47 Outstanding Uses Of Rubbing Alcohol

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You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol. It’s in science. While I definitely agree with the rubbing alcohol part, drinking away your problems won’t suddenly make the universe love you. Or solve your problems for you. If only it could!

The uses of rubbing alcohol are literally endless. Kind of like the number of marriages celebrities rotates through on a regular basis. Without further ado, let’s dive into the uses of rubbing alcohol. You’ll be really surprised by some of these! Kind of like when Nick Jonas suddenly, but finally, tied the knot!

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

To quote the literal definition, “Rubbing alcohol refers to either isopropyl alcohol or ethanol-based liquids, or the comparable British Pharmacopoeia defined surgical spirit, with isopropyl alcohol products being the most widely available.”

Um. All I hear is blah blah blah alcohol blah blah. In other words, what I hear when my mom yells at me to clean my room.

Is Rubbing Alcohol Safe?

Obviously, you can’t drink this. So please don’t accidentally swap this bottle for vodka and down it in one gulp. And then wonder why your body is on fire. It’s unsafe near an open flame, and if you try to apply concentrated alcohol to your skin, it may cause some minor inflammation.

47 Uses Of Rubbing Alcohol:

1. Remove Hairspray Residue

Hairspray and other aerosol products can leave a residue behind. So it’s pretty much a greasy slip and slide on the counters every day! Rubbing alcohol can get rid of this in a snap before you can say supercalifragilistic expialidocious.

I’m aware that’s not real-world, but work with me guys, come on. Dab a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the counter. Watch the magic happen.

2. Clean Blinds

Venetian blinds are kind of hard to clean, and we often forget to clean the window blinds on a weekly basis. While blinds aren’t that hard to clean, they pick up dust very frequently.

Wrap your spatula in a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Or just simply use a cloth. Dip it in the rubbing alcohol and get down to business! Now that’s the right way to clean.

3. Antiseptic

Whether it’s for a clean counter, or on a small scratch, rubbing alcohol is pretty effective. That’s right folks, you don’t need expensive ” all in one” cleaners anymore.

A bottle of rubbing alcohol from the drug store will do the job just fine! It kills the bacteria and fungi but must be concentrated enough to do so. Otherwise, it will be ineffective against bacteria. If it’s too concentrated it will kill the good bacteria as well.

4. Erase Permanent Mark

I literally cannot count the number of times that I have worked on a poster and then accidentally ended up drawing with a permanent marker on my white shirt.

Ah, the agony! Turns out, I didn’t need to stress out about it. Squeeze a bit of rubbing alcohol onto the affected area and let it rest for a few minutes. Wipe and swipe! Forgive the terrible pun.

5. Keep Windows Sparkling and Frost-Free

If your windows are fogging up to the point where you’re not sure if it’s night or day outside, it’s time to clean! As someone who’s slightly OCD about cleaning, I can’t describe the number of times I’ve wiped the fog off of windows, only to realize it’s fogged up again!

Wash it with a solution of 1/2 cup of alcohol and 1/2 cup of water and clear up that fog! Not from your life, but the window.

6. Postoperative Nausea

As someone who used to faint quite a bit as a child, I can personally say this is a lifesaver. It’s actually been proven that postoperative nausea symptoms are gotten rid of faster by using rubbing alcohol as a sort of smelling salt. Soak a cotton ball or cloth in alcohol, and sniff away.

7. Remove Stickers

Do you know those really annoying times when you get a package? And you peel off the sticker, and it only peels halfway? Story of my life! Saturate the sticker with your handy dandy bottle of alcohol and wait for 10 minutes.

That’s literally less than the time the crossover between Grant Gustin’s flash and Ezra Miller’s version of the flash. Needless to say, wash the sticker after those 10 minutes and it’ll peel right off.

8. Dissolve Windshield Frost

Scraping frost of the windshield can be cumbersome and painful. Plus, you can hit the snooze button a few more times and not be late. Yes, please! Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz away! You’ll finish cleaning in seconds.

9. Astringent

Sometimes it’s difficult to know which items in your fridge can actually tighten your pores and clean your face. Rubbing alcohol can actually tighten your pores and leave your skin feeling fresh. However, it doesn’t dry your skin, so apply moisturizer immediately.

10. Clean Electronics

I mean sure, you use it every day. But damn, it’s dusty…everyday! Since we use it so often, it’s important to disinfect it. Wipe your electronic devices down with a cloth doused in rubbing alcohol.

If you use a microfiber cloth or a softer cloth than the one you use to clean your window, it’s much more effective. Buff it dry with a clean cloth, because when your device is wet, it actually attracts dust! Weird, right? Let it shine.

