Vodka is a beautiful thing! In fact, 642,123 liters of the strong spirit was sold in the US in 2017 alone. While that amount could fuel endless drinking games at any of the ragers thrown throughout the year, some people are wise enough to set a few of those liters aside for the other myriad uses of the powerful drink.
Not only does the potent liquid speedily bring you into those belligerent feel-good moments, but it can also make many of your daily tasks much, much, easier. As a matter of fact, the first uses of vodka weren’t for drinking at all. Its original purpose, from its inception in 1405 through the mid 16th century, was actually medicinal in nature and also used in cosmetic cleaners. Originally very low in alcohol content, Vodka used to be very different from the favorite liquor we know and love today.
Over the centuries as the formula for the beverage was reworked, people discovered many different uses for it. Some of these have been passed down through history, making Vodka one of the best multi-purpose solutions to have in our homes today. Here are 35 of the best reasons to keep it on hand in your pantry. As an added bonus, the cheap stuff works just as great as top-shelf brands, so don’t bust your budget at the liquor store.
1. Make Your Feet Smell Good Again
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to remove their shoes in public, for fear of stinking out your company, there’s a Vodka cure for that! According to the folks over at Smelly Feet Cures, adding diluted Vodka to your footbath will eliminate that dreaded stench. This is because the alcohol kills off bacteria and rapidly evaporates from the skin, leaving your feet dry and scentless. Alternatively, you can achieve the same effect by soaking a washcloth in Vodka and wiping those stinky dogs down.
2. Deodorize Your Laundry
Is your favorite dress in dire need of attention? Avoid some of those costly trips to the dry cleaners by making your own deodorizing spray. Just mix one part cheap Vodka with two parts water in a spray bottle and voila! You can don that beautiful get-up without shelling out the bucks.
3. Treat Rash From Poison Ivy
With the joys of Spring and Summer come the woes of ivy rashes. Anyone who’s unwittingly stumbled into one of these patches knows how brutal the aftermath can be. To escape the wretched itch, Reader’s Digest recommends immediately dousing the affected area with Vodka. You might take a swill for yourself too, just for good measure.
4. Soothe A Jellyfish Sting
The ocean is teeming with beautiful sea creatures at every depth. Unfortunately, some are as dangerous as they are eye-catching. If you’re involved in the risky business of swimming amongst them, there’s a fair chance that you’ll eventually end up with a jellyfish sting. While asking a buddy to pee on you can work, Esquire provides a more discreet way of addressing the injury. Simply pour some Vodka over it and watch as it disinfects the sting eases the pain.
5. Repel Pesky Insects
If you’re tired of all those irritating insect bites, but don’t want to subject your family to the harsh toxins found in commercial repellents, then grab the Vodka! Bugs hate the scent as much as we love the drink. Just fill up a squirt bottle with some lower-shelf Vodka and hose down your skin. DoItYourself.com suggests adding in some basil, lavender, or other essential oils that repel insects for double the effect.
6. Keep Your Flower Bouquets Looking Lovely
The only sad part about having a gorgeous bouquet of flowers is that you have to slowly watch them die. Thankfully, you can keep the love alive a little longer with a daily dose of Vodka. According to Esquire, a couple of drops of cheap Vodka mixed with a teaspoon of sugar should do the trick. Just add the mixture to fresh water every day to keep those flowers vibrant and eye-popping.
7. Ease Your Aches And Pains
After a long workout or stressful day, it’s good to know there is an affordable and effective way to ease muscle pain without racking up a medical bill. While a nip of Vodka can do wonders to soothe the ache in your brain, your other muscles can benefit from a topical application. The good people from Vodkaphiles suggest packing a clean jar with lavender flowers and filling it with Vodka. After a few days, you will have a wonderful smelling, muscle easing tincture whenever you need it.
8. Get Tough Stains Out Of Your Upholstery
If you’ve found yourself throwing blankets and pillows on your favorite furniture to cover up the stains, then this Vodka trick is for you. Upholstery can be a real chore to clean, especially if you’re dealing with a stubborn stain. This Old House says you can finally win the battle by gently rubbing the stain with Vodka soaked fabric. It dries super fast as a bonus, too!
9. Get Those Lenses Squeaky Clean
If your glasses are in need of a shining and your T-shirt isn’t quite cutting it, you’ll be happy to hear about this DIY solution. Just dump a shot of Vodka into a small spritzer bottle and use a microfibre cloth to buff out any smears or grease on your lenses. DIYnetwork points out to only use this solution on lenses that do not have a protective coating, however, as the potent liquid can damage the coating.
10. Disinfect Your Garden Tools
If you’ve ever spent any time with a gardener, you know how strict they are about keeping their tools clean. This is important because you don’t want to transfer bacteria and disease to your plants. So, it’s important to disinfect all of your garden tools and germination trays after each use. According to gkvk, you can do this by thoroughly wiping them down with Vodka soaked rags and letting them air dry.
