Not everyone has equal zeal for a spicy, briny jar of pickles. Still, for those of us who like them, it’s hard to think of a more perfect snack. If you buy a lot of pickles, chances are you also have a ton of pickle jars lying around—after all, they all seem like they could be put to good use. After enough time, though, you may notice your cabinets getting packed full of them and not know what to do. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can re-use them that you may not have thought of. On the other hand, you can even put the pickle juice itself to some creative uses. With no further ado, here are 20 great ways to up-cycle your pickle jars.
1. Use Pickle Juice To Tenderize Meat
If you ever wondered how you could use your pickle juice another way, this is one of the best ones we’ve found. To use this trick, all you have to do is pour your pickle juice into a container and whisk in some minced garlic, ground pepper and mustard. When it’s well-combined, brush it generously over the meat of your choice. As it turns out, this marinade is particularly useful for tougher cuts of meat!
2. Drink Pickle Brine For Energy
Ok, so maybe not everyone will be up for this one—but hear us out. If you’re the kind of person who feels low on energy throughout the day or happens to have an energy drink (or coffee) habit, drinking a little bit of watered down pickle brine might be the solution. As it turns out, the brine that pickles rest in is packed full of electrolytes and can help regulate blood sugar levels, ease muscle cramps and much more. Plus it tastes delicious… just make sure to have some mints on hand afterwards.
3. Use It As A Vinegar Substitute
Similar to the above, you can also use extra pickle juice as a substitute for vinegar in a wide variety of recipes. As an added bonus, the brine will give the recipe a boost of additional flavor as well. Just make sure that the flavor of whatever pickles you’re using will go well with the rest of the recipe. Feel free to experiment with different brands of pickles as well.
4. Pickle Other Foods
Although this one may seem obvious, it’s always surprising how few people use the leftover pickle juice to pickle more foods! The mix is already in there and you already know that you’re going to like the taste. As it turns out, this tip is just as easy as it sounds: all you have to do is drop your veggies in the brine, close it up and enjoy. Some good contenders for pickling might include shredded carrots or cabbage. On the other hand, you could also slice up some cucumbers to make some more pickles.
5. Use For More Acidic Soil
For any gardeners out there looking to change the pH level of their soil, pickle juice can be particularly helpful. Although you shouldn’t just go dumping the stuff into your garden beds willy nilly, it can be helpful for anyone trying to grow hydrangeas or rhododendrons whose soil is just a little too alkaline.
6. Use Pickle Juice To Clean Pans
As it turns out, pickle juice actually does a great job as a cleaning agent under certain circumstances as well. If you have some grill grates in your oven that just won’t come clean or some copper pans that are stained, try soaking both in some pickle juice before scrubbing them down. The acidic nature of the solution should loosen up any hard-to-clean particles and make the whole process much, much easier.
7. Make A DIY Sewing Kit
If you do much mending of pants or other fabrics around the house, a pickle jar can be a nice way to make a little sewing kit for yourself. All you have to do is mount a pincushion on the top of the jar, keep some thread mounted to it and fill the jar itself with a bunch of replacement buttons. While this can definitely be a convenient trick, make sure to thoroughly clean out the jar first!
8. Use Old Jars As Flower Vases
If you have a big enough jar and a bouquet of flowers that you’ve trimmed short enough, a pickle jar can serve as a great DIY vase. Obviously the container itself is perfect for holding water for whatever you put inside it but the size is also perfect for a dinner table decoration. To make it look a little dressier, try wrapping the outside of the jar in twine and hot glueing the ends of it in place. Put it in the middle of the table and voila!
9. Make A Matching Set Of Jars
One of the more annoying things about having so many different brands of pickle jars lying around the home is that your dishes start to look like hand-me-downs that don’t match. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to fix this problem. Assuming that you’ve already washed off the labels and you have a few jars that are different sizes, why not decorate the tops in a unique pattern? Once you’ve made the lids your own, all your jars will look like they were made to match.
10. Use Them As Bathroom Organizers
Although not everyone may have enough room in their bathroom to have a ton of jars in there, using old pickle jars to decorate can give the restroom a rustic look. Like the others, this one doesn’t take much effort at all: just make sure you clean the jars out well, decorate them if you wish and clearly label each one. Easy!
11. Remake them As Piggy Banks
If you have any little children running around your house, put one or more of your old jars to use as adorable piggy banks! Although you’ll have to get a lid that you can cut a little coin slot into, decorating the jar couldn’t be easier—and will provide a fun activity for you and your kids to do together! Make sure to clean the jars out all the way first and to let the paint dry before you start using them.
12. Remake Them Into Oil Lamps
Although this one might sound a little unusual, pickle jars can actually turn into some beautiful, country-style oil lamps if you’re a bit crafty. All you’ll have to do is get some thick, cotton wicks and cut some holes in the top of the lids (though make sure not to use a plastic lid). Fill the jar with some lamp oil, put everything in place and light the top of the wick. Although you might not use them all the time, they make for beautiful decorations during special occasions.
13. Make One Into A Waterless Snow Globe
If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can also turn your jars into Christmas time decorations as well. Though it’ll definitely take a trip to the craft store, you can screw the lid off a jar and decorate the bottom of it with a snowy landscape of your own design—all you’ll need to do is glue some decorations to the bottom and decorate it with fake powdered snow. When it’s all done, carefully screw the lid back into the jar and set it up on the mantle to add some holiday cheer to your home.
14. Turn One Into A Soap Container
Though we already mentioned ways to use these pickle jars in the bathroom, using one of them as a soap dispenser is something we didn’t quite cover. To do this, all you have to do is clean out the jar in question and carefully cut a hole in the top of it. After that, either using an old lotion dispenser or buying a new one from a store, carefully mount the dispenser through the top. Fill the jar with liquid soap and you’re ready to use it!
15. Turn A Jar Into A Homemade Candle
Last but not least, why not try to decorate your home with these pickle jars by making your own candles in them? Fortunately, this one is also very easy to make and ends up smelling delicious. All you’ll need to do is get some sliced citrus fruits, water, cooking oil and a wick. First, fill the jar with water about 2/3 of the way through, putting the fruit in as well. Put a layer of cooking oil on top of that. Next, put a floating wick and rest it on top of the oil layer and light it! Leave the lid off and enjoy the beautiful aroma that will soon fill your home.
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