6 Handy Household Uses for Vodka (That Don’t Involve Drinking)

It is no secret that we keep a well-stocked bar at our house. In fact, it’s kind of our “thing.” You know how some people are great gardeners? Well, we’re really good at mixing cocktails. So when it was suggested around the office that there are uses for vodka that don’t include a martini glass and olives, I was intrigued.

I should start with a disclaimer that no quality vodka was harmed in the making of this post. When using vodka for cleaning, always buy the cheapest stuff. My husband would call using anything else “alcohol abuse.”

Keep Your Flowers Perky

Mixing a teaspoon or two of vodka and a spoonful of sugar with the water in your vase will keep your flowers looking fresher longer. I’ve tried this trick with several different types of flowers now, and it’s worked like a charm. I also feel better putting this solution in vases around the house as opposed to that unknown powdery white stuff that sometimes comes with the flowers I buy at the store.

Polish Your Glasses & Sunnies

Use vodka and a cotton cloth to make your glasses and sunglasses sparkle again. I was a little skeptical about this one, but the vodka cut right through that layer of sunblock and gunk that always seems to build up this time of year when we’re spending so much time in the river and on the beach.

Use Vodka to Kill Mildew?

This one I’m still not so sure about. I’ve read that this works like a charm in several different places, but when we tried it on some outdoor furniture, the vodka just didn’t do the trick. Have you tried this before? Did it work for you?

Get Rid of That Thrift Store Smell

My husband has an army of plaid jackets that he’s collected from thrift stores over the years. The problem with this is that they all have that “vintage” smell (read: moth balls and ickyness). So he found this genius solution that we’ve used ever since. In a spray bottle, mix 2 parts vodka with 1 part distilled water. Spray on your fabric. The mixture will evaporate quickly, taking the “vintage” and vodka smells with it. Now just take your garment to your dry cleaner, and you’re ready to party.

Shine Up Your Baubles

Vodka is great for cleaning sparkly stones. I use it often when cleaning any glass beads or costume jewelry. Just put a little in a spray bottle and polish away!

Remove Sticky Labels

This one addresses one of my biggest annoyances: I love reusing glass containers, but I hate removing the labels from old jars. You can’t leave them on or the paper will slowly clog up your dishwasher, right? Well, this is better than any store-bought solution I’ve found. Simply fill a dish with half an inch of vodka and soak your jar. You’ll immediately see the label loosen from the glass. Keep soaking and then just rub the gunk off with your fingers. How easy is that?

Looking for a few more quick cleaning tips? The Queen of Clean, Linda Cobb, shares a few of her ideas in this short video. And, after all those chores are done, might I suggest a Bloody Mary? I know I need one!

36 Responses

  1. Gabrial says:


  2. Lewis says:

    Interestingly, Vodka is also an excellent hair conditioner, apart from being a cleaning agent.

  3. Whiskyboss says:

    Wow, this was useful.

  4. e-forex says:

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  5. akaZen says:

    I wish I knew about Vodka getting rid of that ("old, moldy sort of smell). It really is the best cleaner for sunglasses…I'll have to try it i with the fresh flowers…I know you can use a tiny bit of bleach or a low dose aspirin.Kamchatka Vodka is the cheapest AND best selling voka (the 40 proof, available whever wine , etc is sold…(Oh Gag) Using vodka isn't necessary for removing label…just soak & use "Goo be Gone"…If you want ro know how to make a perfect Vodka Martini..use better Vodka & pour just enough good Scoth in to coat the glass. Toodles!

  6. Smith says:

    The regular inflow of guests and business associates during the rainy season literally spoiled our office carpet and we need a cleaning service. Fortunately, one of my colleagues has fixed up a meeting with the famous Carpet Cleaners at Cape Town, so that they can assess the extent of job they need to do, and quote accordingly.

  7. tammy says:

    Use Vodka instead of Febreeze which is loaded with chemicals and will actually break down fabric fibers. Years of Costuming in the theater – we only used Vodka in a spray bottle to deodorize everything – even the dance troupe costumes.

  8. Molly says:

    Wow great tips..! I never knew Vodka has such great uses! Well.. that was quite informative. Thanks for the blog Hannah ! I recently found some interesting tips on professional house cleaning ( http://www.mollymaid.ca/cleaning-tips/cleaning-ti… ) I would love to share this with you!

  9. clorox buster says:

    my mom just uses pure clorox on mold and it works, but stinks — I will have to tell about vodka

  10. Elinor says:

    As a retired librarian I can attest to the fact that 3 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part water will kill mold. You need the 1 part water to keep the mold spores open so that the alcohol can get inside and kill it.

  11. Brooks says:

    This post is awesome. Definitely going to use these tips.

  12. Lydia says:

    Don't forget to make vanilla! Drop a few mashed vanilla beans in the bottle and leave indefinitely. You will know when its ready to use by the dark color and wonderful smell! (P. S. This makes great flavored drinks for sipping!)

  13. Laurie_March says:

    Loving everything about this post.

    I sent it to my sister in regards to all those d@mn thrift store clothes she wears… and that smell. 'nuff said.

  14. Karen says:

    I bought a gallon of Mr Boston 1/2 for me after I walked in my front door and saw my dog got a hold of a ink pen less than a month after I had my new cream carpet installed the other half removed the ink from this carpet. I used to drink gin now I drink and use Vodka…. LOL

  15. Rya says:

    Your husband is right….all that is an alcohol abuse :-)

  16. guest says:

    Vodka works as a great weed killer, just put it in a spray bottle with some water, and it doesn't ruin the soil for your next planting.

  17. lowchops says:

    If you can't find any vodka cheaper than Gilbey's, then you're not a true vodka connoisseur.

  18. Felix says:

    I do not know if H2O2, works to eliminate mildew on furniture, however I do know, that it works on walls, I spend winter in Mexico, and it works on the
    inside walls specially bathrooms, try it

  19. JAM says:

    Wouldn't using plain alcohol work just as well and cost even less than the "cheap" vodka. Maybe not as much fun, but cheaper and more money left over to buy the good stuff.

  20. Texas Mental Patient says:

    I want to be Willie Stevens' friend!

  21. Vie says:

    Is it ok to still drink the "left over vodka" that is n the bottle?

  22. Willie stevens says:

    Rub it on your head and then wrap your head in aluminum foil and the aliens cant read your mind. If you want to you can drink the remainder of the bottle and then you can't read your mind either.

  23. Julie Swanson says:

    This was such a great post! I will have to try some of those tips… and then take a shot!

  24. LBJool says:

    Do NOT put rhinestone jewelry in any liquid! It destroys the foil on the back of the stones, and they will eventually turn black.

  25. Megan says:

    We use vodka to clean stains on our microfiber couch! Works like a dream!


About Hannah B. Slaughter 


I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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