We may joke that this spirit helps get us through the holidays, but did you know vodka can actually lend a hand around the house all year long? Strong, odorless and incredibly antibacterial, vodka is one of the main ingredients in herbal tinctures, allowing us to safely ingest all kinds of natural remedies. And its sterility makes it a strong tool in green-cleaning arsenals. Discover some of the ways you can put this alcohol to work.
Herbal Holiday Cocktail
Include an herbal twist in your vodka concoction! Our White-Chocolate Mintini is made using fresh mint and white chocolate liqueur, sure to lift your spirits with the flavors of the season. Try our recipe Shake up Your Holidays with Herbal Cocktails: White Chocolate Mintini.
Don’t have time to dry-clean that shirt? Fill a spray bottle with cheap vodka and spritz it on the garment, concentrating on areas where perspiration collects. The alcohol kills odor-causing bacteria and dries quickly.
Eliminate Bad Breath
Steep 3 ounces of cloves, dried peppermint or powdered turmeric in 8 ounces of vodka for a few days, shaking daily. Then strain out the herbs, and you’re left with an effective herbal mouthwash.
More Hygienic Mobile
Throughout the day our cell phones get covered in bacteria, but how often do we clean them before putting them to our faces? Mist a mixture of vodka, vinegar and tea tree essential oil onto your phone and wipe it clean to help kill that collection of germs. Try our various cleaning recipes Make Homemade Cleaners with Essential Oils.
Simple Skin Toner
Brew an 8-ounce mug of green tea, let cool, then add 1/4 teaspoon of vodka. Dunk a cotton ball in and swab away — the alcohol tightens skin and the green tea’s catechins soothe it.
To make a simple DIY perfume, mix 1/8 teaspoon orange oil, 1/2 teaspoon bergamot oil and 1/4 teaspoon lavender oil with 1/2 cup vodka. Pour into a sterilized glass container, let sit for a week, and then spray or splash onto skin.
Perfect Pie Crust
Here’s a trick for those classic holiday desserts: Substitute a tablespoon of vodka for every third tablespoon of water to make your pie crusts moister without making the dough rubbery.
Wipe glass or glassware with a clean cloth or newsprint dampened with a small amount of vodka. The alcohol kills germs while cleaning the glass with a streak-free shine.
Clean Tiles and Caulk
Fill a spray bottle with plain vodka and spray on tile and caulking. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe clean. The alcohol will kill mold and mildew.
Make Cut Flowers Last
Add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water in your flower vase. The vodka will help prevent bacterial growth in the water, and the sugar will provide the flowers with a little nourishment. Change out the mixture with fresh ingredients daily.