6 Shocking Non-Alcoholic Items That Secretly Contain Alcohol


Did you ever have to take Driver’s Ed? In my home state, California, they were careful to emphasize the zero tolerance law, which means if you’re under 21, your BAC (blood alcohol level) can’t be higher than .01%. Why .01 and not just zero? Because there are certain “non-alcoholic” foods that contain trace amounts of liquor. While for some of these you’d have to consume large quantities to get intoxicated (it would be far more efficient to slam a beer or two), these items still do technically contain booze.


1. Mouthwash


While there are plenty of mouthwash brands that now make booze-free products, there are plenty who don’t. In fact, the original Listerine is close to 30% alcohol. Reports of people overdoing it with the mouth swishing aren’t unheard of, but the thought of drinking enough mouthwash to get drunk is enough to instinctively suck in your cheeks and shudder.


2. Honeybuns


Image via Bill Walsh / Flickr

While the jury is still out on just how alcoholic honeybuns are, it seems that they do up your risk of failing a breathalyzer test. Honeybuns also appear to be a popular food to snack on in prison.


3. Vanilla Extract


Image courtesy of Bigstock

Vanilla extract is actually really, really alcoholic. Like, 70 proof (35% ABV) alcoholic. It also competes with honeybuns as the most palatable option on this list. It’s a wonder why more teenagers aren’t swigging vanilla extract instead of well, this next item…


4. Hand Sanitizer


Although a bottle of hand sanitizer supposedly contains the equivalent of five shots, it seems the cons definitely outweigh the pros, with drinking risks including blindness and memory loss.


5. NyQuil


This may come as no shock, but NyQuil – a cold medication that will knock you the hell out – contains alcohol. NyQuil also tastes worse that the most syrupy, sugary liqueur.


6. Windshield Wiper Fluid


Image courtesy of Bigstock

Yes, it contains alcohol, but not the kind you want to drink. If you drink windshield wiper fluid, you are poisoning yourself. Again, just to be clear, we do not want you to drink windshield wiper fluid.

Written by Aliza Kellerman of VinePair

By Vine Pair

VinePair is a new way to understand and talk about wine. We’re removing the anxiety, pretension and insider language from one of the world’s oldest beverages.

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