Whatever Wednesday: Freshen Up

Magic ingredients
Magic ingredients for freshness.

What do we most need for winter and cold and flu season?


Yup, vodka.  The cheapest rotgut vodka you can buy, in the largest quantity you can buy, and you can deodorize your furniture, carpets, curtains, freshen up your air, and even sanitize your hands.

Non-Chemical Hand Sanitizer

Adapted from a few different online ideas.

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part aloe vera juice
  • 20-40 drops of essential oils (tea tree, lavender, and rosemary recommended)

Mix in a small spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray 3-4 times on one hand, rub hands together until dry.

Now I have no clinical proof that this sanitizes your hands, but given that hand sanitizer gel is mostly alcohol, and vodka is alcohol, I’m going out on a limb and guessing this works.  The aloe vera juice seems to help keep the alcohol from drying out my hands.

Air Freshener and Fabric Deodorizer

Most air fresheners trigger my allergies, leave me with a pounding headache, and I wouldn’t enjoy the smell even if it didn’t make me ill.  But sometimes you need to freshen up the air.  Or the couch.

This mix is easier than easy, and it really works.  Given that you may be spraying this on fabric, don’t use orange-colored citrus essential oils — they can stain.  Otherwise, play around and find your favorite mix.

  • Vodka
  • Essential oil, about 10 drops per ounce of vodka, adjusted for how strong you want the scent

Seriously, that’s all you need. This works to freshen up a couch or a stale room equally well. From what I read on the internet, this also works great on the non-washable uniforms worn for school bands, theatre costumes, and, in a pinch on dry clean fabrics (but I have NOT tested this last one — let me know if you do).  It does work fine on a campfire-smoky jacket, though.

I also like to think that, given vodka’s magical (hopefully) sterilizing properties, that it might help clear the air.

Give it a try.  Let us know how it works.  Or, hey, if you’re a science geek, tell me how I can test my theories — or why vodka mysteriously removes odors from fabric.  I know it works, but I don’t know why.

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