Vodka may not be your liquor of choice for drinking, but what about making an ice pack or treating dandruff?
The Russian liquor has amazing capabilities such as killing bacteria, drying without an odor, and binding essential oils to water. This means it can help with everything from making insect repellents to soothing a toothache.
So forget cocktails and shots — there’s a whole other reason to buy that bargain bottle of vodka.
Here are 37 things you didn’t know you could do with vodka:
Cure stinky feet: Soak a washcloth in vodka and rub them on your feet. The vodka is an antiseptic and will destroy any fungus or bacteria, and will dry odourless.
Make an ice pack: Make a quick and easy ice pack by mixing two cups water with a 1/2 cup vodka in a Ziploc freezer bag. The vodka will keep the water from completely freezing, creating an easy, bendable ice pack you can inexpensively replace or refill.
Treat dandruff: Rinsing with vodka after shampoo and conditioner can help clear away any product build-up and flakes. One blogger recommends mixing one cup of vodka with two teaspoons of rosemary and letting it sit for a few days, then straining. Keep the mixture in the shower.
DIY mouthwash: The Discovery Channel show “MythBusters” confirmed that vodka can be used as a mouthwash. Combine one cup of vodka with 9 tablespoons of cinnamon, and keep the concoction sealed for two weeks before using.
Soothe an earache: An at-home remedy for an earache or infection is to combine a shot of strong vodka and honey. Heat the mixture to help dissolve the honey and apply a few drops every four hours or so. Keep the concoction warm when applying for some added relief.
WARNING: Do not do this if your earache also has signs of pus or bleeding, or you have a fever, since all of these are signs you’ll need antibiotic treatment.
Numb a toothache: Alcohols such as whiskey and vodka can help reduce a toothache. Soak a cotton ball in vodka and then place it on your tooth and hold it inside your mouth. You can also swish vodka around in your mouth to numb the pain if you don’t mind the taste.
Stain remover: Vodka can be used as a stain remover for grass, ink, lipstick and other oil-based stains. Soak the area in vodka, rubbing with a clean toothbrush to dislodge grime if necessary, before rinsing thoroughly and throwing the item in with the regular wash.
Clean your eye glasses: Vodka works as a lens cleaner since it won’t leave streaks. Pour a little on a microfiber cloth and rub on glasses to get rid of dust, finger prints, and grime.
Remove rust from screws: Soaking screws in vodka for a few hours will wipe away any rust they have accumulated. Wipe away rust after soaking.
Clean kitchen surfaces: Combine one part vodka with two parts water to spray on counter tops and tables, shine the kitchen sinks, and clean any other surfaces. For really tough stains, let the mixture sit for 20 minutes before wiping down with a clean rag.
Shine chrome: If your bathroom fixtures have hard water or soap scum stains, polish them up with a clean cloth soaked in vodka — it will cut right through the grime.
Remove tarnish from jewellery: Soak silver jewellery or gemstones in vodka to leave them sparkling. You can also pour vodka on a clean cloth to wipe dirt or tarnish from jewels by hand. Finish by buffing with a clean rag.
Clean bathroom surfaces: Spray undiluted vodka on the bathtub, tile, and shower walls, and let sit for 20 minutes. Wipe down with a damp rag or sponge, and brush any remaining mildew away with a scrub brush. The smell will evaporate when dry.
Help clean dishes: Add a splash of vodka with your soap while soaking dishes in the sink — it will help cut through the grease and give your glasses a streak-free shine.
Remove sticky goo residue: If you have a price sticker or sticky tag that you want to get rid of, pour vodka on a rag and rub the adhesive for around a minute. The goo will come right off.
Make your own reed diffuser: Reed diffusers are easy to DIY — all you need is water, a binding agent (like alcohol or rubbing alcohol) and essential oils. The vodka will bind the essentials oils to the water and the original smell of the vodka will completely dissipate.
Remove odor from shoes: Combine water and vodka in a spray bottle and then mist on the inside of your shoes after wearing. The vodka will get rid of odor-causing bacteria and the smell will disappear once they’re dry. You can also add an essential oil to the mix for an extra boost of freshness.
