12 Surprising Uses for Milk & Milk Containers

From soothing stinging eyes to watering plants, read on for surprising ways to use milk, milk cartons and milk jugs. Have a use of your own? Let us know in the comments!


Around the House.

1. DIY Dustpan. Cutting a milk jug just so makes a great dustpan, with handle and everything! Click here for detailed instructions.

2. Clean Linoleum Floors. Adding a capful of skim milk to your regular floor wash will help shine your linoleum floors.

3. Sooth Hot Pepper Burn on Your Eyes. It happens to the best of us: you’re making salsa, minding your own business, and, all of a sudden, you get the urge to soothe your itchy eye. But if you have that spicy pepper oil on your fingers, forget it! You’re in for a terrible, stinging pain. Luckily, though, you’re not stuck that way. Just as drinking milk will help soothe a too-spicy taste in your mouth, rinsing your eyes with the stuff will help soothe that too-spicy feeling in your eyes. Pour some in a shot glass or small cup and gently rinse the pain away.

4. Use As Storage Containers. Cut the tops off of your milk jugs and use them to store anything and everything — kitchen utensils and office supplies, bulk foods and garden mulch. Just make sure to wash the containers well before using!



Health and Beauty.

5. Get Rid of Garlic Breath. Enjoying some tasty Italian food but can’t get that garlic taste out of your mouth? Try drinking a glass of milk. Studies have shown that milk reduces those stinky compounds more effectively than even brushing your teeth!

6. Clean Ultra-Dirty Hands. If you’ve gotten your hands so dirty that regular soap just isn’t working, try washing them with a paste made of milk and oatmeal. This combination is a heavy-duty cleaner.

7. Exfoliate Skin. If it’s good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for you! The lactic acid in skin is strong enough to exfoliate your skin, but much more gentle than other DIY or store-bought products. You can add a little milk to your face washing routine, or even pour some into your bath along with essential oils — lavender is a great option.

8. Sooth a Sunburn. Forgot your sunblock? Get a washcloth wet with some cold skim milk and apply directly to the burn. It’ll help soothe the pain, and cut down on pain yet to come.



Crafts, Projects, Gardening and More.

9. DIY Container Pots. No need to go out and buy containers — a well-washed milk jug with the lid cut off will do just fine.

10. DIY Watering Can. Another great way to re-use old milk jugs in the garden is by turning them into makeshift watering cans. And it’s so easy — all you need to do is poke several small holes into the cap.

11. DIY Camping Light. This is genius! A milk jug filled with water can help you radiate light emitted from a headlamp. Just place the headlamp around the jug and — voila! — you’ll have a great, far-reaching light source.

12. Prevent Mildew. Stop powdery mildew before it starts with the help of some whole milk. It’s a safe, natural and effective fungicide treatment for many plants, pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchinis in particular.


Jennifer LaPenna
Jennifer LaPenna2 years ago


Jennifer LaPenna
Jennifer LaPenna2 years ago


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

I especially liked #11, but how do you put a headlamp around a jug?

Angela K.
Angela K3 years ago

Thank you

M.N. J.
M.N. J3 years ago

"12. Prevent Mildew. Stop powdery mildew before it starts with the help of some whole milk. It’s a safe, natural and effective fungicide treatment for many plants, pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchinis in particular."

I'm sure this advice has merit, but it is much too skimpy on detail.

For what it's worth, I've read elsewhere that half a cup of milk mixed into about a cup and a half of water makes a good spray for roses with powdery mildew. You're supposed to thoroughly spray the rose with this solution once a week for three weeks, according to the organic gardening blogger I was reading.

John B.
John B3 years ago

Thanks Katie for the info and the great suggestions.

LB Lewis
LB Lewis3 years ago

Thanks for the tips.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Stardust Noel
Stardust Noel3 years ago


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

I don't like milk, but my husband does. After they are empty, we clean them out and fill them with water. Then we add fertilizer and water all our inside plants with it. We also use the jugs to fill our 75 gallon aquarium!