My husband’s family believes that the perfect gift for any occasion is liquor (I am assuming this is a generation thing left over from the 70s business-man stereotype). Nevertheless, we usually get a few bottles each year between our anniversary, birthdays and Christmas. However, the brand they buy is very inexpensive and not at all what I would use for a mixed drink. Therefore, I have found useful ways to use vodka around the house rather than allow it to sit in a cabinet going to waste.
Household uses for vodka
Glue remover – If you hate the sticky residue left after you peel off a label, grab your bottle of vodka and go to work. Soak a soft cloth in vodka and rub the sticky residue until it dissolves. This also works great for the sticky part of a Band-aid left on your skin.
Insect repellent – Vodka is a key ingredient in homemade insect repellents. You can find recipes for homemade bug repellent using vodka at DoItYourself.com and Little House in the Suburbs.
Keep cut flowers fresh – To make cut flowers last longer, add a single tablespoon of vodka to the water to decrease the growth of bacteria and fungi. The vodka will also interfere with the flowers maturing and, thereby wilting too quickly.
Freshen the air – Vodka is a natural deodorizer. Mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle. Spray fabrics lightly to remove odors (test a hidden spot first). Spray in rooms to remove odors from the air.
Kill mold – This was a great find for me because my house is old and prone to mold in the bathrooms. I spray vodka directly onto the mold, allow it to sit and then wipe clean.
Freshen clothes – This is a secret of those that travel for work (at least when you could get the mini-bottles on planes). Test a hidden spot on clothing to make sure that the vodka will not hurt the fabric. If not, spray vodka lightly on clothes to freshen and remove odors. It also works as a stain remover – – dab on stains before laundering.
Get rid of dandruff – If you have tried the expensive, smelly dandruff shampoos and they do not work, try this vodka remedy (it worked for me). Crush rosemary, add two teaspoons to one cup vodka, let sit for an hour and then strain through a coffee filter. Let sit for two days, apply to scalp and allow to dry. HINT: Use a clean squeeze bottle to make application easier.
Make razor blades last longer – Between uses, put razor blades in a cup of vodka. It disinfects the blades and keeps them from rusting.
Chemical free cleaner – Use vodka in a spray bottle to clean and polish windows, mirrors, fixtures and even your glasses. Surfaces will sparkle and shine without harmful chemicals.
If you are not fortunate to have “boozy” in-laws like me, remember to buy the cheap vodka if you want to use it around the house. Save the Grey Goose and Stoli for your cocktails.
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