Neither my husband nor myself drink alcohol. We’ve nothing against it; it just hasn’t found a place in our lives. We do, however, keep a ginormous bottle of vodka that gets used pretty liberally. The stuff is as awesome as baking soda or castile soap!
For instance, the other day I noticed that one of my locs (dreadlocks) had some build up. Locs tend to hold onto EVERYTHING and while I have locs to avoid having to do much with my hair, I don’t actually want to LOOK like I don’t do anything with my hair. It was time to bring out the big guns. I did my usual apple cider vinegar and baking soda wash and after rinsing that out, I mixed vodka and castile soap and washed with that. It always does the trick! My hair is super duper clean, soft and as shiny as my hair gets. 🙂
Hair is only the tip of the iceberg my friends! Below, you’ll find a list of ways we use this versatile liquid as well as a few extra uses I’ve found here and there. I use the cheapest vodka I find. It should be 80 proof/40% alcohol. Are you ready to get your vodka on?
1. Obviously, Drink it- Drink it plain or infuse fruits and stuff into it. I’ve seen skittles and bacon………..not together if that helps!
2. Vanilla extract– This is one of my standard, “Oh, crap, I don’t have a gift or time to get one,” remedies. It’s super simple. All you need is vodka, a container and vanilla beans. I’d say 2 beans per 1 cup vodka. Slice the vanilla beans open length wise and stick them in the vodka. Let it sit for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of forever; the longer the better. If you find that you are running low on extract, simply replace what you use with vodka every now and then. This is also great to add other spices to such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Pssst!! You can also use this method with cocoa powder for chocolate extract!
3. Herbal tinctures- You may want to use a higher proof for tinctures depending on how quickly you use them and if you’re using fresh herbs. Alcohol is a natural preservative but with fresh herbs the alcohol gets more diluted because of the water content in the plants. For a basic tincture, you place your herbs in a jar and fill it with vodka, up to about an inch from the top. Then you place a lid on the jar and let it sit in a dark corner for about 4-6 weeks. It’s fine if you leave it longer. Strain your herbs and you are good to go! Now making herbal tinctures can definitely be more complicated than this but I’m a newbie to the game and like to keep it simple. I am not one who measures much but if you need more specifics you can go with 1:2 ratio for fresh herbs and a 1:5 ratio for dried herbs. (Herbs: vodka) You can also make tinctures with apple cider vinegar or food grade glycerin but I have yet to do it. So far the favorite that I’ve made is an Echinacea/Elderberry tincture for colds and an immune system boost.
4. Fabreeze- Stick some vodka in a spray bottle and spritz your clothes/ furniture to help with any funk they might have. Great for mildew, cigarette, and sweat smells too. Great for stinky shoes! I like to add essential oils for scent. By the way this leads us to number 5……..
5. Perfume- A little bit of vodka, your choice of essential oils and BAM! You’ve got yourself a custom made perfume.
6. Hand Sanitizer- In a pinch vodka will do the trick! It’s antibacterial! (Although I’m kind of curious about the situation you’re in that leaves you with vodka but no soap and water…….. sounds like you had fun!)
7. Astringent or Aftershave- It will clean your skin and tighten those pores!
8. Glass Cleaner- Mix vodka and water for a streak free shine! It removes hairspray from mirrors and I use it on my glasses too. Well, I did before my two year old got ahold of them.
9. All Purpose Cleaner- Mix vodka and water 50/50 and you got a cleaner that will disinfect, cut grease and take care of soap scum. Great for making your fixtures shine! (For soap scum, leave on for 5minutes and then rinse.)
10. Jewelry- Soak jewelry in a 50/50 solution. (Don’t put your pearls in it though!)
11. Disinfectant- I dip my tooth brush in vodka every now and then to kill bacteria. I also use it mixed with water to wash things down after someone has been sick.
12. Antiseptic Mouthwash- You can either let ingredients like cinnamon, peppermint, and cloves sit in vodka for a few weeks or use essential oils. I typically do 50/50 vodka/water with various essential oils. I use combinations of cinnamon, clove, tea tree, peppermint, and lemon essential oils when I make it. You can add stevia if the taste is too offensive but I find it’s usually refreshing.
