Mmm, milk. For those who aren't allergic or refraining for ethical or religious reasons, milk is pretty awesome. But you don't just have to put it in your mouth. Welcome to the rundown of some brand new uses for milk, some of which might surprise you! (Don't forget, milk jugs have their uses too.)

frozen fish

Photo: Bejim/Shutterstock

1. Thaw frozen fish in a milk bath

Frozen fish sometimes feels dry and gross. It can acquire a metallic, frozen flavor that isn't very much fun, and it's hard to cook with. If you thaw it in a milk bath, though, this natural moisturizer will bring hydration and flavor back to the fish, making it much more tasty.

milk facial mask

Photo: Glovatskiy/Shutterstock

2. Facial mask

Remember those hydrating properties? Buy some milk powder and mix it with just enough water to create a paste, and then gently massage it into your face. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. You can add essential oils (choose scents that are gentle on skin) and other ingredients like oatmeal or finely ground walnut shells for exfoliation and additional benefits.

You can also toss some of that milk powder into your bath to create a luxurious milk bath for yourself, if you want to feel a bit decadent and Roman. Essential oils go really well in milk baths if the scent is a little intense, but of course milk and honey is a classic combo.

tarnished silver

Photo: Anastasia Petrova/Shutterstock

3. Polish

Sour milk (or milk that's been soured with the addition of a splash of citrus or vinegar) can be used to soak silverware to remove tarnish; just soak, wash, rinse, and wipe dry. It also makes a good furniture polish. It'll deeply moisturize the wood at the same time the acidic component lifts up dirt and grime. Pretty cool, eh?

antique china

Photo: Debu55y/Shutterstock

4. Repair fine china

We know this sounds bizarre, but give it a shot. If you have a piece of fine china with a hairline crack, put it in a big pot with a heavy bottom and cover in milk. Bring the heat up until the milk boils, and turn it down low to simmer for 45 minutes. Proteins in the milk can bond with the clay in the cup, sealing the crack.


Photo: Sedlacek/Shutterstock

5. Soothe itchy skin or sunburn

Remember that milk paste above? It works like a treat for irritated skin, too. If you're crawling out of your skin thanks to insect bites, definitely consider a nice milk paste; cold oatmeal can help relieve a case of the itchies too.

dirty hands

Photo: Oliver Sved/Shutterstock

6. Industrial strength hand cleaner

Your hands might be dirty from working on the car, spending some time in the garden, or another task. Mix oatmeal and milk to create a thick paste, and rub it all over your hands. The paste will lift the dirt while also moisturizing your hands, leaving them feeling soft, fresh and clean. Better yet, the small cracks and fissures that tend to develop if you work with your hands a lot will be less likely to appear.

ink-stained shirt

Photo: Candace Hartley/Shutterstock

7. Stain removal

Soak clothes stained with ink in milk overnight (or dab at ink stains with milk), and rinse well before tossing in the wash (on cool). Milk can help lift ink stains, although your clothes may need a second rinse to ensure they don't end up smelling like sour milk later — you don't want to trade one problem for another.

pink patent leather shoes

Photo: milka-kotka/Shutterstock

8. Quick shine for patent leather

Run a milk-soaked rag over patent leather items for a fresh new look. For a deeper shine, apply milk and let it dry before buffing your shoes, purses and jackets. The milk can help seal cracks and scuffs to keep patent leather looking shiny and new.

milk paste makeup remover

Photo: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

9. Makeup remover

Powdered milk and warm water gently lift makeup off your face without leaving residue behind, and they moisturize your skin in the process. If you've been having problems with breakouts, you might want to consider this trick for getting your makeup all the way off.

milk for swallowing pills

Photo: signature photos/Shutterstock

10. Pill aid

Horse pills are tough to swallow, but milk can make it easier. It coats your throat to smooth the way down, and even better, it protects the lining of your stomach. If you have medications that should be taken with food, a glass of milk can do in a pinch, although you shouldn't do that regularly.

hot chili peppers

Photo: Posonsky Andrey/Shutterstock

11. Five alarm fire recovery

If you ate something a little bit too hot (like that salsa I had last night), milk can be your best friend. It binds with the capsaicin molecules to rapidly ease discomfort from eating hot foods. Whatever you do, don't drink water or beer, because capsaicin isn't water-soluble.

Got more uses for milk? Tell us about 'em!

Katie Marks originally wrote this story for It is reprinted with permission here.

Related stories on MNN: