1. Freshen The Fridge
Vanilla is a natural deodorizer that will eliminate the unpleasant smells that tend to accumulate in the refrigerator. Simply soak a cotton ball with pure vanilla extract, and place it in a back corner of the fridge. You’ll be greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies each time you open the door.
2. De-Skunk Your Dog
Professional groomers say 1 cup of pure vanilla extract mixed into 1 gallon of water will do the trick to get rid of skunk stench. Pour the concoction over Fido, and let him soak in it for 10 minutes before shampooing. It’ll be a little pricey to use so much vanilla, but your nose will tell you it’s worth it.
3. Relieve Minor Burns
Accidentally burned your finger on the stove top? According to An Essential Collection of Home Remedies and Recipes by G.J. van Niekerk, dabbing vanilla extract on the sore spot will alleviate pain as the alcohol in the extract evaporates and cools the burn. Just don’t use it on severe burns or broken skin—for those you should take a trip to the doctor.
4. Flavor Coffee + Tea
Sugary flavor shots and sweetened creamers are part of The 5 Absolute Worst Additions To Coffee. Get the same delicious flavor the natural way by adding spent vanilla bean pods to coffee grounds or steeping them with your tea leaves. Don’t have pods? Add a splash of pure vanilla extract to your morning cuppa for an irresistible aroma and taste.
Research shows that the scent of vanilla makes people feel happy and relaxed. Chop up spent pods, and add them to your favorite homemade shampoo, add a drop or two of extract straight to your bathwater, or indulge with this Citrus + Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub.
6. Temporarily Relieve A Toothache
Few things are as excruciating as a toothache. Thankfully, the old home remedy of dabbing the sore spot with a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract actually works. Vanilla is an antiseptic and astringent, thanks to its alcohol content, so it will temporarily numb the pain until you can get to the dentist’s office.
7. Minimize Paint Fumes
Mixing 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract into 1 gallon of paint may help neutralize irritating fumes. Vanilla is a natural deodorizer, and lots of DIY-ers swear by this technique. If you’re concerned about the vanilla altering the color of your white paint, opt for clear extract instead.
8. Get You In The Mood
Vanilla’s aroma has been regarded as an aphrodisiac throughout history. Try dabbing a drop of extract on your neck and wrists to boost your libido and drive your partner wild.