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Got milk? Although there is an ongoing debate about the complete range of health benefits that cow’s milk provides to humans, milk remains a staple beverage in many American households.
A USDA study found that the average American drinks 20.4 gallons of milk each year, and milk ranks fourth behind carbonated soft drinks, bottled water and beer as America’s beverage of choice.
Cow’s milk is about 90 percent water, but the remaining 10 percent of volume contains protein, carbohydrates, fat, Vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as various minerals, organic compounds and antioxidants that are beneficial to the human body.
What you may not realize, however, is that milk can provide other benefits beyond its use as a beverage. Here are 11 unusual uses for milk that make a big difference if you’re a homesteader:
1. Relieve burns.
You can experience quick pain relief and promote the healing of minor burns, including sunburn, by applying milk to the affected area. Soak a washcloth in whole milk and apply to the area for about 15 minutes. Repeat every few hours.
Another option is to create a milk paste with powdered milk, water and two pinches of salt. Apply the paste to areas with minor burns for soothing relief.
2. Take the itch out of insect bites.
Milk also can ease the pain, swelling and itchiness of insect bites. Create a paste with milk, water and salt, and place it on the bites. After a few minutes, redness and itching will be significantly reduced.
3. Repair china.
Did you know you could use milk to fix cracks in your fine china? Fill a cooking pot with enough fresh milk or reconstituted powdered milk to cover a damaged cup or plate.
Submerge the china in the milk and then bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. When you remove the china, the milk proteins will have diminished the appearance of fine cracks and lines.
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4. Skin moisturizer.
Try applying cold milk to calluses or other hard, dry areas of your skin three times a day.
Another way to moisturize the skin with milk is to take a milk bath. Add 1 1/2 cups of powdered milk to your bathwater as it fills the tub. You also can prepare a moisturizing facial mask by mixing powdered milk with enough water to make a thick paste. Apply the milk paste to your face, let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
5. Polish silver.
You can clean your tarnished silver with the help of sour milk. Mix a cup of milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak the silver in the sour milk for 30 minutes. After rinsing with warm soapy water, buff the silver with a dry, soft cloth.
6. Revive leather.
To remove scuffs and to give a fresh look to leather shoes, purses and belts, moisten a soft cloth with fresh milk and gently wipe the leather. Let the milk dry before buffing with a clean soft cloth.
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7. Remove ink.
We all have had leaky pens stain our clothes at one time or another. The next time it happens, try soaking the stained garment overnight in a dishpan of milk. Add a squeeze or two of lemon juice for extra cleaning power. Then wash it in your machine.
If ink has stained your carpet, mix milk with enough cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain. Allow it to dry, and then vacuum the residue.
8. Take off makeup.
You also can use milk to remove makeup. Simply dip a cotton ball in whole milk or reconstituted powdered milk and then gently wipe your face with the cotton ball. For added antioxidants and a pleasant aroma, add a few drops of almond oil to the milk.
9. Boost the flavor of corn.
Want to make your sweet corn taste even sweeter? Add some milk to the water before you boil corn on the cob. When the corn is ready, you will notice a richer, sweeter taste.
10. Improve the flavor of fish.
When you defrost your frozen fish in a bowl of milk, the fish will have a smoother texture and a richer flavor.
11. Treat tongue burn.
Feeling the burn of spicy food on your tongue? Milk can dissolve capsaicin, the organic compound that makes foods spicy. Drink a glass of milk after eating spicy foods to alleviate the discomfort.
Now that you know some of the unusual uses for milk, you may be tempted to have more cartons on hand in your refrigerator. By the way, you can freeze milk for longer storage. However, you will need to leave some room in the container because milk expands when it freezes.
You can thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator or in cold water.
What other uses for milk would you add to this story? Share your tips in the section below:
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