18 Clever Uses For Vodka Around The House

Vodka is a popular alcoholic beverage found on most people's bar carts or liquor cabinets. However, if you've got a few bottles lying around and have no intention of consuming them, don't take them out with yesterday's trash. This alcoholic beverage moonlights as a multi-purpose cleaner and can be used to clean, shine, degrease, sanitize, and sparkle various items around your house. Moreover, this magical cleaning agent dries quickly and doesn't leave any strong odor behind. 

But its uses don't end there. It's also a clear, non-toxic liquid that doesn't leave streaks behind, making it a better choice than chemical-based harsh cleaners. The best part, though? You don't have to break out the top-shelf grain alcohol. The cheap bottles you just can't make yourself drink work equally well. So, don your cleaning gear, keep a few spray bottles handy, arm yourself with gentle sponges and clean microfiber cloths, and line up a shot while you learn about the clever uses of vodka around the house.

Say hello to streak-free glasses

Hard water deposits and mineral buildup on your washed glasses might be an everyday occurrence since such stubborn streaks aren't easy to remove and don't dissolve in the dishwasher. So, if you don't want to hide your regular drinking glasses when you've guests over, head to the liquor cabinet and grab a bottle of vodka to ensure you have streak-free glasses. While you're at it, get some water and your preferred dish soap to bid cloudy glassware goodbye.

Combine water and vodka in a 1:1 ratio and add a few drops of dish soap to the concoction. Now, transfer this DIY solution into a spray bottle and spray it on the glassware you'd like to eliminate the streaks from. Vodka's alcohol content will loosen the stuck-on deposits and make it easier to wipe the surface. Use a clean microfiber cloth to ensure no lint is left behind. You can even use this solution to eliminate streaks on your windows, mirrors, and spectacles.

Eliminate offending smells from upholstered furniture

Upholstered furniture witnesses a lot of action day in and day out. They make the ideal place to laze about while you catch your favorite show, bounce on when you host epic game battles, settle and work on a passion project, and have quiet nights in. However, they accumulate dust and grime over time, making them smell unpleasant. The accidental food and drink spills don't do them any favors, either. So, if your upholstered furniture has begun smelling a little funky, it's time to get a spray bottle and vodka.

Fill the bottle with vodka and spritz it directly onto the smelly furniture. The idea is to mist the foul-smelling fabrics but not douse them. Though it has a strong scent straight out of the bottle, you won't be able to pick up on it once it evaporates. Vodka is an excellent solution because it absorbs the odor-causing particles, lifting them off the upholstery as it evaporates. This alcoholic beverage also does a great job of eliminating smoke scents from your furniture.

Create an air freshener

A fresh-smelling home is the dream. Alas, unpleasant odors from dirty laundry, smelly shoes, furniture, rugs, and other items and activities will make your property smell anything but pleasant. While you can sink your hard-earned money into synthetic fragrances, they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that'll negatively impact the indoor air quality. Moreover, they contain phthalates, which are toxic and contribute to a whole host of health issues, such as cancer and breathing issues. Luckily, a simple DIY linen spray composed of vodka, water, and essential oils will let you banish stinky odors from your home.

Simply grab a spray bottle and pour 3 ounces of vodka, 1 ½ cups of filtered water, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. You can even combine a few different oil scents to create a unique aroma for your humble abode. Then, lightly mist the foul-smelling room. Vodka's alcohol content will speed up the diffusion process and help you eliminate unwanted odors quickly. After you're done, store the spray bottle in a cool, dry, and dark spot to prevent the essential oils from going bad.

Kill pesky weeds

Your garden might be a source of pride and joy. However, invasive weeds like dandelions, poison ivy, creeping charlie, and clover can dampen your joy, as they'll compete with your plants for water, nutrition, sunlight, and space to slowly take over the yard. So, before they kill your beloved plants, it's necessary to take them out. While store-bought herbicides can do the job for you, purchasing the wrong kind can harm you and the environment. If you'd rather not risk it, enlist vodka's help to kill weeds efficiently.

