There’s a wise old saying that goes “nobody’s problems were solved with wine, but milk isn’t much help either”. As amusing as that sounds, it’s actually half right. There are some practical uses for alcohol apart from celebrating and getting inebriated.
In this article we show you five ways to use different types of alcoholic beverages to address specific emergencies.
1. “Resurrect” a Dead Car Battery
Picture this: After a whole day of working on your bug-out location, you get back in your car to return to civilization. You turn the key, and nothing happens. Turns out your battery’s dead. Not a good scenario if you can’t get a cell phone signal and the nearest gas station is miles away. But, if you have a bottle of red wine with you or can get some from a nearby liquor store or bar, that’ll be your ticket to getting to the nearest parts store or service station and replacing your car battery. (Note that this only works with “flooded”-type batteries. Sealed batteries don’t allow access to the cell compartment as required for this tip.)
To do this trick with red wine, you’ll need:
- Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
- A bottle of red wine
Once you’ve procured these items, follow these steps to get your battery working just long enough to replace it nearby:
Step 1. Put on the safety goggles and rubber gloves.
Step 2. Pry off the battery’s cell cover(s) with the screwdriver. Take special care in this step to avoid spilling any battery acid on yourself.
Step 3. Using the funnel, pour a small amount of red wine into each of the battery’s cells.
Step 4. Close the cell covers.
Step 5. Let the wine “sit” in the battery for an hour, at most, then start the engine.
Step 6. Once you’ve gotten the car started, drive to the nearest battery seller and get a brand new battery.
NOTE: Doing this to your “dead” battery is merely a temporary solution; this will only give your battery enough juice (pun not intended) to get yourself un-stranded. Remember to keep the engine running and don’t turn it off until you’ve reached a place where you can procure a new battery.
2. Temporary Windshield Wiper Fluid
Say you’ve been out in the country and your windshield’s all caked up with dust or dead bugs. If you’ve run out of windshield wiper fluid and can’t get to a store, you can make a concoction of your own.
To do this, you’ll need:
- A gallon jug (preferably with a watertight seal)
- 3 cups of vodka
- 4 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing or hand soap
Turns out that Russia’s favorite export apart from the AK-47 rifle has its other uses. To replace the windshield wiper fluid, follow these steps:
Step 1. Mix all the ingredients in the gallon jug.
Step 2. Shake the jug well, ensuring all the ingredients combine.
Step 3. Pour the liquid into the windshield wiper fluid reservoir.
3. Eliminate Snails in Your Garden
Whether you have an herb garden or homestead garden for fruits, vegetables or other foodstuffs for your prepper stockpile, pests will always be a problem. One of those persistent pests is the snail. While the conventional, all-natural method to kill these invasive invertebrates is to simply sprinkle salt on them, you’ll likely have to devote an entire day to hunting them down and sending them one-by-one to a sodium-laden doom.
Another option is to use chemical pesticides, but these can be costly, not to mention dangerous and complicated to use. There’s a better (and possibly more humane and pleasurable) way to deal with snails, and it’s a surefire “fire-and-forget” method.
To do this, you’ll need:
- An empty jar; this can be a mason jar or an empty peanut butter jar
- A bottle of beer
To rid your garden of these slimy pests, follow these simple steps:
Step 1. Take the empty jar and bury it in the garden; just deep enough such that the opening of the jar is flush with the ground. Don’t cover the jar.
Step 2. Fill the jar with beer until it reaches the brim.
Step 3. Wait. The yeast in the beer will attract all the snails in your garden like moths to a flame; when the snails get a whiff of the beer, they’ll drink themselves to death.
Step 4. Empty the jar and repeat the process as necessary until you think all the invertebrate invaders are gone.
4. Clear Your Garden of Poison Ivy
If you find an idyllic campsite, it may not be as perfect a spot if it’s riddled with poison ivy. Should your campsite or garden be infested with these itch-inducing plants, this is easily remedied with the following items:
- 2 tablespoons of vodka
- 2 cups of water
- Spray bottle
Whether they’re all over your campsite or occupy precious real estate in your garden, you can get rid of pesky poison ivy plants by doing these steps:
Step 1. Pour the vodka and the water into the spray bottle.
Step 2. Spray liberally onto the poison ivy.
Step 3. Wait for the saturated leaves to die.
5. Disinfect Medical Instruments and Wounds
Some alcoholic beverages, particularly whiskey and vodka, can serve as disinfectants. The alcohol in either drink is highly effective in killing all sorts of harmful bacteria. To use them to disinfect your medical instruments, you’ll need:
- Metal tray or similar container
- 1 cup of vodka or whiskey
To disinfect the instruments, simply immerse them in the whiskey or vodka. To disinfect any wounds, apply a small amount onto the wound, but only if it’s not a deep incision. Disinfecting large wounds is possible with vodka or whiskey, but not recommended as it will likely hurt a lot. The patient can drink some of the alcohol before applying it to the wound if no conventional painkiller is available.
If you’re going to choose any liquor to stock, start with a couple of bottles of vodka and a couple of bottles of whiskey. You don’t necessarily have to purchase the most expensive brands of these liquors but avoid buying the dirt-cheap bottom-shelf stuff as it may not be as pure, and this could impact its effectiveness. So even if you don’t entertain at home or don’t drink alcohol, stock some beer and a bottle or two of vodka or whiskey. Not only can they make life a little easier, they may even end up saving your life.