just your hair anyway. Pour a cup of beer (flat or fizzy) all over your hair and leave it for five minutes. Then rinse it thoroughly with cool water. The vitamin B and natural sugars in beer add softness and volume to your hair. Get ready for some compliments!
2. Say goodbye to red wine stains
The old saying, “beer after wine and you’ll feel fine” is definitely true here. If you’ve had a bit of an accident involving a glass of red, use beer to help get the stain out.
Using a sponge, just add a very light dab of beer to pull that dark stain out Then wash and dry to get rid of the liquid and smell. If the stain is especially stubborn, repeat this process using just a small amount of beer each time, until you’ve conquered it. Who said two wrongs don’t make a right?
3. Cure your cold
Beer makes everything better. Moderate amounts of beer can actually act as a medicine to combat sore throats, insomnia, an upset stomach, headaches and general aches and pains. Though we stress the word ‘moderate’. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll have to add a hangover to your list of ailments.
4. Marinate meat
Beer+chicken=delicious. Beer tenderizes meat perfectly, and isn’t as acidic as marinades with a wine or vinegar base.
Pierce a few holes in your chicken and add any herbs or spices you fancy (thyme and cayenne pepper work especially well). Sit the chicken in a bowl – or even better, in a resealable freezer bag – and pour over your beer. Leave it to soak up the tasty flavours for at least two hours, or even overnight. Then put it in the oven at about 180 degrees celsius and forget about it for 90 minutes. Dinner is served.
5. Polish your pots (and your taps)
Beer is perfect for bringing shine back to your pots and pans. Historically, the final dregs of beer from very-nearly-empty kegs were used to polish the copper vats in breweries. The slight acidity in beer means it shines metal without staining it.
You can also use beer on your taps and even the shower head. Fill a plastic bag (make sure it’s watertight!) with beer and tie it around taps and your shower head. After a couple of hours, they’ll shine like new. This trick even works for cleaning silver jewelry, too!
6. Banish the bugs
Fruit flies are the enemy of all us fresh fruit and veg lovers. Lay traps for these pests using beer as bait, and keep them away from your organic produce. There are various different traps you can lay.
7. Give yourself a pampering pedicure
Beer can do wonders for your skin, and even relieves aches and pains in your feet. The yeast in beer acts as a great skin softener, so is perfect for getting rid of rough heels. This can also work for your hands, too. But be sure to take a long shower afterwards – unless you want to end up with sticky feet that smell like a brewery.
8. Revive your woodwork
Got a few half-empty brews leftover from the party last night? Go round your home using a microfibre cloth dampened with flat beer, and gently rub any wooden surface that needs its colour revived. Though it may sound odd, it should quickly turn back time for these surfaces. They’ll be left as good as new afterwards.
9. Give thirsty plants a drink
Going on vacation? Don’t let your plants go thirsty. You can put that stack of half-empty beer bottles to good use while you’re gone.
Dilute the remaining flat beer in the bottle with water and seal it with a cork – one from an old wine bottle will do. Carefully make a very small hole in the cork using a pin or needle. Hang this bottle upside down over your potted plant (some string tied to a curtain pole is an ideal solution). This mixture will both feed and water your green friends while you’re gone. Now you can head off on vacation safe in the knowledge that your plants will be taken care of.
Do you have any other uses for beer (besides the obvious, fun one) that we haven’t listed? Let us know in the comments!