13. Hair- As I said ^^^^^way up there, I use vodka in my hair to clarify and prevent/remove product buildup. Vodka detoxes scalp and hair and removes hard water minerals. It can also be used for dandruff issues. Just add a shot glass worth into your shampoo. If you’re looking for bouncy, shiny hair, vodka will help you here too. It lowers the PH of your hair which helps to keep your cuticles closed. Add a shot glass to your conditioner and you’ll be walking down the street, pretending you’re in a hair commercial. You’ll look absolutely ridiculous but your hair will be fly! (Do people still say fly?)
14. Flowers- To keep cut flowers looking fresher for longer, add a couple drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar into the water and change every other day.
15. Caulking- Spray undiluted vodka on the caulking and tiles of your bathroom to kill mold and mildew. Leave on for about 5 minutes and then rinse.
16. Wasp spray/Bug repellant- Spray yourself with vodka to repel bugs! It also kills wasps and bees if you spray it on them but please don’t kill the bees. We really need them!
17. Air Freshener- Spraying plain vodka in the air can leave the room refreshed without leaving a scent. If you do want a scent, add some essential oils.
18. Keep aphids off plants- Dip a cotton ball or cloth in vodka and wipe off the leaves of your plants. I wouldn’t use this on delicate plants though.
19. Clean Crystal and Porcelain- Great for holiday ornaments!
20. Goo Removal- Fantastic at removing sticker residue and various gooey substances left behind by children! It’s also good for painless band-aide removal.
21. Wine and other stubborn Stains- Pour a little more alcohol on those red wine stains and it should come right out. It’s also good for lipstick, oil stains, ink and grass stains.
22. Razors- Prolong the life of razors by soaking them in vodka after shaving. It disinfects and prevents rust!
23. Ice pack- Mix about a cup of vodka with ½ cup water and put it in a ziplock type bag for a malleable ice pack.
24. Aches and Pains- Put lavender in a jar and fill it with vodka. Leave it in the sun for a few days and then strain. Rub on aches and pains.
25. Stinky Feet- Wash them with vodka.
26. Sore throat- Put a tablespoon of vodka into warm water and gargle.
27. Toothache- Swish it in your mouth until your gums absorb some of the alcohol. Your tooth should feel better. Bonus points if you made that mouth wash with clove oil! Clove is great for toothaches.
28. Jellyfish Sting- No need to pee on yourself……or to have one of your friends do it. Well, unless you don’t have any vodka. If you do have the vodka, I’ve read that it makes a great replacement for pee.
29. Poison Ivy/Oak- Rub it on for relief.
30. Flakey Pie Crust– Rumor has it that if you replace the water in your crust recipe with ice cold vodka, it makes it extra flakey. Flakey…….Is it me or is that a weird word when written out? Flaky? Flakey…….. on to number 31!
31. Fever- I, for the most part, don’t mess with fevers. It’s usually your body’s way of trying to help you out. If you need to bring a fever down though, vodka can help! Soak a washcloth in vodka; then rub on your chest and back.
32. Cold Sores-Dab a bit of vodka on it with a q-tip. You can do this daily until it goes away.
33. Weed Killer– Spraying vodka on weeds is pretty effective. I wait until midday and then use a concoction of vodka, a few drops of dish soap and some salt to spray on the weeds. Vodka works all by its lonesome but I like to play mad scientist.
34. First Aid- If your first aid kit is bare but your liquor cabinets are full……..well, you might want to re-evaluate a few things! *clears throat* Uh, I gotta go re stock my first aid kit now…. I kid, but you can really use vodka in place of rubbing alcohol. It works on bug bites, open blisters, and small cuts. It’s a good anesthetic and disinfectant.
35. Vomit Stains– Ironically, vodka will take care of that.
36. Ear Aches- Vodka kills the bacteria in the ear. Put a few drops in your ear, tilt your head so it doesn’t roll out and let it stay for a few minutes. Then tilt your head the other way to drain.
37. Remove rust from screws- Leave the screws in plain vodka for a few hours and then wipe the rust right off.
38. Shoe funk- Spray it in your shoes and let it dry. Easy peasy!
Disclaimer: Please remember that I’m not a doctor or any type of medical professional. I’m simply a lady with leftover vodka.