By Ana Durrani | Mar 2, 2021
If vodka is your spirit of choice, you may prefer it on the rocks, in a bloody mary, or even in a Moscow Mule. This clear, mostly odorless, infinitely mixable liquor is a staple in any cocktail connoisseur’s at-home bar cart.
But it turns out, vodka can be used for more than just happy hour. It can also be used to degrease, deodorize, and disinfect your home!
“Liquor—and particularly vodka—is a natural disinfectant and can be used to clean a variety of surfaces in one’s home to help combat mold and mildew and kill germs,” says Mark Addison, TV personality, designer, and author of “Cocktail Chameleon.”
If traditional cleaning products’ harsh odors and chemicals are too much for you, the grain-based booze can be a good alternative since it’s easy on the hands and evaporates quickly. While we don’t recommend splurging on bottles of vodka for cleaning purposes, think twice before pouring any leftover vodka down the drain—unless you plan to clean the drain with it. (But were you really pouring vodka down the drain anyway?)https://www.realtor.com/myhome/homewidget
Note: There’s no need to shell out for premium vodka for this purpose either. Any type will do, although some experts recommend higher proofs for better cleaning power.
Here are some ways vodka can be used as a cleaning agent in the home. Cheers!
1. Clean kitchen appliances and surfaces
A filthy kitchen is enough to get anyone down. Put a mixture of equal parts vodka and water in a spray bottle, and spritz on grime and grease stains on your stovetop, backsplashes, and countertops. It can also shine your chrome faucets and cabinet hardware. You can also add a few drops of essential oil for a pleasant scent.
“The alcohol in vodka cuts through grease and oil,” says Leslie Reichert, author and green living expert. “Vodka is a great cleaner for stainless steel.”
But here’s a big, flashing warning notice: Vodka should not be used near open flames as it is flammable. OK?
2. Cut bathroom grime
Bathrooms get a lot of foot traffic so they can get awfully dirty, and bathroom fixtures can build up soap scum and hard-water stains. Just spritz some vodka on the mess, rinse, and wipe away the nastiness.
You can also get dark spots out of tile and caulk by spraying them with vodka, letting it sit for 30 minutes, scrubbing it away with an old toothbrush, and rinsing with water.
“Vodka can help with smells around the toilet, too,” says Reichert.
3. Make glass and mirrors cleaner
No one likes seeing streaks on the mirrors or glass. But with its solvent qualities, vodka can do away with even the toughest spots.
Combine equal parts water and vodka and add a quarter-teaspoon baking soda in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe.
“I’d recommend spraying glass or mirrors with the vodka, and then wiping with a fine woven microfiber cloth until completely dry,” says Reichert.
4. Remove sticky labels
Stubborn price stickers on items like toys and electronics are difficult to remove. Sometimes you manage to get the sticker off but the residue remains. Vodka can do wonders when it comes to dissolving sticker adhesive.
“Simply put a few drops of vodka on the sticker residue, let it sit for 10 minutes, and wipe it off with a paper towel for a squeaky-clean surface,” says Addison.
5. Clean jewelry
With everyday wear, jewelry can get dirty and start to look dull. But vodka can revive your favorite baubles.
“Another favorite use for vodka is to clean gold, silver, diamond, or other crystal gem jewelry,” says Addison. “Simply soak your jewelry in a watered-down vodka solution for 10 minutes, remove it, and brush the item with a toothbrush to get into the crevices.”
6. Refresh your laundry and more
Stinky clothes sometimes need a bit more of a punch to knock out those odors. Add a half-cup vodka to your load of laundry before running the washer.
It also works to deodorize other surfaces in your home. Get rid of sweat, cigarette, and other foul smells on your mattress, in your gym bag, or in your shoes. You can spray it directly on these items as the scent and moisture will evaporate and remove odors. (Proceed with caution before spraying anything on leather or other delicate materials.)
7. Remove stains from carpet
Accidents (and stains) happen. But when your normal carpet cleaner just won’t cut it, vodka can save you in a pinch. To get oil-based, grass, ink, or food stains out of your carpet using vodka, just soak, blot the excess liquid, and scrub.
8. Make a room diffuser oil
Vodka isn’t the first scent you gravitate toward when trying to freshen up the scent of your home. But we promise this recipe for a room fragrance won’t smell anything like a fraternity house.
Create an aromatic oil for your diffuser by combining a few tablespoons vodka with about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil and a quarter-cup almond or baby oil.
9. Repel bugs
Tired of getting eaten alive by mosquitoes? Put some vodka in a spray bottle, and spritz away those bothersome insects. The high alcohol content will keep them at bay.
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