11. Keep Car Doors And Locks From Freezing In The Winter

Running late for work? This is probably around the time your door is stuck since you forgot to chuck ice off the door. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

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Spray your car door and windows with a bit of rubbing alcohol the day before you expect a bunch of snow to just show up unwelcome. Kind of like your ex. The rubbing alcohol will melt the ice right off. As for the ex? Throw a bucket of cold water over his head to bring him back to his senses.

12. Remove Stains from Microfiber

While having furniture made of microfibers isn’t easy, it’s not impossible to maintain. Whether it’s your sofa or the cushy armchair you just bought to snuggle in, spritz it down. After spraying it, wipe it with a sponge or clean cloth.

13. Clean Your Screen

Your electronic devices probably carry a bacteria army that you’re unaware of. Literally, there are so many bacteria that an alien species could be living on the screen. Do I have your attention now? Douse a cotton pad in alcohol and clean. That’s pretty much it.

14. As A Deodorant

Ah, my beautiful butterfly women. You’re probably feeling under-confident, walking out the door since you missed your deodorant slot of the day. Don’t worry! Spray it directly onto your armpit for the best results. For a more scented version, mix it with a few drops of lavender essential oil.

15. Eliminate Fruit Flies

Fruit flies in your kitchen can be a real nuisance. When you keep swatting them away from your food, it’s the equivalent of Luna swatting Wrackspurts from her head.

Shout out to my Potterheads! Spray the fruit flies as soon as they come at you, and they’ll be knocked out. Sweep them up and dispose of them.

16. Remove Ink Stains

Soak your shirt in rubbing alcohol and wait for about 10 minutes. Watch the magic happen. The alcohol cuts through the ink, so the more concentrated, the better it is. Recover your favorite shirt from the brink of disaster!

17. Evaporating Water From The Ear

As a fellow swimmer, I walked around sometimes feeling like a fishbowl was turned over my head. Because that’s how much water was stuck in my ears!

Make a mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol, in a half and half ratio. Use a dropper to put this in your ears, and let the water dry out. Don’t use this mixture if you have an ear infection.

18. Deodorize Smelly Shoes

Whoo! If you’re wondering where that funky smell is coming from, check your shoes. Spray the insides of your shoes with a bit of rubbing alcohol and then set it out in the sun. Bye-bye germs.

19. Remove Dog Ticks

Your child has a bunch of ticks and you have no idea how to get rid of them. Sorry, I meant your dog. Aren’t they the same thing though? Lot less work though.

Keep in mind this may take time to pull out. This trick involves spraying the tick, getting it to lose, and then pulling it as soon as it loosens its grip.

20. Treating Sore Muscles

Turns out that we’ve reached the epitome of the uses of rubbing alcohol. Apply it to the affected muscle area and let it seep in for a bit. It actually regulates the blood flow and relieves the pain in the area.

21. Make Your Hand Sanitizer

Save money when you can where you can! Make your own hand sanitizer by mixing 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel, 1/2 teaspoon of glycerine, and 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol in a bowl.

Fill a small sanitizer bottle, and there you have it. For a scent based sanitizer, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

22. Stretch Tight Shoes

You were probably dying to wear these shoes…only to realize they were too tight! Spray the inside and outside with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Then put them on with a pair of socks…they’ll stretch out in no time! Kind of like the shoe version of Reed Richards.

23. Clean Bathroom Fixtures

Trying to clean your chrome fixtures in the bathroom? Reach into the medicine cabinet…not your wallet! Pour some rubbing alcohol onto the cloth and clean the area.

It’ll disinfect and make the surface shiny and clean. Due to its unique properties, it doesn’t streak when you use it to clean any surface.

24. Shapeable Ice Packs

You probably just took out your ice pack and are wondering why it looks like a broken arm that won’t bend. Make a mixture of 3 parts of alcohol and one part water and seal it in a bag. Then place a towel around it and apply it to the iced area.

25. Keep Bed Bugs At Bay

Fill your spray bottle with this oh so efficient alcohol and spray it onto the bed and other bedding like the sheets and pillow covers. Make sure that the alcohol dries off and that you open the windows and ventilate the room before sleeping on your bed. Otherwise, it’ll feel like a hospital room.

26. Save Broken Eye Shadow

Oops! There goes your favorite eye shadow, courtesy of your kids thinking it’s their new play toy. But, don’t lose hope! You can definitely save your fav shadow in time to recreate your favorite smoky eye look.

Place the bits of eye shadow back into the palette and add some alcohol drop by drop. Or, you could spray the alcohol. If you are clumsy like me, use a spray bottle! Mix it together and spread it out. Wait for a few hours for it to dry, and voila! Take a deep breath, my friends, all hope is not lost.

27. Cleaning Dry Erase Boards

As someone who has volunteered to stay back and clean boards, it’s more difficult than it looks. Yes, guys, I spent more time at school than necessary. Judge me for being a proud nerd.

