Vodka is one of the world’s most popular spirits – and for good reasons. Besides being an immensely versatile alcohol, vodka has loads of other uses besides drinking. (Though the drinking use can be good, too.) Though most people are familiar with its uses in cocktails (or are longing to forget it), vodka can serve as an effective household product for anything from disinfecting counter tops and bathrooms to improving our cooking. Whether it’s the cheap bottle of vodka a cheap friend brought to the party or a bottle you’ve had in the back of your liquor cabinet and will never use, now is the time to break it out. It’s more useful than you may think. For uses from the kitchen to the garden, from the window to the wall (ok, just the window), here are 25 home uses for cheap vodka besides drinking.
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As alcohol is useful in killing bacteria, the odorless, colorless wonder that is vodka can be used to freshen up your clothes. Put some vodka in a spray bottle and spritz your clothes before hanging them to dry – the liquor will kill bacteria which cause funky scents on your threads.
Makes hair shinier
Forget about a shower beer – now you can bathe with vodka. Add 50 milliliters (about a shot) of vodka per 12 ounces (350 mL) of shampoo and shake up the bottle. Vodka’s low pH cleanses the scalp, eliminates toxins, stimulates hair growth, brings frizzy hair under control, and even makes your strands shinier. That’s a huge benefit for one little shot!
Bakes a lighter pie crust
When water comes into contact with flour, it creates gluten. When baking, gluten can become tough and produce a less desirable texture. To circumvent this, replace a third of the water in your pie crust dough recipe with vodka which, containing less water than pure water (alcohol takes up the rest of the percentage, generally 40%), will create less gluten, thus producing a more tender pie crust.
Cures poison ivy
If you’re on a long-hike through the woods (or a short one to go boozing), you might brush across the stinging poison ivy. To prevent irritation, pour vodka onto the affected areas (wait…how did you get poison ivy on your tongue?) and it’ll rinse away the plant’s urushiol oil, the cause of the irritation.
Makes your face more beautiful
Though other peoples’ faces look more beautiful after we drink vodka, here’s a unusual use for the spirit to make your own look better. Brew up a cup of green tea and add 1/4 teaspoon of vodka. Moisten a cotton pad and swab it around your face. Catechins in the green tea help sooth the skin while the vodka helps close pores and tighten your skin. It also works well as an aftershave!