Glycerin is a highly useful byproduct of soap making that is natural and used in thousands of other applications. Whether adding substance to your favorite hand lotion or sweetness to your baked goods, glycerin is a good product to have around your home for cleaning, cooking and beauty purposes.
Soap and Lotion
Glycerin is often used in clear soaps and a variety of body lotions, notes Reader's Digest. Glycerin is highly moisturizing and emollient because it actually attracts moisture, making it the ideal addition to moisturizing lotions and non-detergent soaps. It also aids in the thickening of soaps and lotions to give them a creamier consistency, and is a must have if you plan on making your own soaps and lotions at home.
An ideal addition to foods that need to be preserved for a long period of time, glycerin is used to keep food fresh. You'll find it is a necessary ingredient in preserving fruits in jams and jellies, and it can also be used in science labs to preserve specimens in jars and bottles.
PioneerThinking.com points out that glycerin is an important addition to the garage as well. It is a common ingredient in commercial antifreeze and can be applied to hydraulic jacks for smoother performance and less freezing. The slippery quality of the glycerin is ideal as a lubricant on machinery and cars.
Cakes and Candy
Glycerin is completely safe to ingest and is sweet in flavor. For this reason, glycerin is often listed as an ingredient in candy, taffy, icing, quick breads and even common liqueurs. It is valuable in keeping candy soft and pliable while adding a mildly sweet taste that complements the other flavors in the candy.
Keep a bottle of glycerin handy in your cleaning arsenal. It cuts through grease easily, and is especially effective on greasy stains like tar or oil. Just rubbing the stain with the glycerin should easily lift it, and then you can launder as usual. Glycerin is also effective in cleaning dried on, frozen foods that have collected in the bottom of your fridge and freezer. Just apply and let it sit for a few moments before you lift the food away.
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Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.