Listerine is known for killing germs that cause bad breath, but winning the war against halitosis is hardly its only triumph. Antiseptic mouthwash can take on all sorts of tough tasks — here are 12 unexpected and amazing ways to use it.
1. Clean your garbage disposal. It's a brilliant but disgusting concept, really — a blender made especially for grinding up and flushing food refuse, built right into your kitchen sink. But after a while, you might notice it start to stink like a bowl of leftover chili that's been sitting in the sun for two weeks. Pour in a half-cup of Listerine and give the disposal a quick spin — the stench will be gone in no time.
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2. Deodorize trash cans. Soak a paper towel in a little Listerine and place it at the bottom of the bin to kill any funky odors emanating from within.
3. Refresh your laundry. Add a cup of sugarless, alcohol-based mouthwash during your machine's wash cycle to purge any bacteria or mildew that might be festering on towels, socks, and gym clothes.
4. Make cut flowers last. Peony season has arrived! Make those beautiful blossoms last by filling a vase with four pints of water and a tablespoon of Listerine. The mouthwash will kill the nasty bacteria that causes them to droop.
5. Clean surfaces. Listerine is a bacteria-buster, which makes it a solid stand-in when you've run out of your usual household cleaner. Dampen a soft cloth with a little mouthwash and use it to wipe down TV and computer screens; add a couple capfuls to a spray bottle filled with water to clean glass surfaces and countertops; and pour a 1/4 cup into your toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing.
6. Protect your plants. Mildew and fungus spell bad news for your plants' overall health — keep both at bay by spraying them weekly with a mixture of 75% water and 25% Listerine. Bonus: The solution will also deter insects that might otherwise feast upon the foliage.
7. Garlic neutralizer. In the culinary world, garlic is considered an "aromatic," or an ingredient that enhances the smell and deepens the flavor of the dish being cooked. But its aroma is a lot less enticing when it's still lingering on your hands hours later. Pour a splash of Listerine into your palms and massage it into your skin to neutralize the pungent odor before washing your hands with soap and water.
8. Clean your humidifier. Here's another household hotspot where mildew and mold are inclined to grow. Add a couple tablespoons of Listerine to the tank for moist air that's fungus-free.
9. Banish body odor. Ran out of deodorant with no time to buy a fresh stick? Don't sweat this emergency! Soak a cotton ball with a little Listerine and dab it onto your pits — the alcohol will keep them dry and leave behind a fresh scent.
10. Keep the cat spray away. Cats that spray are tempted to return (again and again) to the scene of the crime. Neutralize the noxious odor of cat urine and deter repeat offenders by cleaning the spot with a mixture of three tablespoons of Listerine and one cup water. Cats hate the intense minty smell.
11. Treat your feet. Summer is just around the corner and we can practically smell your sweaty, stanky, sandaled feet from here. After a long, hot day, soothe your tired toes in a tub of warm water mixed with one cup of Listerine. The mouthwash will kill any fungus or bacteria lurking between your toes, and leave your feet super clean and soft.