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Can vodka get rid of the smell of smoke?

Smoke can permeate upholstery, curtains and clothing in the home. But can spraying vodka help to eliminate the stench?

It may sound counter productive to use a strong-smelling alcoholic spirit to rid your home of an equally potent scent, but there could be method behind the madness.

While vodka in its liquid form has a distinctive and powerful smell, when it dries that smell disappears.

According to the Indiana-based publication House Digest, making up a solution of one part vodka mixed with two parts water in a spray bottle and using it to spritz soft furnishings can help to remedy the problem.

How does it work? The liquid molecules in the vodka are thought to trap smoke particles, lifting them up and dissolving them as the vodka evaporates.

The publication recommends spraying the vodka solution onto sofas and curtains, then opening windows to speed up the vodka’s evaporation process.

If the smell of smoke has infiltrated your clothes, blankets or towels, try spraying them with the vodka solution before washing, or adding half a cup (around 118ml) of vodka directly into the washing machine before switching it on.

Been smoking in the car? You can use the same vodka solution to remove cigarette smells from your car seats.

The higher the ABV, the more effective its smoke-busting qualities will be, with spirits containing 60% ABV and upwards proving most useful. This is because the higher alcohol content kills off odour-causing bacteria.

However, those intent on trying the trick should avoid using vodka on items coloured with natural dyes as this can bleach or stain the items.

And always use uncoloured, unflavoured vodka.

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