Vodka has long been a favorite spirit for its flexibility with mixers for a variety of wonderful cocktails all that have unique flavors. From a variety of martinis to a kamikaze or a bloody mary, run with a greyhound, unwind with a screw driver, and bam, you’re hammered! But apparently, there’s more to do with vodka than drink it.

Traveling medicine men might have suspected this remedy cure-all from the concoctions they sold, but here are some new ideas for an old favorite. (With some editorial comments in parentheses.) Don’t use the Ketel One or the Grey Goose when good ol’ Kamchatka will do just fine. While reading the following potent uses for vodka, one is reminded of Boris Yeltsin talking to Bill Clinton: “Vodka and French fries. The potato–good vegetable!”

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The stuff dissolves adhesive. (So does lighter fluid but I don’t want it on my skin.)

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew. (Maybe even better than that hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning stuff. Is it considered a “green” product? I don’t know.)

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs. (Germs? What are you doing with your eyeglasses? I guess you could clean petrie dishes too.)

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting. (Imagine what it can do for garden tools.)

5. Spray vodka on wine stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry. (So if you make a killer punch with wine and vodka, if it spills will it not stain? Cool!)

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores. (This is why messy drunks don’t have acne.)

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair. (Who will be first to market a vodka shampoo? Remember Body on Tap, the shampoo with beer in it? For shampoo shots, just install a dispenser in the shower.)

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle with vodka and spray bees or wasps to kill them. (You can use the same spray bottle for your hair and shower stall–how convenient. You can’t do that with Tilex!)

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water into a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshing ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes. (If the pain doesn’t go away, cut a hole in the corner and drink it until pain subsides.)

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly
and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains. (Or bottle it as a new lavender liqueur. All else fails, you have cleaned the mayo jar, that’s not easy!)

11. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment. (Yeah, it’s alcohol. It’s the evaporation that cools you down. This same process works when you spill your vodka tonic on yourself after dancing. Refreshing!)

12. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka. (Won’t your feet then smell like vodka? This same process works when you spill your vodka tonic on your feet after dancing.)

13. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting. (So, go ahead and pack the vodka the next time you take the family to the beach, and if it gets too hot, just splash some on your skin for a quick cool down.)

14. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin. (Woohoo! Justification for HIKING with vodka! Who knew?)

15. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain. (This is what I have been doing! Absolutely no tooth pain exists, ever!)

There you have it. Keep the vodka in the medicine cabinet, beach bag, backpack, shower, and the garden from now on! Maybe we can find little vodka-infused towelettes in individual packets to take full advantage of this miracle cure. There was no source on this list, but one might deduce that it comes from the Vodka Sellers Association of America, and not the makers of isopropyl alcohol which does all the same stuff for pennies on the dollar.

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