In the world of home remedies, hard liquor doesn’t usually come to mind as something you should use as a healthy lifestyle hack. After all, it’s usually the exact cause of your least healthy lifestyle choices, and your less-than-healthy hangover the following morning. But there are actually tons of vodka home remedies that have nothing to do with getting drunk and everything to do with improved living.
From your skin, to your immune system, to your kitchen counter, vodka can serve as a super effective, multipurpose cleaner. This makes sense, if you think about it. After all, vodka is the second cousin of rubbing alcohol, making it a fully equipped strategy for taking on bacteria of all kinds.
Before you go ahead and use vodka for literally everything in your life, keep in mind that you should avoid flavored vodkas or anything similar. Using french vanilla raspberry soufflé vodka as a cleaner, for example, might disappoint you, as it’s so loaded with sugars and artificial flavoring that the actual alcohol is diluted. For anything not related to drinking, you’re better off purchasing pure vodka, with as few additional ingredients as possible.
Once you’ve picked it up from the liquor store, here are eight vodka home remedies you can try that have nothing to do with getting drunk.
1It Can Tighten Your Pores
Vodka is a natural astringent, which means it pulls out excess oil, tightens your pores, and helps to create a clean, natural complexion.
Consider using a makeup pad to carefully dab it against your skin, being cautious around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
2It Can Cure Poison Ivy
If you’ve gone for a galavanting run through the woods and ended up with a nasty poison ivy rash, your good ol’ friend vodka should be the first bottle you grab when you get home.
Applying vodka to a poison ivy rash as soon as possible will work to wash away the oils that brushed off from the plant onto your skin. Keep in mind, according to Esquire, the vodka needs to be at least 100 proof for this to work.
3It Works As A Skin Toner
For the same reason that it helps your pores, vodka can help even out and tone your complexion. A homemade recipe of watermelon juice, vodka, and water will work as a super effective skin toner. The watermelon juice works as an antioxidant and acne combatant, while the vodka will work to strip your face of excess oils and tighten up your pores.
4It Can Dry Out A Cold Sore
Dabbing a bit of vodka to that nasty cold sore on your mouth will work to reduce inflammation, redness, and infection.
Plus, you can use this as an excuse to take a shot while you’re out with friends. You’re just working on clearing out that cold sore, and it’s not your fault that it might take one or two tries, right?
5It’s An Effective Mouthwash
Although I have an enormous amount of trouble wrapping my head around the idea of gargling vodka without vomiting, it’s good to know that vodka is an effective mouthwash. The high alcohol percentage will work to clear out all of that mouth goop that gets caught between your teeth and in the back by your molars — unless you throw up from gargling vodka, in which case this might not be the most effective mouth-cleaning strategy.
6It Keeps Your Flowers Fresher For Longer
Adding a few drops of vodka (and sugar) to your vase of flowers will keep them blooming and beautiful a little longer than usual. This is because vodka has a preserving effect, and the sugar works as a carb to feed the flower.
7It Can Help Foot Odor
Ever paused and thought to yourself, “I wish I had a reason to soak my feet in vodka?”
Fine, I haven’t either, but as it turns out, soaking your feet in vodka can help with chronically stinky feet. The alcohol will kill the odor-causing bacteria, and then your feet will smell like a college frat house! It’s a total win-win.
8It Can Work Miracles With Your Hair And Scalp
Vodka has several health benefits for your hair and scalp, from reducing dandruff, to drying out your scalp, to strengthening your hair follicles, to preventing hair loss in general.
All you have to do is simply add an ounce or so of vodka to your usual shampoo. Make a point to get some really yummy-smelling hair products so that your hair doesn’t smell like someone’s worst night out, you feel me?