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From cleaning jewelry to fighting stubborn stains, vodka has many handy uses -- other than pepping up your Bloody Mary! We've rounded up some unusual ways to put your bottom-shelf vodka to good use all around your house.

vodka, household uses for vodkaVodka: not just for martinis anymore. Photo: Getty Images

Whether on the rocks, straight up or mixed in with your favorite cocktail, vodka has a reputation for being the life of the party. But make no mistake, this versatile spirit is more than just a one-trick pony. Thanks to its basic mixture of pure alcohol and water, vodka can be used as a strong household cleaner, pesticide and so much more. Bonus: it's a non-toxic alternative to many traditional products and chemicals.

Use Vodka for Stain Removal

Vodka can banish three of the most stubborn fabric stains known to man: ink, grass and lipstick. For ink and grass stains, dip a clean cloth in vodka and rub spot. Rinse thoroughly. Lipstick on your collar? Blot stain with vodka, then launder in your regular wash.

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Use Vodka to Clean Mold and Mildew

Instead of using toxic chemicals, fill a spray bottle with vodka to kill mold and mildew and knock out soap scum. On caulk and grout, spritz moldy areas and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub area with an old toothbrush, tile/grout brush or nylon scouring-pad. Rinse thoroughly. For bathroom tiles, spray vodka and let sit for 5-10 minutes; then wash clean.

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Use Vodka to Preserve Fresh Flowers
Plants all produce ethylene, a ripening gas that promotes maturation. Vodka stunts ethylene production, thereby helping flowers stay wilt-free longer. To keep store-bought flowers fresh, snip an inch off of each stem, add two teaspoons of vodka and one teaspoon sugar. Stir well and repeat this process every few days.

Use Vodka as a Chemical-Free
Weed Killer
With help from the sun's heat, the alcohol content in vodka destroys unwanted broad-leaf weeds -- such as dandelions, chickweed and wild onion -- by breaking down their waxy-cuticle coverings. This action dehydrates and dries plants out. Remove weeds by filling a spray bottle with an ounce of vodka, several drops of liquid dish soap, and two cups of water. On a sunny day, spritz weeds with the solution until dripping wet.

Tip: Direct sunlight is needed for this technique to work, as weeds in the shade won't dry out.

Use Vodka as an Adhesive Remover

Remove the glue left behind by bumper stickers and price labels with a clean cloth soaked in vodka. Rub over the sticky area for easy removal.

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Use Vodka to Clean Chrome, Glass and Jewelry
Vodka is effective at making dull bathroom fixtures, chandeliers, eyeglasses, windowpanes and even precious gemstones (only stones that are a crystal, such as diamonds) sparkle like new.

- For chandeliers: Moisten a clean microfiber cloth with vodka and rub over dusty surfaces. Alternatively, you can spritz the chandelier with a solution of one cup water and one teaspoon of vodka in a spray bottle. Lay a drop cloth on the floor to catch drips.

- For chrome:
Soak a soft, clean cloth with vodka and shine.

For eyeglasses: Dip a clean, lint-free cloth in vodka and rub each lens (back and front) until clear.

For jewelry: Measure out one-fourth cup vodka in a shallow drinking glass or bowl. Drop in jewelry and let soak for 5-10 minutes. Rinse and dry. Tip: Do NOT clean pearls, opals and other porous stones via this method.

- For windowpanes:
Mix one cup water and one teaspoon vodka in a spray bottle. Spritz on windows and wipe clean with paper towels or a clean microfiber cloth.

Use Vodka as an All-Natural Pesticide

Also known as plant lice, aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that suck the nutrient-rich sap from the stems of plants. To keep aphids off of plants add four cups water, four teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and four teaspoons vodka in a large spray bottle. Shake well and spritz areas where you spot infestations.

Use Vodka to Eliminate Odors
Vodka eradicates foul stenches -- and doesn't leave a scent when it dries. For an odorless air freshener, mix one part vodka with three parts water in a small spray bottle. Spritz area and let dry.

Have you tried any of these methods? What other household items have you found unusual uses for?

Out of Vodka? Beer Can Be Handy Too
Unusual Uses for Alka-Seltzer
Vodka: Surprising Use for Laundry

  • J.D.

    Does it matter what kind of Vodka is used?

  • VodkaMaster

    Yes the kind of vodka is very critical for some of these purposes.

  • FishWitchAlice

    We had a big thread on one of my Motorcylce forums about cleaning your helmet with VODKA!

    I'd be worried if ever pulled over for speeding they my think the Vodka had gone to my head!

    I'd rather put it over ice, or with cranberry juice, or tailgate bloody mary's, or.....

    Ammonia is cheaper. Clean & leave go for a ride . Park ~Then enjoy. NEVER DRINK & RIDE OR DRIVE!!!!!

  • Kenny

    I would think putting vodka on your helmet may sting a tad!

  • JL.

    I need a stain remover that can remove oil or grease stain from clothing. Would vodka do the job?

  • Ross Wigwey

    The cheaper the better

  • Me

    To get out grease stains.. even set in ones.. pour a little Dawn dish detergent on it.. let it set for a few minutes then throw it in the wash. Dawn really gets out grease. It's saved a few shirts from the trash can.

  • maddie

    nothing gets out grease better than Lestoil.

  • G.Blank

    Just buy new clothes! This is America after all...

  • Shirley

    Why wouldn't 70% alcohol work just as well as a cheap bottle of vodka?

    See you Amway dealer about a can of prwash for the grease or oil on your clothing.

  • jobobahole

    Stay away from Amway dealers at all costs. They will hound you worse than a Jehovah's Witness on a Sunday morning.

  • Jill

    In Russia they use it as windshield wiper fluid. It doesn't freeze, is cheaper than the real thing, and if you get stopped at a DUI check you can tell them you just washed the windows if they smell alcohol!

  • kim

    when I feel lonely & think of my distant Russian relatives(never met 1/4 russian). Maybe what they would be like, there humor, there opinions, I just than set a place at the dinner table & put a Big Bottle of triple distilled Vodka @ head of table. See how many uses there

  • Harry Hurt

    I wonder if it would polish sterling silver.

  • Grandma Gayle

    It would also be more caustic.

  • Gort

    ...try drinking the bottle! ( you won't give a dam how much is clogged, dirty, etc etc etc) Te He

  • Gregory Schwartz

    Vodka will also remove bubblegum from the carpet or from your hair. Just apply vodka and rub with lintless cloth or papertowel. Keep rubbing while applying vodka. The vodka will disolve the gum and the cloth will remove it.

  • Kirk

    Everclear 190 proof is a better and more economic option than vodka.

  • Rhonda

    If I have any vodka it's going in a Bloody Mary and that's it!!!!! LOL I have other cleaners for all those other things and they work just fine!!!

  • Joe

    WOW - Use VODKA to remove the ADHESIVE GLUE, KILL MOLD & MILDEW, etc?????

    Isn't this just a little EXPENSIVE!

    What is WRONG WITH GOOD OLD RUBBING ALCOHOL, a lot CHEAPER and can do the SAME THING!!!!!!!!!



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