Five Surprising Non-Culinary Hot Sauce Uses

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Going beyond the kitchen.

We all know hot sauce tastes great with lots of foods and in tons of recipes. But did you know there are some surprising non-culinary hot sauce uses out there? That’s right, that little bottle of heat has some extra tricks up its sleeve. Here are five of our favorite ways that hot sauces can be used beyond the kitchen. Enjoy…and use with care.

1. Use a few dashes of hot sauce as a birdseed squirrel deterrent.

Have a pesky squirrel or two eating the birdseed out of your bird feeder? Try a few drops of hot sauce in the seed to create makeshift hot pepper suet. Hot peppers are a completely natural way to deter those squirrels and other wild animals. Most squirrels will shy away immediately from the seed. And don’t worry about the birds, they aren’t affected by hot pepper heat at all. The birdseed will still be plenty appetizing to them.

2. Stop biting those nails. Place hot sauce on them to help you break the habit.

Of course for true hot sauce lovers this can seriously backfire. But for those with less love for the heat, a few drops of hot sauce on their nails can be a fiery reminder to stop biting! Best of all, you can adjust the heat to get the level of “reminder” that you need.

3. Use hot sauce to train your pets to keep out of specific areas.

Of course, be kind here. Use hot sauces on the milder side. Both cats and dogs typically hate the smell and taste of hot sauce, so a few drops of liquid heat around areas they shouldn’t be is a viable training technique.

4. Spray plant leaves with a hot sauce mix to ward off insects.

There”s a familiar “deterrent” theme here, no? Hot sauce is not liked not only by animals, but also by many insects. Garden mites, caterpillars, and worms all can be deterred from ruining your plants using a spray concocted with hot sauce.

Two tablespoons of hot sauce and a few drops of dish detergent mixed into a quart of water can make for a terrific homemade spray. You can also buy hot pepper wax that has been specially made with all natural ingredients to do the job – both for animals and insects.

5. Use hot sauce to sweat or cry at a moment’s notice.

This is a trick used by some actors to create a necessary physical reaction for a scene. Hot peppers, like white onions, can cause tears when eaten. And hot peppers – as they are an irritant – cause your body to try and sweat the irritant out. Hot sauce, too, can be used, in both instances, but as the hot pepper is diluted, you may need a bit more to do the trick. Unless of course, you’re naturally sensitive to heat; then, even a little dose of hot sauce can do.

For the best effect, swirl two tablespoons of hot sauce in your mouth, hitting the tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth prior to swallowing. Bump up the heat of the hot sauce if you find that it’s too mild to get your body reacting.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 5, 2019 to include new content.
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