Believe it or not, I grew up thinking all kids got their milk straight from the cow like me. I didn’t even know milk came in pretty gallons lined up nicely in grocery store refrigerators until I was about ten years old. You see, growing up in a tiny Idaho town, when we needed milk, we piled into my dad’s truck and drove out to Parker’s dairy where we’d pass rows and rows of cows, all ripe for milking. We’d pull up to a small brick building, the sickly sweet smell of cow manure hugging us (to this day I still love the smell of it), and open the door to find a giant stainless steel vat swimming with fresh milk.
I grew up drinking whole milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and learned some pretty cool remedies and tricks along the way. So if you haven’t tried them yet, here are some unusual uses for milk that just might surprise you.
17 Weird Uses for Milk That Are Actually Pretty Rad
1. It soothes eczema.
If you suffer from eczema, you might want to try a milk bath. Many people swear by them! First, combine 3-4 cups of whole milk, two tablespoons of honey, and a dash of nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir until the honey is dissolved and and the mixture heated through. Draw a warm bath of water like usual and pour in the milk mixture. Relax and enjoy.
2. Softens a callus.
You can soften a stubborn callus on the feet or hands by regularly soaking a cotton ball in milk and applying it to the callus. In fact, dermatologists recommend milk and the by-product of milk (clarified butter) as an overall moisturizer.
3. Alleviates mosquito bites.
Proteins in milk can do wonders to sooth skin and milk can be a natural remedy for those nasty mosquito bites. So when you’re out camping and the mosquitos are biting like crazy, just take a little milk and rub it onto the bite and let those proteins work their magic.
4. It’s crazy, but milk can fix a broken plate or mug.
I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but it’s true—milk can completely fix a broken mug! It’s like a magic trick really. Milk contains a protein called casein, a phosphoprotein that when heated and cooled becomes a binder. Try it out for yourself by binding a cracked or broken ceramic item with elastic bands. Place it in a pot with two cups of milk or more. Heat on low for at least an hour and then allow the item to completely cool in the milk. Remove and rinse and then see if your broken item has re-sealed itself!
5. Polishes your designer leather handbag.
Clean scuffs and marks off of your leather handbag (or any leather item) with a little milk. Simply dip a clean rag into a cup of milk, rub directly onto the scuff or stain, allowing the milk to penetrate. Wipe down the leather with warm water to remove any excess milk and your Louis Vuitton is like new.
6. The only thing that helps when your mouth is on fire.
Perhaps you’ve learned from experience, but drinking water after a burning mouthful of spicy food only fans the flames. The only way to take the edge off a burning mouth is to drink milk. The science behind it is pretty cool. Milk contains casein, a protein that dissolves the capsaicin (what makes chilis so potent) in spicy food. Capsaicin doesn’t dissolve in water, so H2O won’t help you much. If you’re going to test the heat, order a glass of milk to go with it.
7. Is a seriously effective makeup remover.
It’s amazing how many beauty benefits a little bit of milk hefts. For a more natural makeup remover, dab a cotton ball in milk and use it to take off even the toughest makeup. It’s a great option for when you forget to pack your regular stuff.
8. You can make your own shaving cream with milk.
Now this one is a cool one. You can DIY shaving cream by using powdered milk! It’s great for when you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to run to the store. Make a paste with powdered milk, water, and add some powdered sugar and mix until combined. Apply as you would your normal shaving cream.
9. You can also make your own fertilizer with it.
DIY possibilities with milk never cease to surprise me. Milk can be a natural garden fertilizer, which is especially rad if you like going organic. Farmers and gardeners frequently use milk to nourish and keep their plants healthy because it is rich in so many nutrients. Pour a little in your garden beds to keep plants bounteous and strong.
10. Reduce dark skin spots.
Milk can lighten your skin by aiding in the shedding of pigmented cells. That means you can brighten up sun spots, dark patches, and quite possibly freckles without bottles and bottle of skincare products that cost you a fortune. Try this dark spot removing paste with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Apply to face and wash with warm water after 10 minutes. Repeat once a week for noticeable results.
11. Soothe a sunburn or skin burn.
As we’ve established, milk has incredible soothing properties for skin, including soothing a sunburn. When you’ve been out at the beach too long or come back from the pool with a burn, head to your fringe and soak a soft cloth in cold low-fat milk (not full-fat milk which can insulate the sunburn) and apply it to the sunburnt skin as a cold compress.
12. Milk can turn paint into that antique look.
Ever wondered how some DIYers get that antique look on repurposed furniture. One way is by using milk. In fact, that’s how people prior to the 1800s used when paint wasn’t available. You can make your own milk paint, or it’s easy to buy milk paint powder and then make any new piece of furniture look like it’s a hundred years old.
13. You can make magic milk.
Turn your milk into a cool science experiment many kids are calling magic milk. It makes beautiful rainbow designs and teaches an interesting lesson as well.
14. Polish your silverware.
It seems weird, but soaking your silverware in milk overnight and then rinsing them with water in the morning will take the tarnish out of them. The proteins in the milk do all the heavy polishing so you don’t have to.
15. Make easy ice cream in a bag.
This is a huge kid-pleaser! I did this with my son’s kindergarten class and they talked about it for days after. You don’t need an ice cream churner or even a freezer to make this ice cream. All you need is milk, a few other simple ingredients, and about five minutes. Here’s a great video tutorial!
16. You can make milk soap.
Making your own creamy, rich soap is a pretty cool process. If you’re super into urban homesteading, want to give a unique gift, or want to try your hand at selling artisan soaps, try a milk soap recipe like the one here.
17. Heal your body with “Golden Milk.”
“Golden milk” has been used for centuries by healers and herbalists to heal ailments and promote overall good health. It’s made with 1 cup of warm milk, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (the yellowish miracle spice that gives the drink its golden color), a dash of cinnamon, and honey or agave to taste. Golden milk is delish and good for you too!
Going to that dairy farm with my dad has brought some of my fondest childhood memories. Sometimes we’d skim the cream off the top of our chilled milk canister, and other times, we’d just mix it right in—milk to the wholest. He always promised if I drank my milk really good, I’d never break a bone, and I never did! Now my brother on the other hand, he fed most of his to the cat so when he broke his arm being rambunctious, none of us were too surprised. Milk does a body good.