6 Unusual Uses for Vanilla Extract | Reader's Digest

6 Unusual Uses for Vanilla Extract

Unexpected ways to use a kitchen cabinet mainstay.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Freshen up the fridge
Having trouble getting rid of that bad odor in your refrigerator, even after scrubbing it out? Wipe down the inside of the fridge with vanilla extract. To prolong the fresh vanilla scent, soak a cotton ball or a piece of sponge with vanilla extract and leave it in the refrigerator.

Deodorize your microwave
Is the odor of fish, or some other strong smell, lingering in your microwave? Pour a little vanilla extract in a bowl and microwave on High for one minute. Now, that’s better.

Neutralize the smell of fresh paint
If you would rather not have the unpleasant smell of fresh paint in your house, mix 1 tablespoon vanilla extract into the paint can when you open it. The house will smell delicious!

Sweeten the smell of your home
It’s an old Realtor’s trick. Put a drop or two of vanilla extract on a lightbulb, turn on the light, and your house will be filled with the appealing scent of baked goods in the oven.

Repel bugs
Everybody likes the smell of vanilla. Everybody but bugs, that is. Dilute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract with 1 cup water and wipe the mixture on your exposed skin to discourage mosquitoes, blackflies, and ticks.

Relieve minor burns
Yee-oow! You accidentally grabbed a hot pot or got splattered with grease in the kitchen. Grab the vanilla extract for quick pain relief. The evaporation of the alcohol in the vanilla extract cools the burn.