By Guest Blogger Lana Evans

As bar carts give way to baby things a lot of us end up hoarding dusty bottles of spirits left over from young adulthood. There’s just not as much time to party but it feels wrong to toss those half-full decanters. While vintage vodka may be perfectly safe to drink why not put it to good use now instead of waiting for the next time you find yourself craving a cosmo? From cleaning to healing poison ivy, turns out there are all kinds of creative ways to use vodka around the house. Here are just a few:

Homemade air freshener: Old vodka and your favorite essential oils come together to create a custom room spray without harsh chemicals. You get all the freshness without the Asthma worries.

Family-friendly Goo Gone: Little hands leave stickers everywhere and sometimes those stickers leave behind a seemingly impenetrable residue. Undiluted vodka can dissolve even the most stubborn sticker residue and unstick the stickiest band-aids.

Rust remover and chrome cleaner: Let rusty fixtures and screws soak in a bowl of vodka for several hours and rust can simply be wiped away with a dry cloth. A washcloth saturated with vodka will make quick work of stains and soap scum on chrome in bathrooms and kitchens. You can even use it to clean jewelry!

Mildew and mold destroyer: Straight vodka will eliminate mold and mildew on paint and caulking. Just spray on, wait ten minutes and then wipe away. Worried about vodka’s effects on paint? Dab some on an out of the way area of the wall to make sure paint is colorfast.

A poison ivy remedy: Vodka and other spirits have been used as medicine for centuries – with varying degrees of effectiveness. But one medical application for the hard stuff that actually works is as a poison ivy treatment. Immediately after contact with poison ivy’s rash-inducing urushiol oil, pour 100 proof vodka on all affected areas to lessen the compound’s itchy effects.

Natural stain remover: Tough stains like vomit, grass, red wine and blood often come right out when blotted with undiluted vodka. On clothes, pour it right on the stain before washing. On upholstery, be sure to dab stains because wiping can make them spread.

A safer disinfectant: Everything from toothbrushes and hairbrushes to razor blades can benefit from a quick vodka wash. Do it after every illness to prevent reinfection and to keep germs from spreading between family members.

Better bug spray: Mix vodka with citronella or eucalyptus essential oils and spray anywhere you don’t want bugs to land – including yourself! One word of caution, however. Don’t spray alcohol-based bug repellents on very young children because it can be too strong for sensitive skin.

Pet-friendly weed killer: An ounce of vodka plus two cups of water and a few drops of dish soap is all it takes to decimate weeds that grow in direct sunlight. This mixture will dry out weeds almost as well as harsh chemical weed killers and won’t put pets in danger.

The best way to care for cut flowers: Your birthday bouquet will look fresher longer when you add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water in the vase. Bonus – you may find you don’t need to change that water as often.

The number one way to put vodka to good use will probably always be as part of the best and ultimate martini (preferably made with Ketel One) but it’s clearly time to rethink your relationship with this versatile liquor. Even if you regularly run through the bottle under the bar maybe it’s time to stash one in the medicine cabinet and another under the sink!