Clean it with vodka!

Vodka is good for so many things besides drinking

Wondering what to do with the cheap vodka left over from Uncle Oleg’s last visit? Don’t toss it out! The same virtues that make vodka a favorite drink everywhere from St. Petersburg to spring break parties—it’s easily mixed and high in alcohol content—make it perfect for a number of household uses, and it’s less toxic than most chemical alternatives. Here’s a quick list of vodka’s lesser-known uses.

As a cleaner: Mix vodka and water in a 50/50 solution and keep it in a spray bottle to use for common household cleaning and disinfecting. In greater concentrations, it can be used for anything from shining chrome, glass and porcelain (dab some on a cloth and scrub) to removing mold (spray on mold, let sit for 15 minutes, then scrub away with a toothbrush).

As a laundry freshener: Spritz some vodka/water mix on your clothes instead of Febreze or similar chemical cleaners, then hang to dry in a well-ventilated area. Like vinegar (another excellent cleaning alternative), vodka kills odor-causing bacteria, but doesn’t leave a scent when dry.

As a pain reliever: Aside from its obvious pain-killing usage and effects, you can make a soothing, natural herb salve to mellow your aches and pains without imbibing. Just put some fresh lavender flowers in a jar, fill it with vodka, seal and let sit in the sun for three days. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter and you’ll be left with a homemade tincture. Vodka also is reputedly effective in healing poison ivy, and soothing jellyfish stings. Go to for more precise uses and directions.