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What To Do With Unwanted Alcohol

Unwanted alcohol can often present a dilemma regarding getting rid of or finding the best way to handle it When faced with unwanted alcohol, one option is to explore its potential in the kitchen. Wine and spirits like whiskey and brandy can lend their distinctive flavors to sauces, marinades, and stews, elevating the taste profiles of your favorite dishes.

Liqueurs can infuse desserts, cocktails, drinks, and baked goods with delightful nuances, creating indulgent treats. Beyond the culinary realm, unused alcohol can be repurposed for cleaning. Vinegar, a versatile ingredient, can be combined with water to create a powerful cleaning solution that tackles stains, disinfects surfaces, and helps prevent mold.

It can also be poured down the drain to maintain a healthy septic system. Unwanted alcohol can also be vital in crafting signature cocktails for parties and social gatherings. In our guide, you can learn more about how to use leftovers in your liquor cabinet rather than drinking alcohol to get rid of it. By the end, you’ll find many uses for your excess liquor that will deal with this flavorful liquid and still make you feel good without drinking the stuff. (Learn How To Deter Chickens)

alcohol bottles

What Is The Best Way To Dispose Of Alcohol?

If you have unwanted alcohol, it is essential to dispose of it properly to avoid potential harm to yourself, others, and the environment. Here are some options for disposing of alcohol:

Can You Throw Away Alcohol?

While throwing away excess liquor from your home bar may be tempting, it is not recommended. Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to dispose of alcohol in the trash. Additionally, alcohol can be flammable and pose a risk if not disposed of properly.

Pouring Down the Drain

One standard method of disposing of unwanted alcohol is pouring it down the drain. However, this should only be done if the alcohol is diluted with water and no local regulations prohibit it. Also, avoid pouring alcohol directly into the drain, as it can damage pipes and plumbing.


If you have empty alcohol bottles, recycling is a great option. Check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept glass bottles. Rinse out the bottles before recycling them.

Donation and Gifting

If you have unopened bottles of booze in your home bar liquor cabinet you no longer want, consider donating or gifting them to friends or family members who may enjoy and drink them.

Just be sure what to do with unwanted alcohol and check with the person for them first to ensure they are interested. If you think about food banks, you can’t donate booze to these for obvious reasons.


If you have unopened bottles of alcohol that are still in good condition, you may be able to sell them. Check with local liquor stores or online marketplaces to see if there is a market for the specific type of alcohol you have. (Read Cutting Copper Pipe In Tight Spaces)

Disposing of Unopened Bottles

If you cannot donate, gift, or sell unopened bottles of alcohol, you can dispose of them in several ways. Some cities have particular hazardous waste disposal sites that accept unopened alcohol bottles. Alternatively, pour the alcohol down the drain (diluted with water) and recycle the empty bottle.

Remember to handle alcohol carefully and dispose of it properly to avoid harming yourself, friends, others, and the environment.

Alternative Uses for Unwanted Alcohol


If you have unwanted alcohol at home, there are many alternative uses besides drinking. Here are some ideas for repurposing your alcohol:

Cooking and Baking

Unwanted alcohol can add flavor and depth to your cooking and baking. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Use beer or wine to marinate meats before grilling or roasting.
  • Add a splash of whiskey or rum to your favorite barbecue sauce recipe.
  • Use beer in place of water or broth when making stews or soups.
  • Add a shot of liqueur to your baking recipes for a unique twist on classic desserts.


Alcohol can be a helpful cleaning agent around the house. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Use Vodka or rubbing alcohol to clean windows and mirrors for a streak-free shine.
  • Mix equal parts water and vinegar with a splash of rubbing alcohol to make a chemical-free all-purpose cleaner.
  • Use Vodka to clean the jewelry and remove tarnishes.
  • Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water to make a disinfectant spray for surfaces.

DIY Projects

Unwanted alcohol can be used in various DIY projects. Here are some ideas:

  • Use beer to make a natural fertilizer for your plants. Simply mix equal parts beer and water and spray on your plants.
  • Use wine corks to make various crafts, like coasters or bulletin boards.
  • Use whiskey or rum to make homemade vanilla extract.
  • Use beer to make a natural wood stain.


Alcohol can be used in the garden to help plants grow and thrive. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Use beer to attract slugs and snails away from your plants. Place a shallow dish of beer in your garden, and the pests will be drawn to it.
  • Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water to make a natural insecticide spray.
  • Use Vodka to preserve cut flowers. Add a few drops of Vodka to the water in your vase.