Combine 1 ounce of vodka with 2 cups of water and a few drops of your preferred dish soap. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle, wait for the sun to shine down on the offending growth, and spray it liberally onto the pesky weeds to dehydrate them and strip their defensive outer coating off. In their weakened state, they won't be able to bear the sun's heat and dry out quickly, making it easy for you to pull them out. Although the boozy solution will beat back poison ivy in your garden, it's equally harmful to your plants and grass. So, be careful not to spray them accidentally.

Keep cut flowers fresh longer

Artfully placing gorgeous vases with freshly cut flowers is a great way of adding a dash of color and sweet fragrance to your home. Unfortunately, cut stems have a short lifespan and don't last long. So, if you're tired of changing the floral arrangements around your house every few days, try the vodka hack. Just add a splash of vodka with a teaspoon of sugar to fresh water to keep cut flowers from the grocery store looking pretty for longer.

Begin by disinfecting a pair of flower-cutting scissors and using them to remove all the leaves from the stem, especially the ones that will be submerged under water. This prevents them from rotting and turning the water toxic. While at it, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to offer them more surface area for water intake. Once done, place the stems in the vase with the prepared vodka-sugar-water solution. Vodka's alcohol content will prevent the cut flowers from producing ethylene, slowing down their decline. Meanwhile, the sugar will take care of their nutritional requirements.

Sparkling jewelry and silverware are a shot away

Wearing sparkly jewelry can enhance your OOTD (outfit of the day) since it adds a touch of elegance and glamor. But wearing them regularly causes them to come in contact with body oils, sweat, artificial fragrances, and pollutants in the air, which dull their shine. Before you toss out the metal pieces, decide to continue wearing them even though they're dirty, or pay a jeweler to clean them for you, pour some vodka in a clean glass.

Next, place the dirty item inside the glass and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. The grain alcohol will break down the dirt and grime, restoring your jewelry's shine and sparkle. After the time is up, wash it with water and dry it using a clean microfiber cloth. You can also use this method to breathe new life into dirty silverware and remove rust from household items.

Keep annoying flies away from your home

Flies are a source of annoyance with their constant high-pitched buzzing. Besides, no one wants a critter that can potentially spread disease lurking near their home and food. Luckily, you can keep them away with a vodka bag hack since they despise the smell of it. This simple hack won't take up too much of your time and employs just two items: vodka and a few quart bags.

Fill 1 plastic quart bag with ½ cup of vodka and zip it up tightly to avoid spilling it accidentally. Now, create a small hole towards the top of the bag to let vodka's strong scent permeate the air. Finally, hang it in and near fly hotspots and watch as they scurry away. Remember, one bag won't be enough if your home is the favorite congregation spot for these winged creatures. However, you can place 1 vodka-filled bag every 10 feet to repel flies.

Degrease kitchen countertops, range hoods, and backsplashes

While preparing and consuming healthy meals can be incredibly satisfying, it's often not a very pleasant experience to clean the countertops, range hoods, and backsplashes. This is because they constantly battle food splatters and other spills and can get incredibly sticky and greasy. Further, this mess can get aggravated if you don't have the time to put in some serious elbow grease or lack the right cleaning products. But don't worry. Vodka will save the day and your kitchen, too.

If you're dealing with stubborn grease stains, use vodka in its pure form to degrease the sticky surfaces. But if the situation isn't dire, combine vodka with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray the areas in need of good scrubbing. Alternatively, you can soak a sponge in the alcohol and use it to wipe the dirty areas. Once done, give it a few seconds to cut through the grease before wiping away the stains. Bonus tip: You can use this alcoholic beverage to degrease your caramelized pans and dishes, too.

Keep your faucets spick and span

Faucets are an indispensable element for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. But being a high-touch feature and subject to the minerals in water on a regular basis, they get dirty over time and begin developing water stains. Thankfully, you can make your faucets sparkle and shine with vodka.

