Vodka: It’s Not Just for Drinking

Photography by Ems05d (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Whenever I clean, I worry about breathing in all of the chemicals from the Scrubbing Bubbles and Windex. They can’t do anything healthy for my lungs or allergies. In my search for a more natural cleaner, I came upon vodka. At first, it made me giggle and I had visions of wiping down counters while spraying the “cleanser” into my mouth or passing out on the couch after a long day of “cleaning.” But, I tried it and it actually works!

Now, am I breaking out the magnum of Grey Goose to scrub the bathroom floor? No! It was recommended that I use organic vodka, but I can’t bring myself to spend that much money on something I won’t drink so I get the cheapest stuff I can find. I don’t store it under the sink where I kept the other cleaners lest a visitor peak under the cabinet and think I’m an alcoholic who has to store her liquor in the bathroom.

How does the vodka clean? Unlike baking soda, which gives a bubbly foam that reassures me its doing something, the alcohol in vodka cleans silently. You feel like you are just spraying water on your dirty surfaces, but this transparent cleaner disinfects, deodorizes, and degreases.

According to The Daily Green, vodka has been around since at least the early Middle Ages, and is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It also has a long history of use as medicine and pain reliever.

Cleaning with vodka is also cheaper than shelling out money for 10 expensive, job-specific cleansers.

  1. All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1 part vodka with 1 part water in a spray bottle and voila! I use this mixture to clean counter tops, windows, mirrors, cabinet doors, pretty much anything that needs a quick wipe down. Chrome, crystal, glass, and porcelain with shine! Keep glass streak-free by wiping the spray away with a paper towel or, as Organic Authority suggests, reclaimed crumpled newspaper.
  2. Disinfectant: For germier areas, like the bathroom and cutting boards, spray on straight vodka and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Soap Scum Fighter: Straight vodka is an effective soap scum fight when sprayed on shower doors and in the tub. Just let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before you wipe it away.
  4. Deodorizer: Get the pet smell out of your coach or cigarette-smoke stink off of clothes with a spritz of 1 part vodka and 3 parts water. The alcohol kills odor-causing bacteria and its smell evaporates as it dries. Organic Authority suggests doing a spot test first to make sure the vodka won’t fade the color of your fabric.
  5. Degreaser: Fill up your sink and add a couple of tablespoon of vodka. The alcohol cuts through the grease faster than dis soap alone.
  6. De-Molder: Spray straight vodka on moldy caulk, tile, or other bathroom fixtures and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then scrub it away for healthier air.
  7. Pest Killer: Keep Aphids off of your house plants by washing the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in vodka. Apartment Therapy warns: Do not use vodka on delicate plants, like African Violets. You can also spray diluted vodka on ants and other bugs to ward of an infestation.
  8. Chandelier Cleaner: With this mixture, you don’t even have to take the chandelier down! (Just put a drop cloth underneath to catch drips.) Spray with 4 teaspoons of vodka mixed in 1 pint of water and wipe the fixture down.
  9. Jewelry and Cutlery Cleaner: Soak them in straight vodka for 5 minutes, rinse them, and let them air dry. (If it’s really dirty, scrub it with a toothbrush before you rinse.)
  10. Stain Remover: Blot stains with a clean cloth soaked in vodka. eHow also recommends vodka for cleaning items with heavy beading or sequins sinc the vodka makes the beading shine while cleaning the fabric.


  1. Hmmm Great idea but here is how I see it really happening! One part vodka and one part water in the spray bottle, two parts vodka three parts cranberry in my glass. Sit down drink the vodka cranberry, repeat, repeat, repeat. After four, I think the house will look clean enough and I can nap! Happy New Year!

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