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5 Ways to Use Leftover Pickle Juice, From Plant Care to Cleaning

Have leftover pickle juice from this year's favorite snack? Here are five reasons to save and reuse your pickle juice.

Written by
Samantha Bailon
Published
September 8, 2022

The pickle is 2022's favorite snack—and it comes with some serious benefits. Aside from being delicious and easy to make, pickles are defined by their brine, which tends to get tossed post-pickle. But it turns out that leftover pickle juice has a variety of uses.

From muscle relief to enhanced snacks to copper cleaning, here are five reasons to save and reuse your leftover pickle juice.

5 Ways to Use Leftover Pickle Juice

1. Improved Gut Health

According to Matthew Black, a registered dietitian at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, there are several ongoing studies looking into the benefits of pickle juice for your health. But topping the list? Pickle juice promotes gut health.

"Some pickle juice contains probiotics, sources of bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut," says Black. The probiotics are born of the good bacteria that forms in the brine, which consume the carbohydrates in the cucumbers and grow. In short, the fermentation process creates a healthy balance of bacteria and flora that your gut will greatly appreciate. 

2. Reduce Muscle Cramps

Based on a study conducted by the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, ingesting small volumes—around 1/3 of a cup—of pickle juice relieves muscle cramps within roughly 35 seconds of ingestion, making the liquid a great post-workout option. Research on menstrual cramps is ongoing, but in both cases you should consume plenty of water as well. 

3. Copper Pot Cleaning Agent

Leftover pickle juice can be used to help bring shiny just-like-new life back to your copperware. The acidity and vinegar make for an effective DIY cleaning product that can obliterate the tough scum and stains clouding your copperware.

4. Compost Additive

While there is still research determining the benefits of pickle juice for plants, the acidity can definitely help break down your compost scraps. But beware of adding too much to your compost—the pH should be balanced to keep your food waste bin healthy.

5. Cooking New Recipes

The most obvious use for your leftover pickle juice? For cooking! Use it for marinating vegetables or in the season's most interesting drink: the pickle martini.