Apply a little vodka directly onto the stained faucets and arm yourself with a microfiber cloth to scrub the stuck-on grime. Or you can dampen a cloth with vodka and use it to rub down the chrome fixtures. This alcoholic beverage will not just clean taps and their handles but also eliminate lingering germs. However, if you'd rather not apply undiluted vodka to your expensive faucets, combine vodka and water equally in a spray bottle and spritz the dirty fixtures before scrubbing them clean with a lint-free cloth. The concentration will be a little less potent, protecting your finishes. 

Scrub sticky product labels and price tags away

Peeling product labels and price tags off items often presents a unique challenge since you're left with a sticky residue that just won't go away no matter how much you scratch it with your nails. The situation worsens if you can only peel half the sticker off, as the residual adhesive often attracts dust and dirt. So, to avoid being stuck with dirty and defaced labels, grab a bottle of vodka and a paper towel (or cotton ball) to keep your purchases looking new.

Soak the paper towel with vodka and place it on top of the sticky label. Let it sit for a few seconds or minutes, depending on how stubborn the adhesive is. Once you feel the label loosening its hold on the item, scrub the soaked paper towel across the surface, which will create enough friction to remove it. However, this beverage might not be the best option for materials like wood, so conduct a spot test to loosen the glue before you leave the vodka-soaked towel on the item.

Get rid of toilet rings the easy way

Cleaning a toilet bowl might not be at the top of your list of priorities, but it's essential since an unclean commode is one of the favorite playgrounds of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Moreover, unsightly rings can detract from your bathroom's overall appearance and make it look dirty. So, to promote hygiene and keep the bathroom looking its very best, appoint vodka to clean your toilet bowl and make disgusting rings a thing of the past.

Pour ½ cup of vodka down the toilet and use a sturdy brush to disinfect and clean it. If the rings are extra clingy, let the alcohol work its magic for a few minutes before you pick up the brush again. Do it twice a month to keep the bowl sparkling clean. To ensure the toilet is completely clean and germ-free, you can use a vodka-soaked microfiber cloth to wipe down the toilet seats and covers to eliminate lingering bacteria.

Restore your chandelier's shine

Ornamental light features like chandeliers can light up an entire room with their twinkle and shine. But being suspended from the ceiling makes them an easy target for spiders to spin elaborate cobwebs. Further, they have a lot of nooks and crannies to capture dust and grime. Fortunately, you don't have to look past your bar to clean the chandelier in your home.

Before you begin, cover all items and furniture placed beneath it and spread a padded cloth on the floor to catch errant crystals. Now, switch off the chandelier bulbs and allow them to cool. While you wait, mix 4 teaspoons of vodka with 1 pint of water and pour this cleaning solution into a spray bottle. Once the bulbs are cool to the touch, spray the fixture with the mixture and carefully wipe each crystal piece with a microfiber cloth to restore your chandelier's shine.

Remove mold, mildew, and soap scum

Bathrooms use water — both hot and cold — extensively. As such, they propagate a moisture-laden, humid environment conducive to the development and growth of mold and mildew. While mold won't interfere with your bathing rituals, it can lead to respiratory issues once it begins releasing mycotoxins, which are toxic substances. Thus, it's essential to eliminate these before they settle in for the long haul.

Transfer some vodka into a spray bottle and spritz it directly onto the affected areas to clean up mildew in your home. Vodka will not only kill mold and mildew but also disinfect the spot it began to grow on. After spraying, give this clear alcohol 10 to 15 minutes to break down the growth before scrubbing the area clean. Finally, rinse it with water to remove the residue. Moreover, if you're dealing with a crusty layer of soap scum on your shower walls, spray them with undiluted vodka and wait 10 minutes. Once the time is up, scrub the loosened scum and clean the walls with water.

