Vodka has a long history of being used for making gun powder and used medicinally and there are many alternative ways to use vodka. Drug stores carried it to cure ailments such as infertility and colic. While some reasons for selling it were just quack medicine, vodka does offer a wide range of alternative uses beyond drinking it. Some ways to use vodka are similar to alternative uses for rubbing alcohol (think: for smelly shoes, poison ivy rash, cleaning glass and fixtures, muscular pain (skin rub), etc.). But vodka is considerably more expensive, so weigh out your options if you have both handy at home and enjoy vodka for drinking purposes.
Ways to use vodka
2 tablespoons grain alcohol (Everclear or 100 proof vodka)
2 tablespoons witch hazel
¼ cup distilled water
Using a funnel for the liquids (except for the essential oils), combine the vodka and essential oils in a 4-ounce spray bottle and shake well to combine. Add the witch hazel and distilled water. Shake again and store in a cool, dark place. Shake before each use and apply to clean underarms once or twice per day. As an option, a mixture of essential oil and vodka can be spritzed as a perfume, too.
You’ll need 20 ounces distilled water, 1-1/2 ounces 100-proof vodka and 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil. Find a large container with a lid. Mix the vodka and water, then add your essential oil.
Shake thoroughly. Place into a mister or spray bottle. You can substitute other scents, too. Use this on your sheets and towels in the linen closet or on your pillow, sheets, comforter, clothing (it can help with smoke odors), sneakers (heck, even your feet), upholstered furniture or carpeting.
Glass and Fixtures:
Pour some vodka onto a cloth and shine chrome, windows/windshields, eyeglasses, mirrors, tile and tub.
Apply vodka to grass, paint, ink, tree sap or lipstick stains. Launder as usual.
You’ll need: 2 cups vodka (you can use rum, too), six vanilla beans cut into 1-inch pieces and a jar with a tight lid. Combine vodka and vanilla beans in jar. Cover the jar, and let stand for at least six weeks in a cool dark place. Shake mixture several times a week. After half the vanilla extract is used, add more vodka to cover the beans. The flavor in the beans is gone when the vodka no longer turns a dark amber color. You can find vanilla beans cheap on eBay.
Mix equal amounts of vodka and water, then apply with a cotton ball to your face.
Ole Henriksen says vodka is great astringent, too. She recommends, equal amounts of fresh lemon juice, strongly brewed rose hips tea, strongly brewed mint tea and vodka.
Blend all ingredients together and pour into an ice cube tray. When frozen, wrap an ice cube in a thin cotton handkerchief and rub across the entire face and throat for 2-5 minutes. Ice brings down the puffiness, while vodka and lemon juice tighten pores and brighten the skin. Rose hip tea calms any inflammation and mint tea promotes micro-circulation for a healthy glow.
Clarifying Hair Rinse:
Some people use vinegar, but you can use vodka, too. Use a container of choice and combine water and vodka in equal parts and use it as a final rinse.
Gel Ice Pack:
This is great for small bumps or bruises. You’ll need 2 cups water, 1/3 cup vodka (80 proof), food coloring (optional) and two zip-enclosure freezer bags. Pour water and vodka into the bag, and add food coloring. Seal and encase it in a second freezer bag. Place in the freezer. Wrap with a cloth before applying to skin. It’s more gentle and pliable than a hard ice pack.
Some essential oils such as clove, citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, cedar and lemon grass repel bugs naturally. In a spray bottle, combine essential oils with vodka. Use 2-1/2 teaspoons of essential oils per cup of vodka. Apply carrier oil (jojoba or almond oil) to skin before spraying.
Vodka has a low pH and can help de-frizz your hair. Add about a shot to a 12-ounce bottle of conditioner Shake well.
“Cook’s Illustrated” shared vodka as the secret ingredient for a foolproof pie dough back in 2007. The recipe can be found at www.food.com/recipe/foolproof-pie-dough-with-vodka-256764.
The vodka provides the liquid that the dough needs, but it’s colorless, odorless and much of it evaporates when baked, and it leaves a flaky crust.
Apply vodka to stuck-on stickers, price tags or labels to loosen the adhesive and remove the sticker.
What are your favorite ways to use vodka?