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Make your own body scrub.
DIY sugar scrubs are all over Pinterest for good reason: Sugar acts as an exfoliator, says dermatologist Lisa Donofrio, "which then helps lotions and creams penetrate the skin and make it feel smooth." Making your own sugar scrub couldn't be easier: Just mix one part coconut oil with two parts fine sugar, she says.
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Buff your chapped lips.
That very same body scrub can be used on dry lips, too, Donofrio says. Just don't scrub quite as vigorously. (Once your lips are buffed, apply a natural lip balm.
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Go to town on tough elbows.
For extra exfoliation on rougher areas like elbows, sprinkle some sugar on half of a lemon, say Bruce Lubin and Jennifer Boudinot, hosts of the podcast www.quickanddirtytips.com/who-knew. "Stick your elbow right in there, and twist back and forth," they recommend.
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If you've been working in the kitchen, the garage, or the garden, add some sugar to your regular pump of liquid hand soap. "The abrasiveness of the sugar will cut grease," says dietitian Vicki Shanta Retelny.
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Feed your flowers.
"Plants love glucose, just like we do," Retelny says. That's why sugar is one of the main ingredients in those packets of plant food that come with a bouquet. You can make your own plant food by mixing some sugar directly into the water in your favorite vase. Add a splash of vinegar to discourage bacteria that might also like to feed on that sugar.
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Stop the burn.
You dared to reach for the extra-spicy hot sauce and now, well, you regret it. Milk will quench the scorch, right? Turns out sugar can help, too. "Putting a pinch on your tongue can alleviate the spiciness," Retelny says. In fact, one particular scale of the heat of chili peppers was originally based on how much sugar water it would take to tamp down the burn.
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Make lipstick disappear.
If your lipstick smudges linger after a cycle in the dishwasher, try another one of Lubin and Boudinot's quick tricks: Wet the glass, rub some sugar on the mark, and watch it disappear.
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"Most people think of salt when it comes to melting ice, but sugar can do the same thing," Retelny says. Salting your slippery driveway or front steps is still your safest bet, as salt is a bit more of an effective de-icer, but in a pinch, sprinkling some of the sweet stuff around can help, too. Both salt and sugar lower the freezing point of water, so the ice can melt even if it's still chilly outside.
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Sweet smells wafting from this DIY trap can attract wasps away from your limbs, Lubin and Boudinot say. Here's what to do: Cut a 2-litre bottle in half. Place some sugar in the bottom part, then saturate the sugar with water. Flip the top and place it into the bottom so it looks like a funnel. Tape the two pieces together. "Wasps will fly in, but then be unable to find the hole out," they say.
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Fuel your fire.
If you're grilling over charcoal and your flame starts to flicker, try a dash of sugar instead of lighter fluid, Lubin and Boudinot say. "Although it's not nearly as flammable as lighter fluid, you won't get that awful chemical taste in your food."
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Clean your coffee grinder.
Pour ¼ cup of sugar into your coffee grinder, then wipe it around using a cloth or your finger, Retelny says. "Dump out the sugar, give it one more wipe, and it's actually clean!" The sugar is not only abrasive enough to brush away left-behind grounds, but it'll suck up some of the lingering coffee oils, too, she says.