20 Uses For Garlic (That DON'T Involve Cooking!)

20 Uses For Garlic (That DON'T Involve Cooking!)


Garlic is pretty marvellous - it's used around the world as the base for many delicious recipes.

But did you know that's it's also rather good for you?

We've put together a list of 16 spectacular uses for garlic that may just take you by surprise!

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in September 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2019. 

Using garlic for health & beauty

1. Homemade cough remedy

girl lying on arm
Are you feeling a little worse for wear?

Suffering from a cold? Boil up some minced cloves of garlic and drink it like tea! You'll find it easier to breathe and the itchiness of your throat will subside.

Goodbye cruel cough, be gone with you.

2. Combat acne

Did you know you can treat acne by rubbing half a clove onto the problematic area?

Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce irritation, and the allicin will kill bacteria that clogs up your pores and causes breakouts. Next time you're suffering, reach for your trusty garlic.

3. Treat athlete's foot

We hope we've already proven just how wonderful garlic can be, but did you know you can also use it to treat athlete's foot? Mix some olive oil and minced garlic together and using a cotton bud, apply it to the affected area. Keep applying this treatment for a while after the symptoms have gone, in order to make sure the horror has truly ended!

4. Lose weight

pink tape measure
Garlic could be the key!

Whilst garlic won't actually make the weight drop off you, it will make you feel fuller quicker. With garlic, you may just have the willpower to skip dessert after all!

For more easy ways to lose weight, be sure to read our other article. 

5. Remove splinters

Slice a garlic clove in half and tape it to the area where the splinter is with a bandage. Apparently, this will help to remove the splinter due to the antibacterial properties. Who knew?

6. Promote hair growth

If you want to achieve fast hair growth you could try using garlic.

Add it to your shampoo and use as normal through your hair. If you fancy, you can buy garlic infusion oil which you can massage into your hair. Don't worry about the smell - it'll soon fade

7. Look after your toenails

bare feet in air
Hey twinkle toes!

Have your toenails turned an unfortunate shade of yellow or brown? No worries, we have just the thing.

Grab a cotton bud and using garlic oil, coat your nails. Your nails should be back to their normal colour within a week. Hurrah!

8. Use garlic as a dandruff treatment

Are you suffering from dandruff? Reach for the garlic! Paired with honey, you can make a really effective remedy at home. Follow the instructions from Heal With Food to make yours and rid yourself of flakes for good!

9. Attend to a cold sore

Cut a clove of garlic into two pieces and using one piece, hold it against your cold sore. As you can probably (and correctly) imagine, this may hurt a little - but it has a strong antiseptic and antimicrobial properties to help heal your annoying cold sore.

10. Aphrodisiac

We bet you didn't know you could count garlic amongst oysters as an aphrodisiac? Garlic contains allicin which encourages blood to rush to the, er, nether regions.

11. Treat a yeast infection

Some claim that garlic is the best cure for a yeast infection thanks to its antibiotic qualities. To use if for a yeast infection, you can take tablets orally.

12. Get rid of an ear infection

Bye bye pain.

Whilst we're on the topic of infections, it's worth mentioning that garlic can also be used to combat those present in the ear.

Peel a garlic clove and cut the tip off one end. Wrap it in a small piece of gauze and then pop it just inside the ear, with the cut tip facing inwards. Hold a warm, clean cloth over your ear and wait until the pain subsides.

Using garlic in & around the home

13. Repel mosquitos

Are those pesky bug bites bothering you?

If you've found yourself the target of a swarm of mosquitos, it's time to act! Some believe that garlic can help get rid of bugs, and we think it's worth a go.

Grab an unpeeled clove and rub it all over your skin. The mozzies will hate the stench and keep away from you... as might all your friends too.

14. Make garlic glue

Glue? Out of garlic?!

Yes, really!

If you've ever finely chopped garlic, you'll know how sticky it can be (and how difficult it is to get it off your fingers!) If you've got an envelope that is no longer sticky, crush a garlic clove and rub the juices onto the seal. Hey presto - the envelope will stick.

15. Repair glass

Speaking of using garlic as glue, said glue can be used to repair glass. Rub garlic juice carefully along hairlines cracks to reseal them - simple!

