Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo
Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates: www.sacoronavirus.co.za.

Vodka as a cleaning aid in the home

There are many practical ways to use vodka at home, with its disinfectant qualities and its ability to deodorise clothing and furniture.


Unlabelled vodka bottle against grey backdrop

Quick guide:

  1. Plain vodka is best, without sugar or flavourings.

  2. With its high alcohol content, vodka can act as a disinfectant and dries fast.

  3. Vodka is an effective way to kill mould and mildew.

Vodka can be useful in surprising ways around the home, to help keep your home clean and fresh.

  • It’s common to get a bit sweaty during the summer months, so freshen up your mattress by misting it with straight vodka. For extra disinfectant action, add a few drops of tea tree oil to the spray bottle. Make sure the mattress is completely dry before making up the bed.

  • Spray vodka on mould and mildew in the bathroom or damp areas, then wipe with a cloth.

  • Make your cut flowers last longer by adding a few drops of vodka to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar. Cutting the stalks on a diagonal will help too.

  • Fill a spray bottle with vodka, mist windows and mirrors, then buff glass to a smudge-free shine.

  • Combine 1/8 cup of vodka, 2 cups of water, and a few drops of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle to make a weed killer.

  • Use straight vodka or mix it with a few drops of lavender essential oil – which also discourages insects – in a spray bottle for an effective insect repellent. If you don’t like lavender, try fresh basil or another essential oil.

  • When soaking towels, add a 1/3 cup of vodka to the water to restore freshness and fluffiness. Add ½ cup of vodka to your laundry if you are doing a musty load that needs deodorising.

  • Get rid of gluey sludge or residue on surfaces with a scourer dipped in vodka. Remove the final traces by going over it again with the scourer and some dishwashing detergent.

  • Soak diamonds – along with rubies, emeralds and sapphires – in vodka for five minutes. Then rinse them in fresh water and dry them with a soft cloth.

  • When you want to freshen up a favourite shirt to wear for the second day, vodka could be the answer. Put straight vodka in a spray bottle, hang up the shirt and lightly mist it with the vodka. The alcohol attracts the odours in the garment and when it evaporates it takes the smell with it. This can reduce wear on clothing and is good for garments some people don’t like to wash too often, such as jeans. It also works to remove odours from takkies.

Vodka is a popular grain spirit, which is generally considered to be colourless and without distinctive odours or flavours. Cheap vodka is just as good for cleaning as the more expensive kind.

Vodka and a few drops of your favourite essential oil combined in a spray bottle make a great air freshener. Experiment with essential oils to create a signature scent.

The Poll

What’s most important to you when it comes to cleaning?

0 Votes

Originally published