11. Extend The Life Of Your Razors
Razors can be expensive, especially if you’ve got a man in the house who like to stay well-groomed. You can cut costs and extend their life by letting them soak in alcohol. Lifehacker says the key to keeping a clean shave on the cheap is to just let your razor soak in vodka after each shave. The Vodka will disinfect the blades while keeping them submerged will prevent their rusting.
12. Make A DIY Facial Toner
Another thing Vodka is great for is your skin, particularly your face. This is because the liquor is known to have strong astringent properties that deeply clean your pores and tighten them. According to The Doctors, mixing a quarter teaspoon with a cup of fresh brewed green tea and using it as a face wash, will tighten sagging skin and give you the glow you’re looking for.
13. Boost Volume And Shine In Your Hair
If your locks are looking dull lately, you can boost their bounce and their shine with a bit of Vodka. NaturallyCurly suggests adding one shot per 12 ounces to your shampoo bottle. It will get rid of any oily build-up and give you extra volume, while also making it shine. Alternatively, you can whip up this recipe to do all of the above and increase hair growth.
14. Homemade Ice Pack
If you have any athletes in your family, then you likely know the value of an ice pack. Oddly enough though, they seem to disappear after a while. Before you stop what you’re doing to run to the drug store at next sign of injury, try making your own with vodka and water. According to Macgyverisms, the vodka will keep the water from freezing solid, so your DIY ice pack will stay flexible for whatever part of the body you have to apply it to.
15. Revamp Your Dough Recipe For A Lighter Crust
When you’re making pie dough the last thing you would think of using is vodka, but experts tell us to think again. The chefs over at Cook’s Illustrated explain that due to Vodka’s water/alcohol ratio, it’s perfect for making a lighter, flakier crust. This is because water is a key ingredient in the formation of gluten, whereas with vodka most of the water evaporates from the dough, giving it that perfect texture. So go ahead switch out the water in your recipe for the good stuff, you can thank us later.
16. Shine Up Your Silverware
Yet another great use for Vodka is cleaning your silverware. The alcohol content in most vodkas gives it the ability to remove tarnish from silver and other metals. Hunker tells us that after your normal cleaning routine, soak the silverware in Vodka for several minutes to get rid of the tarnish or stains. Then simply polish with a lint-free cloth.
17. Dry Out A Clogged Ear
Anyone who has suffered from swimmers ear knows how excruciating it can be. If it’s not addressed right away, it can lead to dangerous ear infections. So it’s handy to know that in the event your ear gets clogged with water, you probably have the solution right in your kitchen. IndyStar. says to mix 45% vodka with 45% apple cider vinegar, and 10% glycerin, to relieve that uncomfortable ear.
18. DIY Weed Killer
Have the weeds overtaken your yard this season? Before you take a trip to the garden center for overpriced weed killer, make your own for pennies on the dollar. This Old House brings us an easy, effective recipe; 1shot of Vodka, 2 cups of water, and several drops of dish soap mixed up in a spray bottle. Note, this spray works best on broadleaf weeds, as it cuts through their coating and dries them out quickly.
19. Keep Your Chrome Fixtures Spotless
Bring your chrome fixtures back to life by using Vodka! Just as with silverware, the potent beverage cuts through tarnish with ease, while removing gunk and other stains in the process. It literally will leave it spotless, as the alcohol evaporates within seconds. Organic Authority suggests pouring vodka on a lint-free cloth until just damp, and then simply wipe down all of your chrome surfaces.
20. Rid Your Home Of Mold And Mildew
Almost everyone has had the problem of mold seeping in through the walls or tile grout in their bathrooms. You can easily stop the gross stuff from spreading and causing further damage with some Vodka. Organic Authority says to just use it full strength in a spray bottle for even coverage, then let it sit for around 10 minutes. After it’s had a chance to disinfect, just scrub the residue away.
21. Make Your Own Goo-Gone
There are few things more annoying than removing a sticker, only to be left fighting a gunky mess for the next hour. Although there are some lovely scented products that can cut right through sticker residues, they tend to be oil based and leave you with a second mess to clean. Skip the oily stuff and go straight for the grime with a bit of Vodka. Lifehacker states that it may take a bit of extra rubbing to get that gunk off, but it will do the trick without the oil.
22. Keep Your Breath Fresh
This may go against the grain, but using Vodka as a mouthwash is actually very effective. Not only does it disinfect your mouth, you also have full control over what goes in it. How much do you really know about the inactive ingredients in your mouthwash, assuming they are properly labeled? Ditch the doubt by making your own mouthwash using vodka and essential oils, like in this recipe from mommypotamus.
