Wednesday 9 June 2021 4:01 pm

Gin isn't just for drinking – use it to clean, polish and shine

If in doubt, reach for the gin. England’s favourite spirit can help you in more ways than you think. Did you know it’s great for removing red wine stains, and can easily absorb and dissolve pigments that could otherwise irreparably stain precious fabrics? 

Drinking it is a terrible waste, when you really think about it. World Gin Day, which dates back to the antediluvian days of 2009, was created in part to remind us of gin’s marvellous antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

Alliance Online Ireland, suppliers of catering and kitchen equipment to the hospitality industry and public sector, is leading the charge in encouraging us to use gin more about the house. High proof varieties are best for cleaning purposes, and they recommend useing a plain, juniper-based gin and avoid coloured or flavoured types that containing sugar, syrup, or other additives. 

The world’s strongest gin is made in Marden, Kent. Anno Spirits claimed the title when it made Extreme 95, which packs more punch, drop for drop, than any other spirit in the world. A 5ml measure gives you a full flavoured G&T but with 75 per cent less alcohol (versus a 50ml measure of 40% alc/vol gin). At 95% ABV – and vegan and vegetarian friendly – the super-strength Home Counties spirit eclipses the previous strongest, the 76% Strane made by the Smogen Distillery in Sweden. 

Juniper berries have long been known to possess anti-microbial properties. Try filling a spray bottle with gin to create a great, all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. For surfaces affected by mould and mildew, leave the gin to soak for a few minutes before you scrub. You can even add gin to liquid hand-soaps to keep germs at bay. Mix it with a lime-scented soap, and you’ll have a quirky G&T hand-wash 

Jewellery made from precious metals such as gold and silver collect dust, grease, and grime but a splash of mother’s ruin will restore their lustre. Dip a soft toothbrush into gin and apply it to your jewellery, gently scrubbing to get out all the gunk, and leaving the it to soak into any hard-to-reach areas. Then, rinse with water and polish with a soft cloth.

Dull, dirty, or dusty mirrors can be instantly refreshed with a quick spritz of gin and clean water in a spray bottle. The high-alcohol, low-sugar content means you don’t have to rinse it afterwards. Try using it to clean your windows, too.

“Whether mixed into a Martini, taken neat, or enjoyed in a simple G&T, gin is one of the most versatile forms of alcohol there is,” says John Girvan, GM of Alliance Online Ireland. “And, this dynamic drink becomes even more impressive when you start to consider its other uses. So, we’d like to raise a glass to this spirit on World Gin Day!”