Did you know that milk is a much more versatile product than normally realized? We know all about the drinking and making yogurt part, but did you know you can relieve a sunburn with it? Polish shoes? Or how about a cure for the ‘morning-after’? Read on to discover these and other unusual ways to use milk.
Milk and the Outdoors:
- Sunburn: Add only enough water to powdered milk to make a thick paste. Stir in a pinch of salt and apply this mixture to the sunburn to cool and sooth the skin.
- Bug Bites: Make a mixture like above for relief from bug bites. The natural enzymes in milk stop the swelling and milk’s moisturizing qualities relief the itch.
- Poison Ivy Rash: Use ice-cold milk – The same mixture and method as for bug bites. If you’re camping and don’t have access to milk powder, wash the rash with ice-cold milk right away.
- Plant Fertilizer: Helps foliage grow larger and provides calcium and other nutrients to tomatoes and squash to prevent blossom end rot. It also prevents and/or treats powdery mildew on zucchini. Spread a tablespoon or so of milk powder around plants – just before a rain – is good. Don’t overdo. Natural fungicide.
- Hand Cleaner: There is a saying that “Real gardeners don’t wear gloves.” That is so true. I always lose mine within the first five minutes. Then, after grubbing around in the garden all day, the hands are an absolute mess. No problem. Scrubbing hands with a paste of milk and oatmeal takes care of that. This mixture not only cleans well but leaves hands feeling soft and smooth.
Milk and Personal Care:
- Milk Bath: Think Cleopatra and indulge yourself with a soothing milk bath. Add a cup or two of powdered milk to your tepid bath – your favourite essential oil can be added. Leaves your skin feeling supple and smooth.
- Calluses: Make up enough powdered milk (or you can use that sour milk you were going to throw away) to fill a foot bath. Soak your feet for 30 minutes, then rinse well in clean water, dry, then lightly rub your feet with petroleum jelly.
- Facial Mask: You can use milk as the liquid in any facial mask or make your own mask by adding some water to milk powder to make a thick paste which you apply to your face. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse off really well. Leaves skin glowing. Good for acne-prone skin.
- Remove Make-Up: The same formula and method as for the facial mask can be used to deep clean away all traces of make-up.
- Shaving Cream: Again, make a paste of water and powdered milk and use as shaving cream. This can be used to shave face or legs. Rinse off really well with lukewarm water.
- Moisturizer: Before heading into the shower: for dry or regular skin, wash face with a face-cloth dipped in cold milk. Let air-dry. Then shower.
- Hair Conditioner: After shampooing use milk instead of your regular conditioner. Leave on for a few minutes, then rinse off.
Milk and Cleaning/Repairs:
- Polish Silverware: Use sour milk for this – if you haven’t any, give milk a shot of vinegar or lemon juice to sour it. All you do is soak the silverware in the sour milk for a while – at least an hour – then wash and rinse.
- Clean Furniture: Sour some milk with lemon juice, add some favourite essential oil (lemon would be nice) and use to deep-clean furniture. This dislodges deep down dirt and will also moisturize the wood.
- Shine Leather: Save time and money by heading to the fridge, instead of to the store, the next time your patent leather purse needs a quick polish. Leather of all kinds – furniture, shoes, boots, purses, etc. – benefit from milk cleaning. Quickly shines all leather products. Let the item dry, then buff well. Especially good for patent leather.
- Remove Ink Stains: Ink stains on clothes can be lifted by soaking the item in milk overnight then washing the next day. Will need an extra rinse to remove all milk residues.
- Clean Plant Leaves: Using a sponge just slightly dampened with milk, shine the leaves. Only do this about once a month since plants breathe through their leaves and you don’t want to clog the pores.
- Repair Fine China: Place your finely cracked china in a pot, cover with milk, bring to boil, turn down and let simmer for an hour or so.
Milk and Food/Drink:
- Hot Food Relief: You enjoyed the meal but not the indigestion afterwards. To stop the heat after eating hot, spicy food, drink a glass of milk.
- Hangover Cure: Milk is a great cure for the morning-after. Just drink a glass of milk to rehydrate and settle your stomach.
- Marinate Frozen Fish: To return frozen fish to its ‘fresh-caught’ taste, cover it with milk and let it thaw in the refrigerator.
- Marinate Liver: To remove the bitter taste from liver, cover it with milk and let it marinate for at least an hour.
- Marinate Wild Meat: We allow responsible hunters on our property. If they are successful we end up with a wild-meat roast of some kind. Marinating this in milk tenderizes the roast and takes away all strange taste.
- Corn On The Cob: The best corn on the cob is that which is picked, cooked and eaten, all within the same couple of hours. Since that is mostly not possible, do the next best thing. Add half a cup of milk powder to the cooking water before adding the corn.
- Make Cream: If you forgot to buy cream for that evening’s dessert, whisk one cup of milk powder into one cup of milk until the mixture becomes thick like cream.
And there you have it. 25 unusual ways to use milk that aren’t included in any cookbook, at least none that I know of.
Talk to you again next week,