Most of us know how to drink vodka but you might not have been aware of some of its more unusual household uses…
Put away your expensive branded vodka for the cheapo own brand stuff for these tips. It doesn’t matter if it tastes of rocket fuel because none of these uses involves mixing it with tonic water and drinking it!
1. Quick and easy poison ivy remedy
You can identify poison ivy by its shiny leaves in clusters of three. If you accidentally touch the roots, stems or flowers it could leave you with a nasty rash. By pouring neat vodka over the infected area you can simply wash away the urushiol oil which causes the rash.
2. Wipe down your windows
By mixing vodka with water and placing the solution in an old spray bottle you have a very powerful window cleaning kit. Spray on the window and then use a lint free cloth (or old newspaper crumpled up) to wipe it away for a streak free window that you can see your face in.
3. Freshen up your laundry
Pour some neat vodka in an empty spray bottle and then spray onto clothes to help get rid of any musty smells. Vodka is odourless so it’ll remove the old smell (killing the odour causing bacteria) without leaving any alcohol residue behind. Make sure you then hang the clothes to dry somewhere with plenty of ventilation. Tip: You can even spray the inside of smelly shoes with vodka!
4. Stop your flowers from wilting
It seems we’re not the only ones who like the occasional tipple! Add 3 or 4 drops of vodka with a teaspoon of sugar into the vase water with your cut flowers. This will help to stifle the production of ethylene which is what causes flowers to wilt and the sugar will provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive.
5. Pull off plasters without the pain
No one likes pulling off plasters – effectively it’s like a mini waxing session. Even the ‘rip it off quick’ technique tends to make grown men wince. Bring in the vodka! No… no… don’t drink it. Dab the bandage or plaster in vodka (until it’s completely covered) and the solvent in the alcohol will dissolve the glue in the plaster so that you can remove it with ease.
6. Help dry out cold sores
Applying neat vodka to a cold sore can help to dry it out. Do not apply it directly with your finger, use a baby bud (or q-tip). This won’t cure the cause – you should seek anti-viral treatment from your doctor or pharmacist.
7. Use it as insect repellent
Vodka is a great alternative to lung burning chemical sprays and can be placed in an old spray bottle and used to ward off most bugs. It also works as a repellent if you spray it on any exposed skin (not in the eyes!). Once the vodka dries it becomes completely odourless so you won’t smell like the inside of a pub.
8. Make your specs sparkle
(If you’ve got specs with a fancy coating on the glass then don’t risk this next tip). Mixing a little vodka with water and filling up a small spray bottle can be a great way to make you a cheap by very effective specs cleaning solution. Simply spray on and wipe and watch the glass sparkle.
9. Use it as an emergency disinfectant
If you haven’t got any dettol to hand vodka makes a great local anesthetic and disinfectant. Just pour a little on a clean cloth or tissue and dab onto the wound. It can also be used to help ease tooth ache. Swill some neat vodka in your mouth for a minute or two (and then don’t forget to spit it out!) to dull the pain.
10. Treat jellyfish stings
Everyone’s heard that *ahem* weeing on a jellyfish sting can help ease the pain –but actually vodka can provide an equally effective and far less invasive treatment. As an additional plus it’ll also disinfect the wound (which is something the more ‘alternative’ method can’t offer!)
11. Resurrect your razors
Yes, vodka can be used to prolong the life of your blades. Simply fill the bottom of a cup or mug with cheap vodka and put your disposables in so that the blades are sitting in the liquid. This will disinfect the blade and help prevent it from rusting.