If you’ve ever woken up on a friend’s couch after a night of overzealous imbibing only to realize you’ve got 15 minutes before class to make yourself look as though you didn’t stay up all night taking Jell-o shots and belting your best Blondie impression at the karaoke bar, your first thought was probably to grab some Febreze, some perfume, and try your best to not smell like a distillery. We’ve all been there. Though it may sound completely counterintuitive, it turns out that spraying vodka on your clothes (as opposed to having a vodka-cran spilled on you by a tipsy stranger) can actually be beneficial in removing odor and softening fabrics. It can even be used as a disinfectant. We’re not talking about the expensive stuff, either. Though the cheap, bottom-shelf brands aren’t always top tier in taste (though they can be palatable with the right mixes), these are the best options for an economical and effective homemade spray—as with your drink order after a particularly hard day, just make sure it’s strong.
Here’s how to make and apply your own, using ingredients right from your cupboard.
To remove smells from clothing:
This is an old, tried-and-true theater trick often used by costumers for items that cannot be washed. For this application, simply pour the vodka into a water bottle and spritz the fabric. Make sure not to get it wet—the idea here is to give it a light misting. Also, don’t dilute with water as this will squelch the vodka’s odor-eliminating powers. This is an awesome option whether you’ve got an old coat that’s been in the closet too long collecting a musty scent, or you’re out of clean shirts and are in a rush. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything to remove stains. So if you’ve spilled red wine on your favorite jacket, either try using a homemade stain removal recipe (salt is the secret here), or take it to the professionals.
This one may be less of surprise as vodka, like most alcohols, is a natural disinfectant. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it can be used as an antibiotic if you come down with the flu (usually best to skip the alcohol if you’re sick, and stick to hydrating liquids). But it works great for housecleaning, especially if you’ve recently had guests stay for an extended period of time, or if you’ve had a household full of sick roommates or family members. This one can be mixed up in a few different ways, depending on your preference. The easiest, simplest method is to simply mix 1 cup of distilled water with ½ cup cheap vodka. You can also add some natural essential oils for scent and extra germ-zapping power. Some good choices which include natural disinfectant and antimicrobial properties are: Thieves oil, lavender, thyme, and tea tree oil. You’ll want to mix about 15 drops of the oil into your vodka/water mixture. Shake it up in a spray bottle and then spray away onto surfaces like doorknobs and countertops. Let it air dry, or wipe dry with a clean cloth if necessary. You can also add a little tweak to this mixture and make an air freshener, either using the same essential oils above (lavender and thyme are especially nice), or by adding something else with a refreshing scent, like mint or rosemary.
There are a whole host of other ways to use cheap vodka for personal hygiene and cleaning, including cleaning your glasses, and even for use as a mouthwash (we know it sounds crazy, but it’s true). Have some of your own favorite ways to use cheap vodka (other than drinking)? Share them in the comments!