Vodka for Safer Driving

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Introduction: Vodka for Safer Driving

About: I grew up at a time when technologies were transparent and easy to understand, but now society is evolving toward insanity and incomprehensibility. So I wanted to make technology human. At the age of 12, I...

Don't drink and drive. Instead, pour it on the windshield for clearer vision!

I don't drink alcohol or sugar drinks, but people keep giving me bottles of booze as gifts, or the like, so I usually just give them away to other people.

But vodka is actually useful, particularly because of its ability to aid in the safe operation of a motor vehicle.

I live in Palo Alto, a city known for its abundant trees ("Palo" means "tree" and "Alto" means "tall", and the City's logo is even a tall redwood tree). My driveway happens to be right under a number of oak trees, and my car (including the windshield) gets quickly and frequently covered in tree sap (obscuring vision).

Many people have discovered that vodka has many uses including its capacity as a cleaning fluid.

And because it is so cheap in the United States (sometimes cheaper than Windex), its worth considering. And you can get it at any grocery store. And if you already have some, you don't have to hunt around for windshield washer fluid....

I actually find the best way to get the car clean is to first brush off the loose dirt, then wash with soap and water, then Windex, and finally vodka, to get rid of the soap film, etc., left by the Windex.

Step 1: Sweep Away Loose Debris Such As Leaves and Fallen Acorns

Sweep off loose leaves, tree branches, acorns, and the like.

I have a solar panel on the roof, which also needs cleaning.

Step 2: Wash With Soap and Water

The first step once all the loose debris is gone, is a nice soapy "shower".

Step 3: Wash With Windex, Especially the Windshield (and Solar Panel, If You Have One)

I find the Windex works great but leaves behind a bit of a soapy film. That bottle of vodka someone gave me will clean that up!

Step 4: Wash With Vodka

Vodka evaporates quickly and doesn't leave behind a residue. This makes it great for providing crystal clear vision through the glass, lightly.

Step 5: Vodka Also Works Great on Glass Patio Tables in the Backyard, Etc..

Be careful on the rangetop!

Make sure all the burners are off and cool!

Vodka is very flammable.

In fact it makes great fuel as well.

And it does a great job in the bathroom too!

Step 6: Three Easy Steps: Soap+water; Windex; Then Vodka

In summary, safer driving with soap, Windex, and vodka, all three of which are cheap and readily available at most grocery stores!

Seeing is believing!

Drive safely and have a Happy New Year.

And don't drink the vodka or the Windex or the soap.

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    23 Comments

    Doesn`t alcohol damage rubber and make it fragile because it "dries" it? I see you pouring it on windows, how about your car`s seals?

    1 reply

    Windshield washer fluid is alcohol.

    See this article about how to make your own windshield washer fluid:

    https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-windshield-was...

    "... 8 oz. isopropyl rubbing alcohol (high proof vodka can be substituted)"

    (it specifically mentions "vodka").

    Since windshield washer fluid is alcohol, and has been for many years (it used to be made of methanol which is "wood alcohol", many years ago), it would seem that the materials selected for the design of windshields, and their mounting, would need to be designed to function well in an alcohol infused environment.

    See also https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/1092...

    This is one of those things that I'll never use, but will always remember. Thanks, I think.

    Vodka is an awesome solvent--and a great use for that bottle of el cheapo that somebody bought, but only an alky would drink.

    Does anyone out there wax a car anymore? A good wax will make layer on your car and stuff doesn't stick nearly as bad. All those cleaners may leave the car clean but srtips away any protection for the paint. If tou want shiney try waxing your car after a good wash. A good cleaner wax then a carnuba wax will shine better than new and lasts for months.
    P.s.
    How can I get people to give me random alcohol?

    1 reply

    That's a good idea; I'll try some waxes next time (maybe that will help the tree sap not stick so well.

    Free alcohol comes from speaking gigs, talks, etc., e.g. even though they pay me to speak, they also often give me a bottle of booze. That seems to happen a lot in the academic professorial world. To get free booze: study at graduate school, finish your PhD and get a faculty position and do some interesting work and it is likely people will invite you to speak and give you free meals. And free booze that you can use to wash your car with....

    tell me about the solar panel on the roof

    what's it connected to?

    1 reply

    I'm interested in electric vehicles and experimenting with secondary electrical systems, and we're also looking at possibilities of converting vehicles to electric usage. A secondary electrical system is also useful because we do a lot of research on smart cars and instrumented cars, etc..

    That’s a great idea, I always wanted to smell like a DUI.

    1 reply

    As mentioned by bcrocker1, vodka smells pretty much identical to other cleaning fluids like methanol (previously used as windshield washer fluid and antifreeze), propanol (solvent, industrial cleaner), etc..

    So for the few minutes before the smell dissipates, it will smell a lot like cleaning fluid.

    Don't drink the fluids. The smell stays for a long time on people who drink alcohol, http://alcoholrehab.com/alcoholism/smell-of-alcohol-breath-pores/

    Darn right. Vodka smells AND acts like isopropanol. Sure it tastes like it too :P

    1 reply

    And it is often cheaper than IPA (IsoPropyl Alcohol). That's why we use vodka to clean the soldering flux off circuit boards (we used to use propanol for that, but found that vodka is cheaper and does the job just as well).

    "In summary, safer driving with soap, Windex, and vodka, all three of which are cheap and readily available at most grocery stores!"

    Is vodka really available in california grocery stores?

    5 replies

    Yes, vodka is available in every grocery store I've ever been to in California, and it is really cheap, and it is usually right by the checkout so I always see it and remember to get some while checking out. At Trader Joe's it costs $5.99 for a nice big bottle (a metric "fifth") and $9.99 for the extra large size (1.75 litres which is more than two fifths). Burnett's comes in cases of 12... $71.88 well-spent! The larger size (Vodka of the Gods) works out to about $21.61 per gallon. Cheaper than many cleaning fluids, works great, dries up quickly, and leaves a nice shine.

    Funny, you can't even buy beer at grocery stores in my state!

    Move to California, where the safe operation of a motor vehicle is made easy by way of readily available dish soap, Windex, vodka, and Rain-X.

    we can get a gallon of white distilled vinegar for about $2 a gallon and will work way better than vodka. Using vodka to clean is downright wasteful on every level.

    I'll try some vinegar and see if that works well (e.g. if it evaporates quickly and leaves a nice shine, etc.). One reason I used vodka is because I already had lots of vodka sitting around here that would otherwise go to waste taking up space in the kitchen cabinet.

    Man, that Burnetts stuff is garbage, finally a use for it!

    Great idea. I suggest you ALSO invest in Rain-X after the vodka step. Rain X is a alcohol based wax and reduces the amount of stuck crud in the first place. What I do is clean my windshield every time I fill up the gas, and apply Rain X. Then come "car wash day" I clean all the way and re-apply the Rain X. Great stuff for the exterior mirrors too. And it makes rain just blow off your windshield while driving.