My family and I tend to use a lot of Kool-Aid in the summertime. It's a great alternative to soda pop—there are a bazillion yummy flavors, and I can control the sugar content by using less sugar or a sugar substitute. But did you know there are tons of other ways unsweetened Kool-Aid can be used around the house? Here are eight new ways to use that powdery drink mix:

1. Clean your washing machine

Bet you never thought of pouring Kool-Aid in your washing machine! No, I'm not talking about washing your clothes in a giant batch of fruit punch. The citric acid crystals in Kool-Aid actually help remove rust, gunk and buildup from inside your washing machine! Just pour 1/4 cup of the lemon or orange-flavored drink mix into your washing machine and run a regular wash cycle. Repeat as needed.

2. Dye your hair

Are you or your kids headed to a cool summer bash or concert? Use Kool-Aid to add streaks or completely dye your hair. Just mix one or two packets of your preferred color of Kool-Aid with a teaspoon of cornstarch and a few drops of water. Rub the paste into your dry hair and allow it to sit for at least five minutes. Wash the concoction out and style as usual. Why choose this method over store-bought hair dye? It’s cheaper (a store-bought temporary hair dye can cost more than $12 while a single pack of Kool-Aid costs about $0.20 cents or less!), completely customizable, there are no toxic ingredients, and it's temporary (it only lasts through one or two shampoos!). Just be sure to wear plastic gloves when applying the dye so you don't stain your hands!

3. Clean your concrete patio and sidewalks

Yucky rust stains on your concrete? Just mix together a few drops of water with a packet of lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid. Use a brush to scrub the stains with the paste and voila—you've got a clean patio! The abrasive paste plus the citric acid helps tackle even the trickiest stains.

4. Fix chlorine-damaged hair

If your frequent trips to the pool turn your hair green, remove the chlorine from your hair by mixing together a pack of lemon-flavored Kool-Aid with a dab of shampoo. Lather your hair up as normal and then allow it to sit for fifteen minutes. When the time is up, rinse your hair (be careful not to get the Kool-Aid in your eyes—it will sting!) and style like normal. It can cost $5 or more for a single 7-ounce bottle of chlorine removal shampoo. You can buy a 19-ounce container of Kool-Aid for $2.50!

5. Clean pots and pans

Stubborn stains on your pans and pots? Get rid of them with Kool-Aid! Just mix a packet of lemon or orange-flavored Kool-Aid with a teaspoon of water and scrub away. How does it work? Not only is the mixture abrasive (it contains salt, ascorbic acid and cornstarch), it's full of citric acid which helps dissolve and remove those annoying stains.

6. Check for toilet tank leaks

Does the water continuously run inside your toilet tank in between flushes? Before you call a plumber, use Kool-Aid to check for a leak in the tank. Remove the tank lid and pour in a dark-colored Kool-Aid (think Grape or Berry Blue). Wait about 30 minutes without flushing the toilet. You have a leak if any of the colored water makes its way into your toilet bowl. Although you might just have to replace the flapper, you'll have to investigate to figure out the exact cause of the leak.

7. Clean your toilet

Speaking of toilets, you can use orange-flavored Kool-Aid to make your toilet sparkle! Pour a packet into your toilet bowl and scrub away the stains with a toilet brush. The abrasive texture of the powder plus the citric acid helps break down and dissolve even the toughest stains. It's even rumored that soldiers in the military frequently use this method to clean their toilets!

8. Clean silverware

Tarnished and rust-stained silverware can really put a damper on your dinner party. Rather than buying fancy silverware cleaner for $10 or more, use a $0.20 pack of lemon Kool-Aid. Just fill up your sink or a pitcher with 2 quarts of water, pour in one packet of Kool-Aid and add one cup of sugar. Mix the concoction well and add your silverware. Soak for 10 minutes and then scrub at the stains with a clean cloth until they are gone. You can also use this method on tarnished jewelry and rusty tools!

8 Alternative Uses for Kool-Aid