Vodka – alternative uses

November 16th, 2009
| Filed under

Ah, vodka – so many memories, or more accurately, lack thereof.

While I haven’t taken a sip of the stuff in nearly 15 years, I can still appreciate what a marvelous substance it can be if consumed responsibly; something I was never able to do.

Vodka is made from either grain, rye, wheat, potatoes or sugar beet molasses as the primary ingredients combined with yeast in order to generate alcohol. After distillation, the product is almost pure ethyl alcohol and is watered down before bottling, after which it usually has an alcohol content of between 35 – 50%.

Aside from drinking, vodka has many other uses, some that can replace environmentally harsh chemicals we use around the home.

Given the lack of ingredients in unflavored vodka, it can be used as a substitute for many cleaners with an alcohol, caustic or solvent base, without leaving the item smelling like liquor.

Of course, good vodka isn’t cheap; so many of the the following ideas I found around the place are based on the assumption you have lost the taste for the stuff; or if you find yourself in a spot of bother and don’t have anything else to use… or if you have a good supply of dirt cheap vodka :).

Remember to always spot test before going all out with any of these suggested uses.

- To increase the life of cut flowers, add a few drops of vodka vase water along with 1 teaspoon sugar.

- Use it undiluted to remove ink stains from fabric (dab, don’t rub).

- Use undiluted vodka to remove paint from clothes.

- Vodka sprayed on areas where cats have peed or sprayed will remove the odor.

- A healthy splash of vodka in old water storage containers will help kill bacteria.

- Spray vodka on clothes to remove lingering odors

- Use vodka as a tile grout cleaner and to kill mold and mildew. Spray affected areas with undiluted vodka, let sit for a few minutes and then wipe off.

- A few drops of vodka will clean jewellery.

- Vodka can be used as a glass cleaner. Dilution recommendations vary, 25 – 50% vodka and the balance being water seems to be the general guideline. Use in a spray bottle.

- Use it to make vanilla extract. Place 4 vanilla pods in a jar and add a cup of vodka. Use an airtight lid and then place in a cool dark spot. Shake the jar occasionally and after two months you’ll have vanilla extract. Top up with vodka as you use it and only add more vanilla pods when it starts to lose potency.

- Spray onto old pot pourri to revitalise the scent.

- Use vodka it to remove hair dye from your skin.

- Vodka can help to remove tree sap from car paintwork.

- Add 1 part vodka to two parts water in a heavy duty zip lock bag and tape down the top. Freeze and use as a cold pack.

- Use undiluted as a weed killer spray.

- Spray undiluted into your washing machine to neutralize odors.

Have any alternative uses for vodka you would like to share? Please add them below!


Michael Bloch
Green Living Tips.com
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