Concoct a general surface cleaner

All-purpose cleaners are essentially magic in a nifty spray bottle. After all, they help you clean and disinfect a myriad of items and surfaces around your home. However, their industrial strength comes at a steep price — your health. Such cleaners might contain traces of sodium hypochlorite or trisodium phosphate, ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate and can aggravate your eyes, skin, nose, and throat (via Cleveland Clinic). So, why pay for potentially harmful substances when you can DIY a general surface cleaner with a few household ingredients?

Get a spray bottle and mix vodka, white vinegar, and lemon juice in a 1:2:1 ratio. Shake it well to combine the elements. If you're sensitive to the smell, add 8 to 10 drops of your preferred essential oil and you're good to go. You can use this general surface cleaner to clean most kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Alternatively, combine vodka and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with 10 drops of lemon juice and essential oils and 1 ½ cups of water.

Breathe new life into your mattress

Generally, a mattress should last you anywhere between 5 and 10 years. However, the care you show also plays a significant role in how long it lasts. Since you'll have to spend a minimum of $250 for a new bed, it's best to maintain the one you currently own if you aren't too keen on spending money at the moment. So, if it's begun smelling funny due to the accumulation of sweat, pet dander, body oils, dead skin cells, and accidental spills, it's time to use vodka to refresh your mattress.

Simply add some vodka and a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a spray bottle. Shake the ingredients well before aiming the spray nozzle on the areas smelling foul. If you aren't sure of the culprit, spray the solution over the entire mattress so you don't miss any spots. Remember, while you want to spritz with a free hand, you want to be careful about not getting the bed wet. In case the smell persists, repeat the process until it's removed. After you're done, let the bed air dry completely before spreading a bed sheet on top.

Freshen your laundry

If you planned to do your laundry over the weekend but forgot about the overflowing hamper as soon as it was out of sight, you might face a slightly smelly situation come Monday morning when you unfurl the carelessly dumped clothes. If you need to grab a shirt out of the hamper before washing it, the answer is probably in your alcohol closet. Just use vodka to freshen and clean your clothing.

Get a spray bottle, transfer some clear vodka into it, hang the offending clothing item, and spritz it to bid sweat and body odor goodbye. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the bottle to make your clothes smell pleasant. This inexpensive hack won't just help you don your armor for the day with confidence; it'll also help you avoid over-washing your clothes. If you would prefer to wash certain items less — such as jeans or expensive sweaters — this vodka hack is a great substitute. 

Eliminate funky smells from your sneakers

If you've begun associating your gym and hiking shoes with their funky smell, it's time to change that. Since our feet consist of a higher number of sweat glands (a cool 250,000) than other body parts, it's a common occurrence for them to sweat when they're hot and bothered. This, in turn, makes your sneakers smell unpleasant and musty. So, if you're on the hunt for an inexpensive and simple hack to eliminate funky smells from your shoes, look no further than vodka.

Transfer some vodka into a spray bottle, liberally mist the insides of your sneakers, and let them air dry to get rid of the foul smells. Vodka will break down the smell-causing particles and force them to evacuate your footwear. It'll also kill the bacteria happily residing inside the humid and moist environment. Don't forget to spray your shoes every once in a while (or every few days if they see a lot of action) to keep offending odors at bay.

Get difficult red wine stains out

Accidents happen. So, if you happen to spill a little cabernet on your carpet, don't freak out yet. Before you create a mental map on how best to camouflage the stain, act immediately and blot (not press, as this will push the stain deeper into the carpet fibers) as much of the spilled liquid as possible using a clean cloth. Once done, head over to your liquor cabinet and get out the bottle of vodka. Use this clear liquid to soak another clean cloth.

Now, lightly dab the soaked cloth onto the stain and let the vodka loosen the wine's hold. Give it a few minutes before using a dry cloth to pat the stain and remove it from the rug gently. Keep in mind that you might have to repeat the process a couple of times if the stain doesn't lift right out. You can also use vodka to get ink, grass, and vomit stains out from your carpet.