Personal Care

Alcohol can be used in various personal care products. Here are some ideas:

  • Use beer to add volume and shine to your hair. Simply rinse your hair with beer after shampooing and conditioning.
  • Use Vodka as a natural deodorant. Simply apply a small amount to your underarms with a cotton ball.
  • Use whiskey or rum to make a natural aftershave. Mix equal parts alcohol and witch hazel and apply them to your skin after shaving.
  • Use beer as a natural foot soak. Simply soak your feet in a bowl of beer for 10-15 minutes to help soften and soothe your skin.

Overall, there are many alternative uses for unwanted alcohol. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, crafting, gardening, or caring for yourself, there’s a way to repurpose your alcohol and find alternative using you hope can benefit the world, you, and your home. (Learn How To Burn Grass Safely)

Storing Unwanted Alcohol

alcohol bottles storage

If you have unwanted alcohol and are unsure what to do with it, storing it properly is essential. Here’s a general rule or two and best practices for storing different alcohol.

General Rules for Storing Alcohol

  • Store alcohol in a cool, dark place to prevent it from spoiling or losing flavor.
  • Keep alcohol away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity.
  • Keep the bottles upright to prevent the cork from drying out and letting air in.
  • Store wine and spirits at a consistent temperature, ideally between 55-65°F (13-18°C).
  • Avoid storing alcohol in the refrigerator or freezer for long periods, as it can affect the flavor and texture.

Best Practices for Storing Wine

  • Store wine in a wine cellar, wine fridge, or a cool, dark closet.
  • Keep the temperature consistent, ideally between 55-65°F (13-18°C).
  • Store wine bottles on their side to keep the cork moist and prevent air from entering the bottle.
  • Avoid storing wine near strong odors or vibrations, as they can affect the flavor.

Best Practices for Storing Spirits

  • Store spirits in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity.
  • Keep the bottles upright to prevent the cork from drying out and letting air in.
  • Avoid storing spirits in a location with strong odors or near heat sources.
  • Keep the bottles tightly closed to prevent evaporation.

Best Practices for Storing Beer

  • Store beer in a cool, dark place, ideally between 45-55°F (7-13°C).
  • Keep the bottles or cans upright to prevent the beer from oxidizing.
  • Avoid storing beer in a location with strong odors or near heat sources.
  • Store beer away from light, as it can cause the beer to become “skunky.”

By following these general rules and best practices, you can store your unwanted alcohol properly, ensuring drinking alcohol you drink maintains its quality and flavor.

What to Do with Old Unopened Wine

Disposing of old unopened wine down the sink is an excellent idea if you run warm water down the drain at night while dumping your wine. This will ensure the wine’s acidic properties will be diluted while sitting and going through your pipes. After the wine is dumped, recycle the bottle!

Can You Pour Wine Down the Sink

Generally, two bottles of wine drained down the sink won’t disrupt your house or septic system or damage the environment. Try pacing the number of bottles you pour per day when you need to discard more than two bottles.

Whether cleaning up after a party or simply pouring out a beer, too much alcohol gets drunk and poured down our sink pipes at an alarmingly high rate. If sticking to the two-bottle wine rule from above, no harm should come to the septic system or the environment.

Only when the alcohol concentration is higher should you discard the alcohol differently than usual one – like bourbon or whiskey. Check the concentration of the substance and be sure it’s no more than 24% to be safe.

Can You Pour Wine Down the Toilet

Pour wine down the toilet. If you worry about doing this, you can wait and see what happens before pouring more than one bottle, but generally, drinking the alcohol should not affect your septic system. Some believe that alcohol generally has good antiseptic qualities, making every drop of it useful around your home.

For example, Vodka can be a good substitute for chemical spray used to dust or kill mold. It is interesting to note that some people use a bottle of Coke to unclog a toilet. Simply pour the Coke down your drain, let it fizz for about an hour, and then pour hot water down the channel.

Coke has phosphoric acid, which helps in unclogging your clogged drain. (Learn What Happens If It Rains After Spraying Roundup)

How to Dispose of Unopened Wine Bottles

To answer the question of how to dispose of unopened wine bottles, first, you, must open the liquor cabinet, take your bottle and pour out the wine. After that, the good news is that the best bet and alternative means for disposing of wine bottles is recycling. Yes, you can recycle wine bottles. If you think about it, wine bottles are made of glass material, and usually, glass materials are recyclable.

Does California Recycle Wine Bottles

California does not recycle wine and liquor bottles, but California will add wine and liquor bottles to its recycling rebate program under a law taking effect in July 2024.

What To Do With Unwanted Alcohol