Sugar: its Alternative Uses that You May Not Know About

Sugar: its Alternative Uses that You May Not Know About

Last update: 18 February, 2019

While sugar has a received a lot of negative hype in recent years, we sometimes forget that it can do much more for us than sweeten our food and beverages. Here are some alternative uses of sugar that may surprise you.

What types of sugar are there?

You may have only seen that refined sugar is the only one that is sold most frequently. These are the small white grains that are used for tea, coffee, cakes, etc. However, there are other kinds like:

  • Table or common sugar: as mentioned earlier, it’s the one that is used the most, the one that everyone knows, the grain is small or medium sized.
  • Extra fine sugar: it’s not known in many countries, like in Spain, but there are several for sweets and desserts recipes that are in English that use it as an ingredient. It’s a very small grain.
  • Sugar glass: it’ the same “common” sugar that has been ground until it turns into fine dust. It’s used to sprinkle on cakes or sweets to cover any powder.


  • Cane or nib sugar: it’s round and bigger than traditional sugar and it’s popular in Northern and Central European countries. You can find it in German and Scandinavian bakeries for being used on “Belgium waffles”.
  • Crystal sugar: it’s bigger than what is found in stores and is used more for decoration, esthetic reasons, or for sweetening tea and coffee. It almost always has a non-uniform square shape and is gathered in small pinch fulls. It does not dissolve as easily as granulated sugar.
  • Invert sugar: many people say that it isn’t in the same category as the rest of the sugar but it earns its right to be given a name. It’s not only composed of sucrose but rather is mixed with other kinds like syrup. Likewise, it’s obtained by being heated up and is used in industrial sweet-shops because it keeps the pieces tender for longer periods of time.


“It’s Like a Pharmacist Without Sugar”

This was an old saying and it was because pharmacists used this product to cure several diseases and illnesses once they discovered and realized its benefits. Some people say that it was used to treat respiratory system problems, and that it was great for injuries. Almost everyone agreed that sugar has medical benefits and it cures people.

If you mix it with a lot of water, it produces syrups that can be added to other essential herbs. These will treat cases of flu, colds, etc., if you mix it with strong alcohol, like moonshine, which is also used to lower fevers.

This type of sugar was used by pharmacist

Pharmacists always had it on hand because they didn’t want to lose it right away. It was also common for pharmacists to work in the same place as their home. They could always resort to their wife’s supply in order to get a little bit of this sweetener.

Alternative Uses that Will Surprise You

Soothe Babies

If your child has problems sleeping or is in pain after getting vaccinated during the first months of their life, you can give them a solution made with one part sugar to four parts water before the immunization.

Treat Injuries

As mentioned before, this product could be used to kill bacteria that causes pain in injuries, cuts, or ulcers. Just rub a little bit on top and let it sit.

Soothe a Burnt Tongue

If you burn your tongue from drinking an infusion, coffee, soup, or from taste testing a sauce, suck on a sugar cube or even pour a few grains on it.

Sugar used on drinks

Reduce Spiciness in Foods

If you’re making a condiment or sauce and accidentally made it too spicy, just add a teaspoon of this product. It can also be used when a hot tomato recipe is too acidic.

Exfoliate Skin

By mixing it with olive or almond oil, you can create a great exfoliant for eliminating dead cells from your entire body.

Make Lipstick Stay

One of the problems of women is that their lipstick doesn’t stay on as long as they’d hope. It disappears when drinking, smoking, licking lips, or saying hi to someone. In order to get it to stay a little longer, just rub a little bit on your lips after you put lipstick on. Leave it on for a few minutes and then lick it off completely.

Clean Dirty Hands

This is good for men that work with grease or oils (for example mechanics) or after painting. Just add a little bit to wash your hands as you usually would, in order for it to become abrasive.

Sugar coated cupcakes

Improve Your Garden’s Appearance

Mix three tablespoons of sugar with two of vinegar and a fourth tablespoon of warm water. Apply it to the dirt around the plants. The sugar will nourish the stems and the vinegar will prevent bacteria from developing.

Clean Coffee Makers

Pour a fourth cup of sugar in the ground holder and let sit for 3 minutes as if you were making coffee. Clean with plenty of water.

Check out this article too:

14 Alternative Uses for Coffee at Home

Remove Grease Stains

If your favorite piece of clothing, blanket, or curtains get grease stains, you can make a sugar-water paste and apply it directly on the fabric. Let sit for at least an hour and then wash like usual.

Keep Cookies or Desserts Fresh

Put them in a sealed container along with a few sugar cubes so that they last longer. You can do the same with grated cheese so that it doesn’t get hard.

Have any of these alternative uses surprised you?

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

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