Milking it: 15 life hacks you’ll thank us for

From making soap to giving fish extra flavour – turns out milk’s not just for drinking

As a food, milk is a great source of protein and vitamins, ideal as a thirst quencher or in sustaining recipes. But thanks to its enzymes, protein and creamy texture, this natural wonder is also great for a range of easy everyday hacks, from making soap to giving fish extra flavour.

Behind the mask

A skin-pampering facial mask will give you glow: add a little water to half a cup of powdered milk and mix to a fairly thick paste. Apply to the face and leave for about 30 minutes before rinsing off.

Go for the burn…

Sunburn can be really painful. For immediate relief for mild sunburn, mix milk with a little water and smear on the painful area.

Just add fish

Surprisingly, milk enhances the taste of fish. Thaw frozen salmon or blue marlin in a bowl filled with milk. After cooking, the fish will have a richer flavour and smoother texture.

Make like Cleopatra

The Egyptian queen was renowned for bathing in ass’s milk. For super-soft skin, half-fill your bathtub with milk and immerse yourself for 30 minutes.

Corn so sweet

If you’re cooking corn on the cob, add milk and water to a pan in equal amounts, add the corn and bring to the boil. The milk will add a rich sweetness to the flavour of the corn.

Hands on…

As with the bath and face mask hacks, your hands will benefit from a little milk pamper. Rub milk into hard skin and calluses – if needs be, apply three times a day.

Save the shave

If you run out of shaving cream, mix a generous amount of powdered milk with a little water to form a thick paste. Apply to the face before shaving.

Ditch that itch

Nothing is more maddening than an itchy insect bite. But the good news is that the enzymes in milk will soothe and reduce swelling. Combine milk, water and up to 2 tsp salt, then apply it to bites to reduce redness and itching.

Think ink

Did you know milk is a better stain remover than water? Just soak an ink stain in a mixture of milk and lemon juice for a day and it will fade or even disappear. To speed up the process, scrub the ink blotches while they are soaking.

Sad about that broken cup?

Before you toss your broken china in the wastebasket, glue the pieces together then add to a large pan with 450ml milk and set over a low heat for 1 hour. The milk proteins react to the china then wash away the cracks.

Soap star

For a soap that is hard on germs but gentle on skin, in a blender mix together glycerine, oatmeal, lard and natural essential oils. Boil the mix for a few hours then place it in soap moulds and leave to dry.

On the make

Blusher, foundation and other make-up can be difficult to remove. Mix powdered milk with warm water and the make-up will be much easier to wipe off.

Dust buster

House plants can look a little dusty and neglected. To spruce them up, soak a clean cloth in skimmed milk and wipe over the leaves to remove dust and stains. Make sure you wipe away the milk with a clean, dry cloth to finish.

Fresh furniture

The creaminess of milk combines well with the acidity of lemon juice to make an effective furniture cleaner. You can even add essential oil for a refreshing scent.

Silver lining

Is your silverware tarnished? Soak in a bowl of sour milk for 30 minutes then wash with hot water and soap. Dry with a soft cloth for a gleaming shine.

Intolerant to dairy? Worry not. We’ve got a wide range of milk alternatives in store, from creamy soya and trendy coconut milk to almond, oat and rice milks too.