Alternative Uses for Sugar

Sugar exfoliant

In recent years, a lot of negative press has been heaped upon sugar. It’s not all bad news. In fact, there are some surprising alternative uses for sugar. It’s easy to see it as just a sweetener for our food and drinks, but sugar is so much more.

Are there different types of sugar?

When you think of sugar, it’s most likely the sort that is refined simply because this is the type that is most commonly sold. This sugar consists of small white grains and is used in baking or to sweeten tea and coffee. However, there are so many different varieties of sugar. For instance, there’s:

  • Table sugar: this is the most common and its grains are small or medium sized.
  • Extra fine sugar: unknown in many countries – Spain, for example – but there are various English-language recipes for sweets and puddings that refer to it as an ingredient. Its grain, as the name suggests, is extremely fine and small.
  • Sugar glass: it’s just common table sugar that has been ground to a fine dust. Like icing sugar, it can be sprinkled on cakes or sweets because it becomes invisible.

Rock sugar

To pharmacists, it was indispensable and they always had a ready supply. Historically, these professionals used to work from home and, in a pinch, could use some of the culinary supply if they needed a bit of sweetener for a remedy.

Surprising alternative uses for sugar

Baby calmer

When a child has problems sleeping or is in pain – perhaps due to vaccinations during the first few months of life –  you can prepare a safe solution of one part sugar to four parts water and administer it before the immunisations.

Injury treatment

Sugar is effective in killing the bacteria that causes pain in injuries, cuts or ulcers. Just rub a pinch on the wound and let sit.

Burnt tongue soother

We’ve all done it. We’ve all got a bit too eager about that first sip of morning coffee. If you burn your tongue when rushing to drink tea, coffee or soup, pop a sugar cube or a teaspoon of sugar into your mouth and let it dissolve slowly on your tongue.

Sugar topped cupcakes

Garden beautifier

To two tablespoons of vinegar and a tablespoon of water, add three tablespoons of sugar. Spray it lightly in the dirt around the plants. The sugar nourishes the stems and the vinegar prevents bacteria from taking over.

Coffee pot cleaner

Fill the coffee ground holder with sugar and let it stand for 3 minutes – just as if you were making coffee. Rinse clean with plenty of water.

Greasy stain eradicator

Devastated by grease or oil stains on your favourite trousers, skirt, duvet cover or curtains? Don’t fret. Make a simple paste of sugar and water. Apply directly to the stubborn stain and let it rest for at about an hour. Wash as usual and…voila! It’s vanished and you’re all smiles again.

Cookie keeper

Put your freshly baked biscuits, cakes or cookies in a sealed container with a few sugar cubes. Miraculously, this little trick makes them last longer by staving off the stale. You can even use this method to keep grated cheese soft and fresh.

Well, what do you reckon? Are you surprised that there are so many alternative uses for sugar?

Images courtesy of Uwe Hermann, David Eccles, Betsy Weber, Jody Mcintyre, goodmami, Javcon 117, Joel Kramer.