Housework: It's enough to make us lunge for the liquor cabinet. But maybe not for the reason you think.
As it turns out, vodka has "solvent qualities" that clean mirrors and glass without streaking. Of all the spirits, vodka's a great choice for cleaning because it's clear and lacks impurities; it won't leave any residue behind. So save some for polishing the shiny chrome, stainless steel, and mirrors in your house.
This super-smart tip comes from Erica Strauss's new book, The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping.
Erica Strauss's Recipe for DIY Glass Cleaner:
2 cups vodka (no need for the top-shelf stuff)
2 cups distilled water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
30 drops peppermint essential oil
Add all of the ingredients to a 32-ounce heavy-duty spray bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to combine ingredients.
Optional: A drop of blue food coloring turns your clear liquid into the universally accepted color of glass cleaner.
To clean with your DIY glass cleaner: Shake it up well, then spray away. Erica recommends that you spray it "onto a clean lint-free towel or the surface you wish to clean. Wipe the glass, mirror, or polished metal clean, then polish the surface dry with a soft, lint-free rag (old cut-up cotton t-shirts are great for this)."
For more DIY home-care essentials, check out Erica's book, which includes creative, money-saving tips covering just about every aspect of homekeeping, including even more recipes for eco-friendly DIY cleaners: bathroom and all-purpose cleaners, grease-cutting sprays, and more.
OK, cleaning's done! Time to reward yourself -- with a vodka cocktail you'll actually want to drink. Explore some classic vodka cocktail recipes.