Uses for Vodka to Get Rid of Odors

Danielle Hill

Make your own odor-removing spray using vodka, water and a few drops of an essential oil to de-funk the air and items around your home.

Ditch those chemical-containing deodorizers and room sprays for your own, safer household solution made of vodka, water and essential oils. Choose an inexpensive unflavored vodka, because vodka with added flavors may leave behind a sticky residue.

Straight Vodka Spritz

Pour undiluted vodka in a spray bottle to freshen up stale-smelling clothing, upholstery and fabrics. Spray the stinky item with a gentle mist of vodka, and then allow the article to air dry completely.


Test the vodka on an inconspicuous area of the material first to ensure the item is color-safe. Generally, if the fabric is washable or can be wiped with water without staining, it should hold up to alcohol as well.

Vodka reduces and removes some odors such as cooking odors and cigarette smoke, but it may not remove strong odors such as underarm odor or skunk spray. In extreme cases, the item may require washing to completely remove the source of the stench.

  • Spray vodka on pet bedding or rugs your pets rest on to help remove lingering pet odors. Vacuum the bed or rug first to remove pet dander and hair, and then spritz the item with 1 part vodka, 3 parts water. Allow the item to dry completely before allowing the pets, or young children, near it.
  • Freshen foul-smelling furniture with a gentle mist of straight or diluted vodka. Allow the furniture to dry out before sitting upon it.
  • Spray cushions and throw pillows that are non-machine washable with vodka to freshen up their scent. Do not use vodka on materials such as velvet that are stained or damaged easily by liquids.
  • Freshen up your wool suits, sweaters and blankets between cleanings with a spritz of straight vodka. The vodka kills bacteria that contribute to odors. Hang the items to dry completely before putting them away. 

Multipurpose Vodka Spray

Make your own vodka spray to use as an air freshener or fabric refresher. Essential oils such as citrus blends or peppermint add fragrance if you wish to add a scent to the solution.

  1. Mix 1 part vodka with 3 parts water in a spray bottle. The measurements do not need to be exact; the freshening spray will work well even with a stronger vodka concentration.

  2. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend. Secure the lid or nozzle tightly on the bottle and shake it to mix the ingredients. Spray a little of the liquid into the air or on your clothing, and sniff the spray to determine if it needs more essential oil. Add more if you prefer a stronger scent. Secure the lid tightly once you're happy with the blend.

  3. Spray a light mist of the solution around the room or on fabrics and upholstery as needed. Allow fabrics and upholstered items to air dry completely before using, wearing or sitting on them.

  4. Warning

    Store the bottle out of reach of children and pets. Do not spray the liquid on surfaces where young children or pets may be tempted to taste it. Do not spray the vodka near eyes, as it may burn.