DIY room freshener: Since vodka’s odor disappears as it dries, combine high-proof vodka, water and essential oils in a spray bottle for an easy DIY Febreze.
Deodorise clothes: Using a spray bottle, mist vodka on clothes, concentrating on the interior and exterior of the garment. Hang to dry in a well-ventilated area. The vodka will kill the bacteria and doesn’t leave a scent as it dries. Just make sure to spot test first.
Clean windows and glass: Combine a cup of vodka, 1/3 cup of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of liquid soap. Mix in a bucket with 1/2 gallon of water and stir to combine before pouring into bottles. Spray on windows and glass and then dry with a lint-free cloth or crumpled up newspaper.
DIY astringent: You can use vodka as an astringent for your face — dip a cotton ball in vodka and wipe. It will kill bacteria and tighten your pores, but make sure to moisturize afterwards since it can dry out skin significantly.
DIY eye packs: Soak makeup sponges in vodka and water before freezing in plastic wrap. The vodka will prevent the sponges from freezing completely and will make easy DIY cold eye packs for under the eye.
Make hair feel cleaner: Add a shot of vodka to your shampoo — the vodka will help remove the hard water minerals from your hair, making it feel lighter and cleaner. Just be sure not to overuse since it can strip your hair of natural oils if used too often.
DIY hairspray: Instead of buying hairsprays with tons of chemicals, make your own with vodka. Boil 1.5 cups of water, two tablespoons of white sugar, one tablespoon of vodka, and 10 to 15 drops of an essential oil together. Once cool, pour into a spray bottle and use.
Vodka-infused gummy bears: For a grown-up twist on a classic candy, you can soak gummy bears in vodka for a few days and let the alcohol dry. The bears will look normal, but taste like alcoholic versions of their formerly sweet selves.
Make candy-infused vodka: Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, and Starbursts can all be transformed into candy-infused vodka in a few simple steps. Sort the candy by type, soak in the vodka, filter with a coffee filter (multiple times if necessary), and bottle.
Make gin: Many gin distillers start the process with a flavourless grain alcohol base which is essentially vodka. That means you can DIY your own gin by soaking cheap vodka with spices and add-ins like juniper, coriander and more, and then straining with a funnel and cheesecloth. There are also gin-making kits on the market you can buy.
DIY vanilla extract: Vodka makes a good base for a DIY vanilla extract. Split open the vanilla beans lengthwise and place them in a jar submerged in vodka. Infuse them for a month and then strain out the pods and seeds with a coffee filter.
Penne alla vodka: This delicious pink Italian sauce — made with tomatoes and cream — also uses a cup of vodka (hence its name). The vodka releases the flavours in the tomatoes and will keep the sauce stable, too. See a classic recipe here.
Flaky crust: Adding chilled vodka to pie crust can actually make it flakier and more delicious. Pie lovers will be shocked by the difference a few drops can make.
: Take a vodka-soaked cotton ball and apply to the sides of the Band-Aid. This will ease the pain of removal as the vodka breaks down the adhesive.
Clean engine parts: Vodka can be effective as a cleaner for car parts that have carbon on them, like spark plugs. Use a cheap, high-proof vodka and rub with a clean rag.
Kill weeds: If you’re out of weed killer or don’t use it on principal for environmental reasons, you can fill a squirt bottle with vodka and apply to the weeds instead. This works best for weeds in sunny areas since the vodka and sun will work together to kill the plant.
Insect repellent: Essential oils mixed with vodka will work well as bug repellents. Add 1/8 cup of vodka with 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/8 cup of water, and 80 drops of mixed essential oils like eucalyptus, lemons, peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, or cloves. Shake well and apply often.
Keep flowers fresher for longer: According to flower experts, you can add a little bit of vodka to your vase to make your cut flowers last longer. Just make sure to dilute it significantly first.
Disinfect razors and keep them sharp: By placing your razor in a cup of vodka, it will disinfect the razor and keep it from rusting. Make sure to rinse before use.
Did we miss your favourite thing to do with vodka? Let us know in the comments!
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.