20 Ways to Harness the Power of Beer (Besides Drinking It)

Some of you may already think beer has superpowers. Nonetheless, here are some lesser-known secrets that cement its place as a home remedy hero.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
4-minute read

Household Solutions

1. Love Your Cast Iron
To clean and season your cast-iron cookware, cover the bottom of your warm pan with fresh beer. Let the liquid sit for 5 to 10 minutes, so the carbonation can go to work. Then rinse away any stuck-on food and enjoy the flavor the beer leaves behind.

2. Shine Copper Pots
Soak copper pots in beer to renew shine and remove stains. Throughout history, breweries have used the last of beer to shine copper vats.

3. Clean Gold Jewelry
A light or medium brew makes a great polish for gold jewelry. Pour onto a soft cloth and rub it in, then buff with another clean cloth. The beer’s acid will dissolve oil and dirt and get your jewelry sparkling again.

4. Remove Rust
Rusty spots on metal lawn furniture or garden tools? Cover the areas with a beer-soaked rag and let sit for about an hour. The beer’s carbonic acid will dissolve the rust. Try this tip to loosen rusty bolts as well.

5. Give Grass a Boost
You can revive dead spots on your lawn by pouring on just enough beer to wet the affected grass. The beer’s acids kill fungus, while its fermented sugars nourish healthy growth.

6. Trap Mice
Slugs aren’t the only pests lured by beer. Set out a bucket, with a ramp leading up to the lip. The mice will smell the beer, hop in to drink, then be unable to climb out.

7. De-Skunk a Dog
The yeast in beer cuts through the skunk spray’s water-resistant oils, then the beer’s carbonic acid dissolves them. Rub one or two cans on the pooch, and rinse with water. Finish with your usual dog shampoo.

8. Put Out a Fire
A can or bottle of beer can work as a fire extinguisher if a real one isn’t available. Simply shake and spritz.

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Your Secret Ingredient In The Kitchen

9. Tender and Tasty Meat
Beer is a great tenderizer for tough, inexpensive cuts of beef, and it will add great flavor. All you need to do is poke and soak the meat for an hour before cooking, or marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. Try it with your meat for chili, stew, or stir-fry. Bonus: Studies have found that beer marinades reduce levels of cancer-causing compounds that form on grilled meat when fats and juices interact with an open flame. Go with a darker beer for the most health benefit.

10. Flavorful Chicken                                                                  
Want juicy chicken from the grill? A beer can is the secret! Just place a half-full can of lager in the cavity of a chicken and barbecue. The beer will evaporate as it cooks, filling the chicken with moisture and flavor. Bonus: The beer can props the chicken up for even cooking with no rotating required. To get the most benefit from the beer, remove the entire top of the can with a can opener.

11. Spice Up Shrimp
To give shrimp a little something extra, boil flat beer with spices such as Cajun seasoning. Add raw shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Serve over pasta or rice. Try the same technique for lobster, cooking for 12 to 15 minutes.

12. Steam Clams
Replace half of the usual water in the steamer pot with beer, and bring to a boil. Steam until the shells open, then enjoy the flavor the beer lends.

13. Fluffier Pancakes
Beer’s carbonation and yeast can help make pancakes airy yet thick. Simply swap in beer for a bit of the milk or water called for in the recipe.

14. Boozy Watermelon
Cube a watermelon, place in a bowl, then pour beer on top. Let it marinate for an hour or two at room temperature. Then thread onto wooden skewers, cover, and freeze for at least 1 to 2 hours. Enjoy frozen.

Health And Beauty

15. Get Bounce from Beer
Beer acts as a clarifying agent to remove product buildup, plus it infuses hair with protein and B vitamins. Mix 3 tablespoons of your favorite brew with ½ cup warm water, and rub into your hair after shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing out and reaping the bounce. Bonus: It also helps prevent dandruff.

16. Set for Shine
After shampooing and towel drying, spray beer from a pump bottle onto your hair as a setting solution. Then simply blow-dry or style. The brew will help the style hold and give your hair healthy shine. Don’t worry—beer’s scent fades quickly on hair!

17. Tame Hair on the Go
Spot wild hair in a restroom mirror? Just wet your finger with a few drops of beer and casually slick it down. This little tip works great for unruly eyebrows, too.

18. Bathe in Beer
Beer baths have been popular in Europe for centuries. Yeast, hops, and barley offer antioxidant properties that help prevent cell damage to your skin. Translation: They fight visible signs of aging. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits can be especially helpful for those with skin conditions such as eczema or acne. Plus, the bubbles are refreshing! Just add one bottle of beer to your bath.

19. Refresh Tired Feet
If a full bath isn’t doable, treat just your feet to a beer bath. While the vitamins and compounds do their work to benefit your skin, you can simply enjoy the soothing carbonation.

20. Sleep Better
Many people swear by the sleep-inducing power of hops. But it’s the scent (not ingestion) that’s purported to be a sleep aid. To give the hops remedy a try, wash your pillowcase in beer.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.