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: 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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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