11 amazing and unusual ways to use garlic

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Garlic is one of my favorite possible ingredients to use in cooking. From pasta sauce, to garlic knots, to steak marinade, garlic has proven to be extremely versatile.

However, I never realized that garlic might just have a slew of uses that go far beyond cooking. Just as there are creative ways to use apple cider vinegar, there is quite a long list of home and health hacks that involve a simple clove of garlic.

Not only is garlic great for curing the common cold, but it has so many surprising uses — like keeping away pests in your garden or doing away with foot fungus. I had no idea about any of these!

Scroll through this exclusive list below to see just how many unique ways there are to use garlic. These garlic hacks will not only surprise you, but they just might make life a whole lot easier.

Which of these alternative garlic uses will you be trying out? Are there any other creative ways that you utilize garlic? Let us know in the comments!

1. Clean Your Face

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Rather than using harsh chemicals on your skin, garlic provides an all-natural alternative to washing your face.

According to Livestrong, "Garlic contains allicin, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties."

They recommend rubbing a thin layer of garlic paste onto your face, and rinsing it off after 15 minutes. Just make sure to moisturize afterward to avoid drying out!

2. Cure Foot Fungus

Maya Borenstein for LittleThingsIt might sound bizarre, but The New York Times recommends soaking your feet for 30 minutes in a foot bath full of "finely crushed cloves of garlic" to battle athlete's foot and foot fungus.

Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen told the Times, "Garlic has long been considered a powerful natural antifungal."

As an alternative to the foot bath, you can also mix olive oil with some garlic and rub it right onto your foot with a cotton swab.

3. Eliminate A Toothache

Maya Borenstein for LittleThingsIf you find yourself experiencing pain from a toothache, and you haven't been able to make your way to the dentist yet, garlic may just hold the power to deliver some much-needed relief.

The experts at Garlic-Central.com write, "Most traditional uses of garlic to alleviate the pain of a toothache suggest crushing it and placing it inside the mouth, right next to the affected tooth."

Obviously, you should see a doctor for any serious tooth problems. But garlic can be a natural way to battle the pain in the meantime.

4. Stop An Ear Infection

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

An ear infection is never any fun, but garlic can actually offer some relief because of its natural antibiotic properties.

WebMD suggests putting several warm drops of garlic oil into your ear to help with the pain and discomfort.

They recommend this method particularly with a child's ear infection, though they always suggest checking with your physician first.

5. De-Ice Your Driveway

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Since a winter storm or freezing temperatures can sometimes take you by surprise, you may be required to de-ice your driveway or walkway with whatever you have handy in your home.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that garlic salt — something that can commonly be found in the kitchen— has been used by towns to help get rid of ice and snow.

As an added bonus, your house may smell like someone is cooking up something delicious while the snow and ice melt!

6. Remove A Splinter

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

An old remedy for a removing a deep splinter is to apply half of a clove of garlic underneath a Band-Aid, and leaving it on overnight.

The Old Farmer's Almanac reports, "Yes, garlic really does remove splinters."

Not only will the garlic clove remove the splinter, but there will also be "no sign of swelling or redness... possibly because garlic contains a great diversity of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compounds."

7. Repair A Crack

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

This method has certainly proven to be one of the most controversial, but many claim that garlic can help to repair a small crack in glass.

According to Reader's Digest, "Have you ever noticed how sticky your fingers get after chopping garlic? That natural adhesive quality is why some people use garlic to fix hairline cracks in glass."

They continue, "Crush some cloves, and rub the juice on the crack, wiping away any excess." This method may sound crazy, but it might just be worth a shot!

8. Battle Your Acne

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Garlic can be used to fight acne in two different ways: by eating it, and by applying it directly to the acne.

Home Remedies for Life reports that garlic is "an excellent source of various acne combating nutrients." Adding garlic to your diet can do wonders for your immune system and acne over time."

You can also apply garlic directly to the acne. But it is important to dilute the garlic first "to prevent [a] stinging or burning sensation on the applied skin."

9. Keep Away Pests

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

To keep pests off of your plants, simply mix garlic cloves with water and soap, and place it in a spray bottle.

According to the experts at Permaculture, "The natural repellent nature of garlic makes it a perfect tool for keeping pests off plants... It can be used on vegetables or on flowering plants."

This is an easy, all-natural way to fight bugs and small vermin without the use of chemicals or pesticides!

10. Catch A Fish

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The scent of garlic can also be utilized to attract fish, according to several fishermen posting on FieldAndStream.com.

Some will put garlic directly onto a worm or small piece of shrimp, while others recommend adding it onto a rubber lure to give the fish a reason to keep holding on.

One fisherman even recommends garlic butter to attract fish. This surprising fishing hack seems to be particularly successful in helping to catch bass.

11. Cure A Cold

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

With all of its health-improving properties, garlic can be used to stop a cold from happening or eliminating a cold once it occurs. WebMD suggests consuming garlic that is raw and "either crushed, diced, or minced."

They write, "Garlic seems to stimulate the immune system. Garlic may also help fight viruses."

They continue that "there is some preliminary evidence that garlic may lower the risk of catching a cold."

What other creative ways do you use garlic? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE these incredible garlic hacks with friends and family!

Even once it's cooked, there are plenty of ways to utilize that garlic:

3 Ways to Use Roasted Garlic

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