By Chris Cohan
Vodka has a reputation for being the life of the party. It can be a hit in the garden and around the house as well. Thanks to its being pure alcohol and water, vodka can be used as a pesticide, weed killer, and household cleaner. Also, it’s a non-toxic alternative to many traditional products and chemicals. Let’s drink to that.
(Shaken, Not Stirred)
Aphids suck the nutrient-rich sap from stems of plants. To keep aphids off your plants add four cups water, four teaspoons of dishwashing liquid, and four teaspoons of vodka in a large spray bottle. Shake well and spray areas where you spot infestations.
Chemical-Free Weed Killer
The alcohol content in vodka destroys unwanted broad-leaf weeds like dandelions, chickweed and wild onion by breaking down their waxy-cuticle coverings. This action dehydrates and dries plants out. Sunlight is needed for this technique to work, as weeds in the shade won’t dry out.
Preserve Fresh Flowers (Stirred, Not Shaken)
Plants produce ethylene, a ripening gas that promotes maturation. Vodka stunts ethylene production, thereby helping flowers stay wilt-free longer. To keep store-bought flowers fresh, snip an inch off of each stem, add two teaspoons of vodka and one teaspoon sugar. Stir well and repeat this process every few days.
Vodka can banish three of the most stubborn fabric stains known — ink, grass, and lipstick. For ink and grass stains, dip a clean cloth in vodka and rub spot. Rinse thoroughly.
Lipstick on your collar? You may need a good lawyer as well as vodka for this one. Blot stain with vodka. Then launder in your regular wash before your significant other notices.
Clean Mold, Mildew, and Soap Scum
Fill a spray bottle with vodka to kill mold and mildew and knock out soap scum. On caulk and grout, spritz moldy areas and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub the areas with an old toothbrush, grout brush, or nylon scouring-pad. Rinse thoroughly. For bathroom tiles, spray vodka and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then wash clean.
Remove the glue left behind by bumper stickers and price labels with a clean cloth soaked in vodka. Rub over the sticky area for easy removal.
Clean Chandeliers, Chrome, and Glass
• Chandeliers: Moisten a clean microfiber cloth with vodka and rub over dusty surfaces. Alternatively, you can spritz the chandelier with a solution of one cup of water and one teaspoon vodka in a spray bottle. Lay a drop cloth on the floor to catch drips.
• Chrome: Soak a soft, clean cloth with vodka and shine.
• Eyeglasses: Dip a clean, lint-free cloth in vodka and rub each lens back and front until clear.
• Windowpanes: Mix one cup of water and one teaspoon vodka in a spray bottle. Spritz on windows and wipe clean with crumpled up newspaper or a clean microfiber cloth. Never use paper towels as they leave filaments all over the panes.
Vodka eradicates foul stenches and doesn’t leave a scent when it dries. For an odorless air freshener, mix one part vodka with three parts water in a small spray bottle. Spritz area and let dry.