According to the Beer Institute, a group that represents 2,800 U.S. brewers and suppliers, the making and selling of Americans’ favorite alcoholic drink is a $264.5 billion industry—so it’s probably safe to say that most of us usually have a bottle or six on hand. Yes, you can drink it, but the value of this golden elixir goes far beyond basic imbibing. Read on for 7 other, ingenious ways to put beer to good use.
1. Slay Some Slugs
Photo: flickr.com / via Scot Nelson
Who knew? Those pesky, slimy sliders that nibble on your garden plants can’t resist a nice brew. To cut down on their numbers, bury jam jars so their rims are level with the soil, then fill them with a few inches of beer. Slugs, drawn by the barroom aroma, will crawl in and meet a happy death in the drink.
2. Polish a Table
Next time someone leaves you with a half-finished bottle of Bud after a backyard barbecue, save it to use as an all-natural wood polish. Applying flat beer to wooden furniture with a soft cloth reportedly gives the wood grain a fine sheen (but do test this treatment first on a hidden part of your furniture before you slop the drink all over it).
3. Shine Fine Metals
If you’re lucky enough to own copper pots and pans, use a bit of beer on a polishing cloth to buff away tarnish spots. This home-brewed remedy also works on other brass items, such as lamps, doorknobs, and grillwork.
4. Pamper Your Lawn
When your lawn is looking a little wan, try feeding it with a homemade fertilizer. Many homeowners have found success with a simple and surprising concoction of beer, household ammonia, and baby shampoo. Intrigued?
5. Make Your Faucets Sparkle
Carbonation—the fizz factor in beer—works wonders on dull faucets and handles in the bathroom. To try it out, fill a plastic bag with flat beer and tie it around taps or spouts that have lost their shine. Remove after a few hours of soaking, and enjoy newly sparkling fixtures.
6. Keep Bugs at Bay
When entertaining outdoors, pour a bit of brew into shallow bowls and set them on the perimeter of your deck or patio. Rather than pestering your guests, winged insects like wasps and flies will be drawn toward the beer’s sugars.
7. Bust Rust
If rust has locked a screw in place, try dousing it with a fresh, fizzy beer. The carbonation is said to break down rust just enough to allow the screw to be loosened. Turn the screw as needed, then celebrate by drinking the rest of the beverage.