16. De-ice your car

silver car
Keep your car frost-free!

Now this one really is remarkable.

In 2008, the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny used garlic salt to get rid of the ice on the roads, and guess what, it really worked! 

17. Make fish bait

Off on a fishing trip? Make your own bait with (among other interesting ingredients), raw garlic and garlic powder. Trails have listed 5 easy steps to your very own garlic fish bait.

We hope you catch something great...

18. DIY pesticide

Follow the instructions!

If you're having trouble with pesky pests in your garden, then here's a natural way for you to deter bugs and insects - using garlic! Check out the video to find out how it's done. 

19. DIY surface cleaner

Here's another pretty surprising use for your garlic  - make a surface cleaner! Chop up 3-4 cloves of garlic, toss them in a spray bottle and pour in some white wine vinegar. Add some lemon oil to make it smell lovely and then use as a disinfectant spray - easy!

20. Make garlic chocolate truffles

If you're a lover of chocolate and a lover of garlic, why not try to combine the two and make some unusual truffles? If you fancy trying your hand at this then visit Garlic Matters for the recipe.

Garlic fans, I hope you've enjoyed this post! If you've got any more uses, let us know in the comments below...

Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author Debbie on September 5, 2016 at 9:06 am

    The garlic tips opened my eyes, it is a wonder in disguise, and (it's the truth, not just to rhyme) I have a dreadful cold, which time doesn't seem to want to cure, will I wheeze forever more? Now I know what I can do, suck some garlic, if it's true, one thing at least, I have reflected, others won't end up infected, they won't want to catch their death breathing in my garlic breath!

    1. Author Colleen B on September 7, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Debbie, I hope your cold goes away With the garlic tips you learned today We love your poems, they make our days bright So please keep posting them onto our site!

    2. Author Leila Rose-Gordon on March 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Wow, I love the tips They're out of sight! I'll share them too And help a few... Debbie and Colleen What can I say My fellow poets You made my day!

    3. Author Colleen B on March 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment L.R.G. It's poems like these that I LOVE to see... I hope you enjoyed my garlic tips too, (and this poem, just for you!).

  2. Author KENNETH CATTLE on October 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Extra virgin olive oil and garlic makes a very good breakfast dip, which is very healthy! Vampires love it too!

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 23, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Kenneth. This sounds like a very interesting breakfast combination I must say! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Author sandra jones on October 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I read that you can also use garlic to get rid of moles on face. put crushed garlic on it and leave for about 3 hours, keep using every day until mole has gone. Maybe best to check with doctor first though, as could be dangerous being a mole.

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Sandra. This is a very interesting idea! I don't have any facial moles but would be interesting to try for those who do :)

  4. Author Ranjit Bains on October 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I love garlic it is good for diabetes.

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Ranjit. We love it too, and now there are even more reasons to eat it! :)

  5. Author Janice on October 9, 2019 at 11:56 am

    i didn't know garlic was good for diabetes, will have to give it a go, would i have it raw or cooked??

    1. Author Joanne A on October 10, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Janice! You can have it raw or cooked, or maybe even try garlic supplements? I'd check with your GP before making any changes to your diet, though!

  6. Author Donatello46 on January 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    One thing to beware of when cooking garlic - don't cook it at too high a temperature, unlike its cousin, onion, which caramelises, it burns VERY quickly and tastes awful when burnt. Be gentle with it, you know it makes sense. The antiseptic, antibacterial qualities of garlic have been well known for millennia, it is one of the most effective and versatile of all herbs, unless, of course, you have a sensitivity, or even a full blown allergy to it, particularly if used raw, it can be a little severe for some people (e.g. my wife!)

    1. Author Joanne A on January 24, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Yes, unfortunately, garlic isn't great for people on a low fodmap diet. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  7. Author Bishal Barma on June 4, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Wonderful site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

  8. Author Gwen on August 2, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    In the summer I have a lot of flies in my conservatory when the sun is out until I put 3 garlic plants and I now in the summer have no flies. I will put new garlic plants next year and I am going to put a few in the kitchen.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 5, 2022 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for the tip!


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