For so many it’s the substance that makes us say the words “I’ll never drink again”, only to get back on the bloody marys by brunch time. What you might not realize however, is that vodka is not just “bad-decision juice”, but actually can be a versatile and useful liquid for everything from restoration to cleaning. And the best part is, whatever you have left over can still be made into a delicious martini. So without further ado, let’s explore 35 of the best uses for vodka that aren’t just the fun ones.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Treat Rash From Poison Ivy
While Spring and Summer bring with them the joys of the outdoors, they also bring the woes of ivy rashes. If you’ve ever unwittingly stumbled into patches of the nasty plant knows how terrible the aftermath can be.
To escape the wretched itch, Reader’s Digest recommends immediately dousing the affected area with Vodka. And while you’re at it, you might as well take a swill yourself for good measure.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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. 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.
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. Repel Pesky Insects
Forget the lousy insect bites that come with gallivanting outdoors with a cheeky little spray of the good stuff. If you don’t want to subject your family to the harsh toxins found in commercial repellents, then vodka might be right for you! Bugs can’t stand the scent any more than someone who’s still recovering from their last really big night out. Fill up a squirt bottle with some bottom-shelf vodka and give your skin a good dowsing. DoItYourself.com suggests adding in some basil, lavender, or other essential oils that repel insects for double the effect, and a little extra aroma.
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. 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.
13. Soothe A Jellyfish Sting
The ocean hosts many of the world’s most beautiful creatures. While some of them are amazing to look at some are also downright dangerous. If you happen to enjoy getting amongst them for a swim, there’s a decent chance that you’ll eventually end up with a jellyfish sting. While asking a buddy to pee on you can work (and make hanging out with that friend a little more interesting), 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. Maybe it can ease it in more ways than one…
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Dry Out A Clogged Ear
If you’ve ever endured the pain of swimmer’s ear, you’ll know just how excruciating it can be. If not dealt with right away, it can potentially lead to ear infections. What you may not know is that in the event that your ear gets clogged with water, you probably have the solution right in your liquor cabinet. IndyStar. says to mix 45% vodka with 45% apple cider vinegar, and 10% glycerin, to relieve that ear pain.
18. Keep Your Chrome Fixtures Spotless
Why don’t you bring your chrome fixtures back to life by using vodka! Just as with silverware, the strong spirit dissolves tarnish with ease, while removing buildup and other gross stains in the process. It will totally leave your cutlery spotless, as the alcohol evaporates within seconds. Organic Authority recommends pouring vodka on a lint-free cloth until just damp, then just wipe down all of your chrome surfaces.
19. 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.
20. Remove Vomit Stains
Of course we have to include this one for its irony as much as its usefulness. If you have a few too many drinks the night before, and you wake up to a nasty stain in the morning, a little hair of the dog will do magic for your carpet, too. So, if you have any of the spirit left, SmartKlean says you can use it as a stain remover by soaking a cloth in it to blot out the stain.
21. 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.
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. Deodorize Your Laundry
Are your clothes beginning to smell a little musty? As in, I MUST wash these clothes? Simply avoid a few of those expensive trips to the dry cleaners by fashioning your own deodorizing spray. Go ahead and mix one part cheap vodka with two parts water in a spray bottle and voila! You can freshen up your wardrobe at least in an odorous capacity.
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. Get Tough Stains Out Of Your Upholstery
If you’re sick of tossing pillows and blankets over the embarrassing stains on your upholstery, then this vodka trick is for you. Upholstery can sometimes be nearly impossible to clean, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly nasty stain. This Old House says you can finally defeat the stain by gently rubbing it with vodka soaked fabric. Plus, it even dries super fast as a bonus, too!
28. Painlessly Peel Off A Band-Aid
While Band-aids are a revolution of first aid to come out of the last century, they do come with a downside of painful removal. Just ask any kid with a graze. According to Lifehacker, vodka can save the day. All you have to do is soak the bandage in vodka and let it dissolve the adhesive, then painlessly peel away. While you definitely need to keep the vodka away from the kid otherwise, perhaps you could reward yourself with a nip.
29. 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.
30. Win The War With Your Wasps
Plus side of bees and wasps: They are important pollinators. A major downside is that some people have life-threatening reactions to their sting. If that’s the case, it’s of the utmost importance to remove their nests from your property. Those little devils however, can be difficult to get rid of. So, if you’re battling 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. 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.
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.