Wednesday, March 30

Alternative Uses for Vodka

Treat Poison Ivy
For many, one of the hazards of enjoying the great outdoors is an encounter with poison ivy, oak or sumac. It can lead to a nasty, long-lasting rash. Unfortunately, poison ivy is spreading, thanks to global warming. To avoid the uncomfortable reaction, immediately pour vodka on skin that has come into contact with poison ivy, and the alcohol will wash away the itchy culprit, urushiol oil. Some have said that the vodka needs to be at least 100 proof to work. Others have argued that straight rubbing alcohol works better.

Freshen Laundry
You can keep your clothes smelling fresher with vodka — really! Simply spritz your duds with the stuff, then hang to dry in a well-ventilated area. (Do a spot-test first to be safe.) Vodka kills odor-causing bacteria, but doesn't leave a scent when dry.

Shine Your Fixtures
Moisten a soft, clean cloth with vodka, then apply a little elbow grease.

Preserve Flowers
If vodka can help you find love, then it can also help you preserve it — or at least the symbols of it. Add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water in your flower vase. It should help keep your flowers fresh longer. Change out the mixture with fresh ingredients daily.

Repel Insects
Who knew that vodka can kill pesky insects? Pour a little of the saucy spirit in a spray bottle and squirt on the little buggers, or yourself as a repellent. But please don't take aim at any beneficial bees!

Soothe Jellyfish Stings
For vegetarians and others who don't travel with meat tenderizer (or who don't feel comfortable asking friends to, um, relieve the pain), take heart. Vodka can also disinfect and alleviate some of the bite of a jellyfish sting. (Batty Bite: When I was younger I was stung by a jelly fish but we were told by the lifeguard to rub sand on it. It was way too long ago for me to remember if it actually worked but I do remember the sting being very painful!!!)

Clean Away Mold
Fill a recycled spray bottle with some bottom-shelf vodka. Spritz on, then let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub away with an old toothbrush

Make a Soothing Lavender Tincture
Do you find the scent of lavender soothing? Did you know that herbalists have used it for generations to naturally ease aches and pains? Here's a fun DIY tip: Fill a clean glass jar with fresh lavender flowers, then top off with vodka. Seal the lid tightly and place in the sun for three days (same idea as making sun tea!). Strain the resulting liquid through a coffee filter, and poof! You have a homemade tincture to rub into aches and pains. You can pour into smaller bottles, decorate them and give them as unique gifts.

Ease a Toothache
Got a toothache? Your first priority should be to see a dentist. But sometimes you can't get an appointment right away, or the professionals tell you it will just have to heal on its own. In that case, try swishing a shot of vodka over the affected area. It can help disinfect, and should numb some of the pain in your gums. Just beware that your honey may accuse you of smelling like a saloon. Share

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