Trying to kick the sugar habit? Aren’t we all… and it just may help if you begin to see sugar not as a food (as if it ever really was!), but as a DIY-lover’s ingredient. You can do quite a few things with your stashes—white or brown—and turn that once-awful nemesis into a friend worth keeping around. Here are our seven favorite non-food uses for sugar.

  1. Homemade sugar scrubs: Scrubs are an excellent way to exfoliate and replenish the skin, but salt can be harsh and damaging to sensitive skin. Use a coarse brown sugar mixed with a lush, rich oil such as almond or sesame and a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a decadent yet simple nourishing body scrub.
  2. Lip exfoliator: Okay, so putting sugar near your lips when you’re trying to break the habit may not be the smartest move, but your lips will truly thank you! They can chap so easily—no matter the season. Check out this simple recipe, which can make a whole world of difference in your smooch time. Makes the perfect gift, too!
  3. Grinder love: If you regularly use a coffee or spice grinder (or the same one for both), the oils can linger… and so can the flavor. You can clean your grinders with ¼ cup of sugar (white or brown), by letting it run in the grinder for 2-3 minutes. Then simply dump out the excess sugar and wipe clean.
  4. Stain remover: Stains ruin everything! And trying to get them out of clothing can become a nightmare—sometimes even making the situation worse! Try dissolving sugar in a bit of water until it forms a thick paste—enough to completely cover your stain. Let it sit several hours and then wash.
  5. Flower love: It’s true, you really can extend the life of cut flowers with sugar and white vinegar. Three teaspoons sugar to 2 tablespoons white vinegar per one quart of water will help feed your flowers and prevent bacterial growth.
  6. Wound care: While honey is more effective for its antimicrobial effects, you can use sugar to help stop bleeding wounds, especially those on a joint or a particularly difficult area prone to prolonged bleeding. Sprinkle sugar into the wound and continue compression.
  7. Art: This is a great way to use sugar cubes, especially if you have kids, or like to make art yourself. The cubes can be died, stacked, glued and shaped for all kinds of creative fun!