07/24/2012 04:37 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2012

5 Uses For Milk Beyond Breakfast

Back in the day, milk was used for more than just cereal. Instead, the dairy product found its way into other things, like paint. Today, I still think that there are plenty of uses for milk beyond the kitchen. Here are my favorites.

uses for milk

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Ink Stain Remover
Whether it's from a pen or printer, these stains can often mean the end of the road for a garment. Not so, if you use milk before laundering. The enzymes in milk will dissolve the ink, without harming the material.

Silver Polish
For a non-toxic way to bring silver back to life, just count on milk...for the most part. A "sour milk" polish made by combining 1 cup milk to 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Then, soak the silverware in question overnight in this mixture.

Hair Conditioner
Made of various proteins and natural enzymes, milk can make a great hair conditioner. Simply pour about 1/8 of a cup of milk over hair after shampooing. Then, rinse out.

Leather Shiner
What's true for hair is oddly true for leather: Milk's enzymes, proteins and fats can restore the shine. Just pour enough milk to get a rag damp, then lightly scrub the surface of the leather object.

Crack Filler
Have you ever noticed any surface cracks in your china? I bet you can guess what can be used to fix it. That's right: Milk. It contains casein, a protein that can form the building blocks for adhesive. Just place the china into a pot of milk and gently heat until warm. Then turn off the burner, let the piece continue to soak (overnight, if possible).

Do you know any great ways to use milk around the house? Share your tips in the comments.

For more clever lifehacks and other repurposing ideas for everyday items, check out previous installments of "5 Uses For..." by clicking through the slideshow below.

5 New Uses For Everything