This is Day 206 of the Green in 365 series!
*Note from Emily: I’m taking a blogging break for the next few weeks, so I have some great guest posts lined up for you to enjoy! Today, I’m so excited to share this guest post with you, because it’s about one non-toxic, frugal, and multipurpose cleaner that I don’t use around my home yet! But after reading this post, I’m definitely going to start!
Guest Post by KerryAnn of Intentionally Domestic:
No one in my family consumes alcohol, but vodka has happily found a place in my home for cleaning, making herbal tinctures, and first aid. We keep a large bottle as I am constantly finding new uses for this inexpensive cleaner.
Vodka can be used in every room in the house and works better than many commercial products that have a higher price! Vodka is non-toxic when used for cleaning and you can’t say that about the more expensive products it replaces!
Photo by espensorvik/Flickr
For emergencies, in years past, homemade vodka was produced and used to sterilize medical equipment for hospitals that couldn’t receive supplies. Even today, vodka, and similar alcohols, are used as a cleaner and solvent for many applications in business.
I first came upon the idea of using vodka as a cleaner when I saw someone working on a car use it to quickly clean up a greasy engine part. A light bulb went off for me, and I started looking into all of the ways alcohol could be used to disinfect and cut grease in the home and laundry.
Using Vodka as a Multipurpose Cleaner
Vodka can be purchased inexpensively, and you don’t need any particular type, so long as it is straight vodka and not mixed with another product. Due to its alcohol content, it will clean and sterilize many items.
- Place it in a spray bottle and spray it on mildew in your bathroom to kill the growth.
- Use it in place of rubbing alcohol to cut soap scum from your shower.
- Spray it on kitchen surfaces as a disinfectant. I spray down my cutting board after cutting up raw chicken and allow it to sit a few minutes before washing it thoroughly.
Using Vodka as a Stain-Remover
For years, I have used natural detergents to wash my laundry. I’ve cycled through homemade powdered detergent, homemade liquid detergent and a number of commercially-produced brands that tout themselves as safe.
But, I’ve been consistent in using one stain-fighting product on all of the oil-based stains on my clothes. For grass stains, ink, lipstick and other oil based stains, I simply soak the stain in Vodka!
*If the stain is particularly stubborn, I might take a toothbrush and very gently buff the stain in the same direction as the fabric to encourage the dirt to turn loose of the fabric so the vodka can work its magic. Then rinse the area thoroughly and immediately throw it in the washer and wash as directed.
Even More Uses for Vodka
Vodka also removes goo, so it makes a wonderful degreaser for your kitchen. I keep my stove hood clean and grime-free using vodka in a spray bottle. When you purchase new items from the store and the tag leaves some goo behind on a glass surface, vodka will take the goo right off. If the kids come home with an unknown, gooey residue on their clothes, vodka comes to the rescue.
When we go to the beach, I keep a spray bottle of vodka in the car to spray on any jellyfish stings. It takes the burn right out. It will do the same for poison oak rashes. In a pinch, you can even use it to replace rubbing alcohol for first aid.
If you’re dealing with body odor problems, or have a child who has funky shoes, spraying vodka into your shoes can help get rid of the smell. I know one woman who has a problem with foot odor and she rubs her feet down with a cotton ball soaked in vodka on her lunch break to keep the problem at bay. You can spray it around your house to remove a musty, damp smell or remove the smell of lingering body odor.
You can even use vodka or rubbing alcohol to clean mirrors and remove hairspray residue! I spray my windows with a mix of half vodka or rubbing alcohol and half water, spray down the mirror and anywhere that has a film of hairspray on it, then wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. Personally, I prefer to use microfiber rags to make the job go faster.
We purchase the largest bottle at the lowest price we can find to use for cleaning. For making herbal tinctures or extracts like vanilla extract, we purchase a better quality vodka that is made from potatoes.
Did you know that Vodka was such a multi-functional product? Do you have a household use for Vodka not listed here? Please share it with us in the comments!
KerryAnn Foster runs Intentionally Domestic, formerly Cooking Traditional Foods. Intentionally Domestic is the home of the longest running real food meal plan on the internet, now in its seventh volume. KerryAnn has over eleven years of real food experience. Read about KerryAnn’s journey to health through multiple miscarriages, celiac disease, PCOS, food allergies and intolerances, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals. Founded in 2005, we help you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. With two choices of Menu Mailers, multiple eBooks, Print Books and video-based classes, KerryAnn makes real food easy, accessible, affordable and family friendly for everyone.
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