It's Not Just For Drinking! 20 Surprising Home Uses for Vodka

Even teetotalers will appreciate these spirited household uses of the potato-based liquor. (Yep, even the cheap stuff works.)

1. Clean glass surfaces. Swap your Windex for a spray bottle of diluted vodka to make glass sparkle, says This Old House.

2. Lift stains from upholstery. Remove ink, grass and even some food stains from upholstered furniture by rubbing the fabric with a clean cloth dipped in vodka, recommends This Old House.

3. Make a better pie crust. Substitute ice-cold vodka for water to make pie crusts flakier, says Instructables.

4. DIY freezer packs. Make a reusable ice pack by freezing equal parts vodka and water in a zip-close freezer bag, recommends Instructables.

5. Make metal fixtures shine. Just wipe them down with a soft cloth soaked with vodka, suggests This Old House.

6. Remove stubborn gunk. Say goodbye to gooey residues by scrubbing them with a scouring sponge moistened with vodka, according to Care2. Rinse clean with liquid dish soap.

7. Freshen up fabrics. Forget Febreze -- spritzing straight vodka onto clothing will remove odors, says This Old House.

8. Clean oily hair. Add an ounce of vodka to your shampoo bottle to prevent oil buildup on hair, recommends Care2.

9. Sweeten ironed clothes. Make lavender-scented water for your iron by mixing three ounces of 90-proof vodka with 12 drops of pure lavender essential oil and letting it sit for 24 hours, suggests Care2. Then add 12 ounces of purified water and stir. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

10. Remove rust from metal. Soak metal items, like screws or razor blades, in vodka for a few hours before wiping the rust away, advises This Old House.

11. Keep cut flowers fresher longer. Mix a couple drops of vodka with a teaspoon of sugar and adding it to the vase’s water. It will stop the production of wilt-inducing ethylene, says This Old House.

12. Make gems sparkle. Clean diamonds, emeralds, or other crystallized gemstones by soaking them in vodka for five minutes before rinsing and drying, says BuzzFeed.

13. Repel bugs. Spray vodka directly on the insect or on your skin as a repellant, says Care2.

14. Make mouthwash. Vodka can be used as the base for homemade mouthwash, says Care2, with the addition of water, liquid glycerin, aloe vera gel and spearmint oil. Get the recipe at Care2.

15. Get rid of weeds. Avoid nasty pesticides and kill weeds at the same time with a spray made of one ounce of vodka, a few drops of liquid dish soap, and two cups of water, according to This Old House.

16. Brighten tiles and caulk. Remove dark spots caused by mold and mildew off of tile and caulk by spraying them with vodka, letting them sit for 30 minutes, scrubbing with an old toothbrush, and rinsing thoroughly, says This Old House.

17. Tone your skin. Use vodka as a facial toner to clean and tighten pores, suggests Life Hackery.

18. Treat scratches and rashes. Since vodka is a local anesthetic and disinfectant, it’s perfect for treating minor wounds and rashes, says Instructables.

19. Freshen up shoes. Deodorize funky smelling shoes and boots by spritzing the insides with diluted vodka, says This Old House.

20. Remove bandages painlessly. Take off a Band-Aid without the sting by soaking the bandaged area in vodka -- it’ll dissolve the adhesive, says Life Hackery.

Ellen Sturm Niz is an editor and writer working, parenting, and living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

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