Sobering up means dumping your drink of choice. But if it's vodka, don't dunk it down the sink or (God forbid) give it to the dog. Vodka makes an excellent multipurpose home remedy. Strong chemical sprays can hurt your environment but vodka is safe to use because it's chemical-free. If you can resist the temptation to take a sip, keep your vodka and check out these seven different ways of using it safely around your home.
1. Remove Mold and Mildew
Vodka is great for attacking those hard-water spots and soap crusts in your bathroom. Simply spray it undiluted around the bath and shower and on tiles, metal taps, and curtain liners; then wait 10 minutes and wipe clear or scrub off lightly with a brush. Spatter the taps again with a little vodka and shine to leave them looking sparkling and new. This vodka trick can also be used in the washing machine or wherever there's a little fungal growth caused by damp conditions.
2. Use for Body Therapy
For years, vodka has been used in body therapy. It's a good antidote for acne. This condition is characterized by periodic outbreaks of pimples and blackheads whenever the facial pores become dirty or oil clogged. But dabbing the face with a piece of cotton wool dampened in vodka kills bacteria and unclogs and firms up the pores. Vodka can also soothe those aching muscles after a stint at the gym. Make a frozen pack from a mixture of equal parts of water and vodka and apply to the affected areas. And when mixed with shampoo, vodka has the effect of a shampoo and conditioner in one. It helps cleanse the scalp of dirt and dandruff and adds shine to the hair. Vodka also temporarily numbs the pain of toothache and removes odor from the feet and armpits.
If you enjoy the outdoors but often find yourself with an unsightly rash caused by contact with poison ivy, simply rub undiluted vodka onto the affected area and the problem disappears in no time. Vodka also makes a safe insect repellent. Spray it neat onto insects, bees and wasps, or spray yourself liberally with it to keep the bugs away.
3. Remove Adhesives
Many new glass containers have hard-to-remove labels attached the them. Vodka to the rescue. Rub off the label with a cloth dipped in vodka. Or immerse your container for about a minute in a sink containing water and about an inch of vodka. Then simply roll off the paper. Do likewise with glue that remains when labels have been removed. Similarly, when removing an adhesive bandage that has stuck to your skin, dab the sticky area with a piece of cotton drenched in vodka. This way you can peel the bandage off painlessly.
4. Clean Many Items
Vodka is an excellent all-purpose cleanser. A cloth soaked in vodka can be used to remove stains on fabric and upholstery caused by ink, grass, food, paint and pet eliminations. But rinse the area thoroughly afterwards. Any rust-prone items such as a shaving razor or key can be soaked overnight in vodka to prevent or remove rusting. Vodka also cleans the lenses of eyeglasses and attacks that green muck that tends to accumulate on the handles and rims.
Trying to scrub clean a greasy pot or pan can be hard work but adding a bit of vodka to the water in the sink loosens the grease making the washing easier. Vodka is good for polishing too. Spray and polish your jewelry, porcelain and chrome items. You may also soak your cutlery in vodka for five minutes then wipe and polish. Spray mirrors, window, and chandeliers with three teaspoons of vodka in a pint of water and wipe down for a sparkling effect.
5. Keep Flowers Looking Fresh
To prolong the freshness of your flowers, add a teaspoon each of sugar and vodka to the water in the vase. This formula works wonderfully with all flowers and should be renewed daily for bests results. To keep house plants looking fresh, douse a cotton ball in vodka and wipe down. The vodka holds back the formation of ethylene which causes flowers to wilt rapidly.
Vodka makes an amazing weed killer too. On a sunny day, mix two cups of water with a little dishwashing liquid plus vodka, then drizzle the weeds until soaking wet. The weeds dry out and die.
6. Revitalize Clothing
Some clothing items require dry-cleaning, but in the interim, they get musty and sweaty. Spraying these items with a mixture of one part water and two parts vodka and then letting them dry out, removes the odor. There's no lingering alcohol smell either. Spraying the inside of shoes with the water, vodka solution similarly kills odor.
7. Disinfect and Freshen
When you've got vodka to hand, you don't need toxic disinfectants and air fresheners. Spray undiluted vodka directly onto the meat board in the kitchen, or on to the toilet seat, or any other place where germs collect; then wait a while and wipe down.
To freshen any room, spray with a mix of one part vodka and three parts water. You don't have to worry about replacing one odd smell with another. This deodorizer has no odor. You may also revive the scent of pot pourri with vodka.
Vodka has many other amazing uses around the home. It's safe to handle and does not leave an odor. But spot test first before you happily spray away.
Benhilda Chanetsa has a BA Honors degree in History and Sociology and a teaching diploma, both from the University of London. She was a high school teacher for 11 years, and chief subeditor at a weekly newspaper for four years. She's been a freelance lifestyle writer for the past 10 years and has two nonfiction e-books published on Amazon. The books are on overcoming negative thinking and surviving abusive relationships.