23. Eliminate Cigarette Odor
One of the toughest smells to remove is that of cigarette smoke. Over time it builds up a thin, stinky film on objects and clothes that stinks to high heaven and just won’t quit. You can win this battle of odors though, with a spritz of Vodka. A Thrifty Mrs. recommends spraying cheap, undiluted vodka onto the item until completely covered, and then letting it air dry.
24. Alleviate Tooth Pain
There are very few things more painful than a toothache. Unfortunately, a person isn’t always able to get in to see a dentist right away. Fortunately, they do not have to sit and suffer until they can get an appointment. In the meantime, e-Toothache Remedies says that applying vodka directly to the painful tooth, or using as a mouthwash, can alleviate a good bit of the pain until you can get into the dentist.
25. Make Herbal Extracts
Though it’s true that Vodka is incredibly medicinal on its own, when combined with medicinal plants it can treat and cure an even wider array of ailments. Many herbal medicines are taken in the form of tinctures or extracts. Plant and fruit extracts are also a popular flavoring in many baked goods, such as Vanilla extract. Instead of paying over $6.00 for a few ounces of pure extracts, make your own with one of these simple recipes from Craftsy.
26. Rid Your Scalp Of Dandruff
One of the many wonders of Vodka is its bacteria-killing abilities. This is why it is also a key ingredient in home remedies for dandruff. The vodka easily kills the microbes on the scalp that causes dandruff, as well as seal the hair follicles and reduce frizziness. All you have to do, according to NaturallyCurly, is add a shot to 12 ounces of shampoo, shake well, and use as normal.
27. Never Fear A Red Wine Spill Again
Everyone knows that of all the stains, red wine stains are among the most dreaded. The rich red liquid has a bite like dye, and latches itself onto just about any fabric. What these fretful housekeepers don’t seem to know is, you can fight alcohol with alcohol. Wikihow recommends blotting out the stain with Vodka, continually pouring in the vodka until the stain is completely saturated, and then washing as normal.
28. Painlessly Peel Off A Band-Aid
Band-aids are fantastic little inventions, but sometimes they can stick almost too well and removing them can be very painful. Just ask any kid with a cut. According to Lifehacker, vodka can save the day. Simply soak the bandage in vodka and allow it to dissolve the adhesive, then painlessly peel away.
29. Quickly Cure A Cold Sore
Cold sores are the bane of many people’s existence. Usually cropping up on your face, the open sores can make even the most confident person want to hide in their room for two weeks. Fortunately, you can speed up the healing process of a cold sore with Vodka! According to The Survival Doctor, applying a Q-tip soaked in Vodka to the sore to dry it out.
30. Win The War With Your Wasps
Although bees and wasps are important pollinators, some people have life-threatening reactions to their sting. If that’s the case, having their nests around your home is a no-go, but the suckers can be difficult to get rid of. So, if you’re contending with a stubborn swarm, Plant Care Today suggests mixing 2 cups of Vodka with other insect repelling essential oils ward them off for good.
31. Soothe A Sore Throat
A sore throat can make for a poor day. It can be very painful to talk or swallow, and really make a person miserable. A good way to soothe that soreness is by mixing Vodka with a couple of household ingredients. According to Yesterday On Tuesday, all you need to do is mix 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice with 2 Tablespoons each of Vodka and Honey for the “best ever sore throat soother”.
32. DIY Window Cleaner
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to your regular window cleaner, look no further than the liquor shelf! Vodka does a fantastic job at both cutting through smudges and smears, as well as disinfecting the area. Since it is mostly comprised of alcohol, it will evaporate quickly, leaving your windows streak-free. Try this recipe from DIYNatural.
33. Reduce A Fever And Heal Faster
If you or someone in your family has a fever that you just can’t break, quickly relieve it with a Vodka liniment. If you rub the liquor into the skin on your chest and back and let it air dry, your skin will be cooled as the liquid evaporates. Though a liniment sounds complicated, Vodkaphiles ensures that it’s simply a matter of soaking a washcloth with the alcohol and applying to the skin.
34. Clean Your Jewelry
We already mentioned the wonders that Vodka can do for your silver and chrome, but it works equally well on gemstones and diamonds. You can easily use pure vodka to cut through any grime on your jewels. The DIY network mentions that for particularly dirty jewelry, let it soak in the alcohol for a few minutes and the scrub any remaining dirt off with an old toothbrush. Your precious stones will shine like new.
35. Remove Vomit Stains
We had to include this last one for its irony as much as its usefulness. If you get carried away with your drinks the night before, and you find yourself faced with a nasty stain in the morning the hair of the dog will work on your carpet, too. So, if you have any of the devilish drink left, SmartKlean says you can use it as a stain remover by soaking a cloth in it to blot out the stain.
There you have it , folks. Vodka is more than just a feel-good drink, and its versatility makes it just about the best cheap alcohol you can buy off that bottom-shelf! If you know others who could use a few Vodka tips, please SHARE this with your friends and family.
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