10 Cool Household Uses for Vodka

by heather

Photo courtesy Picturejockey, FlickrCC

Photo courtesy Picturejockey, FlickrCC

When most people think of vodka, they think “martini”, not “wonder household cleaning and disinfecting product”.

But, I was shocked to learn the other day that, in addition to spicing up your Bloody Mary, vodka has tons of uses around the house as a natural home remedy. Who knew?

Here are 10 things you can use your vodka for around the house:

Vodka Use #1: Poison Ivy Killer

I could have really used this one a few weeks ago.

You can use vodka to stop the spread of poison ivy on your skin. I read on Daily Green that straight alcohol might work better, but if you’re out in the woods and all you have is vodka then have at it.

Vodka Use #2: Kill Foot Odor

If you’ve got a stinky feet problem then pour vodka on them.  Vodka kills germs almost as effectively as straight alcohol.

Vodka Use #3: Keep Flowers Fresh

Bacterial growth is the enemy of fresh flowers. Reader’s Digest says that to keep your cut flowers fresh longer, put a few drops of vodka in the water.

Vodka Use #4: Weed Killer

Avoid harsh pesticides in your yard by using vodka. Simply mix 1 oz. vodka, a few drops of liquid dish soap, and 2 cups water in a spray bottle.  On a sunny day (in the middle of the day), drench your weeds with the  mixture. RD says that the alcohol breaks down the waxy coating on the leaves, making the plants susceptible to dehydration.

Vodka Use #5: Disinfect Your Toothbrush

I’m starting to see a pattern here…

Vodka kills germs. So, soaking your toothbrush head in a small cup of vodka is a great way to kill the bacteria that starts to grow in there.

Vodka Use #6: Get Shiny Hair

Put a shot of vodka in a 12 oz. bottle of shampoo for glistening locks.

Vodka Use #7: Kill Mold In Your Bathroom

I was really excited to learn about this one because the mold in my bathroom tiles has proved resistant to everything from vinegar to bleach. Well, vodka’s next.

Simply pour some vodka in a spray bottle and spray on the caulking. Let it sit for 5-15 minutes, and then wipe off.

Vodka Use #8: Remove Sticky Glue On Glass

Have a price tag or sticker that won’t come off a glass frame or object? Rub vodka on it and it should come right off.

Vodka Use #9: Keep Aphids Off Houseplants

If you have an aphid problem, my sympathies are with you. You can battle the little buggers by cleaning off the leaves of your plants with water, and then dabbing the leaves with a cotton ball soaked with vodka.

Apartment Therapy recommends you don’t do this with delicate plants like African Violets.

Vodka Use #10: Kill Cold Sores

Cold sores are the worst. You can help dry it out by using a Q-tip soaked with Vodka daily.

Bonus Vodka Use #11: Help a Fever

If you’re suffering with a fever then soak a washcloth in vodka and rub it on your chest and back as a liniment.

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C T Hall January 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Wouldn’t isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) or denatured ethanol (grain alcohol rendered unfit to drink) be as effective and less expensive?

heather January 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

@CT- Yes, the research I did said that it’s the alcohol in the vodka that is so effective in the uses. Most advised using vodka (which is definitely more expensive!) only if you were out of straight alcohol. So sorry I didn’t make that clear in the post! Thanks so much for pointing that out.

RenaissanceRonin January 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Um… Heather;

If you’re out in the woods and you have more vodka than medical supplies, isn’t that an indication that you already have other problems? 🙂

And why on earth would I want shiny hair in my vodka? I don’t like the chew my martini’s. 😉

But, if you drink enough Russian Vodka, it may qualify you for a Presidential Cabinet post, say as Ambassador to Russia. After all, Palin thought her proximity to Russia made her a good candidate for Russian diplomacy. If I drink it, I’m closer still!

Okay, okay… here’s the real gist of my comment;

Vodka can be used to “chase” automotive grade coolant (ethylene glycol) out of a child’s system. Children often drink the stuff because it’s “sweet” and often unmonitored in the garage. That coolant crystallizes in the liver, and causes painful death.

Feeding that poisoned kid vodka will force their little body to process the grain alcohol instead of the ethylene glycol, and that will push the undigested coolant right out of their systems without allowing it to get into their livers. This could buy you enough time to get them to a hospital.

And… even the CDC says it’s true.

Dallas Dollars February 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Wow! I’m gonna tell my girlfriend about washing her hair with Vodka. I also agree with renaissance ronin about the choice of supplies while camping!

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