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No matter how much you try to use the whiteboard eraser to get the streaks off the board, there was always some remaining residue or streaks.

Use 90% rubbing alcohol solution to get rid of the dry erase marks. Either apply the solution to a cloth or a paper towel, both work well.

28. Cleaning Makeup Brushes

If your makeup brushes look like they just took a trip to the rainbow version of the Sahara Desert, it might be a good time to give me a wash.

Pour a bit of rubbing alcohol solution into a plastic cup, so that’s you can easily dispose of it. Put your makeup brush in the solution and swish it around a bit.

Once you’re sure that your brush has stopped bleeding colors like Carrie, rinse it with water. Leave it on a microfiber cloth or your favorite towel to dry for an hour or so. Good as new!

29. Cleaning Sinks and Chrome

Sinks and rods looking a little dull in your house? Time to give it a little shine! Pour some alcohol solution onto a microfiber cloth or paper towel and give your sink a good wipedown.

You don’t need to wipe it down again with water because the alcohol evaporates anyway. It doesn’t leave any residue or streaks, which is another reason you don’t need to follow up with water.

30. Refreshing Sponges

The sponges in your house are probably more overworked than Sponge bob, considering he never takes a day off from work. Even on the weekends! Fill a broad dish with rubbing alcohol and soak the sponges in this solution overnight.

This will get all the remaining dirt, and grime out of the sponges which is something that simply rinsing the sponges with water can’t achieve.

31. Preventing Ring Around The Collar

If you’re someone who sweats really easily, your collared shirts look like shirts with sad collars. Kind of like a sad Olaf. nobody wants that! Keep your collars fresher and cleaner by dampening a cotton pad with alcohol and rubbing your neck.

This disinfects the neck area and keeps your collar clean. It’s also a great way to prevent the fabric color around the collar area from fading, which is a huge problem especially since collared shirts collect much more bacteria from sweat.

32. Sanitize Toys

Pretty much all the toys you buy end up in your toddler’s mouth. The only question is whether it ends up there 5 minutes after you buy it, or 5 hours. If the answer is 5 hours, you should be handed a prize!

A quick, and effective way to sanitize the toys is by wiping it down with a solution made of equal parts of rubbing alcohol and warm water. Since the alcohol dries quickly, you don’t need to do a second wipedown.

This is much more favorable compared to using harsh, chemical-filled products that could do more harm than good to your toddler.

33. Spot Clean Carpets

Why waste money and hire someone to clean your entire carpet because of one red wine stain? When you could do the same in less time, and for cheap! Pour the rubbing alcohol on the spot and blot it out with a cloth.

A paper towel can be used, but since it might tear, it’s better to use a cloth. Keep pouring and blotting as necessary until the stain is completely removed. It gets any nasty pee, poo or colored stains out….and doesn’t leave any residue behind!

It does leave behind a bit of a sanitizing smell, like the kind of smell in hospitals, so make sure you ventilate the room for a bit after you use your rubbing alcohol generously.

34. Clean Your Candles

Especially during the wintertime, your candles may start to look a little icky. Probably from all the excess wax has dried up and stuck to the sides of the candle. Annoying, and difficult to get rid of. Like your ex.

But in the end, of course, you got rid of them. Dip a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and give your candles a good wipedown. Good as new!

35. Clean Your Eyeglasses

People trying on your glasses, your child playing around with your glasses, accidentally dropping them while you’re about to take a shower…just a few scenarios of the struggles that people who wear glasses go through.

There are so many times I’ve seen people take off their glasses, squint, and wonder why their glasses look like a truck ran over it when they just cleaned it 10 minutes ago.

Your worries have come to an end. Dab your eyeglasses with some rubbing alcohol to really give it a deep clean. Since your eyes are sensitive to dirt and germs, it’s important to clean your glasses properly.

36. Get Rid Of The Cooking Smell From Your Hands

Using onion and garlic in your cooking to make that wonderful pasta? Yes, please. The after the smell of your hands? Ooo…not so attractive. Get rid of that funky smell by putting a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto your hands.

Follow up with water, especially if you have sensitive skin. Rubbing alcohol doesn’t affect the skin, so it shouldn’t affect or inflame it. But it will dry up your hands, so make sure you moisturize and did I mention? Moisturize!

37. Cleaning Your Gardening Tools

Get all that disgusting grime and dirt off your tools once and for all! If the dirt is really stubborn, soak the tools in a soapy water mixture for an hour or so depending on how much dirt is clinging onto it. Make sure to use warm water to cut through the grease.

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Then soak it in rubbing alcohol for another hour and clean it off with a paper towel, but it’s preferable to use a cloth since the paper towel might tear easily.

38. Nail Polish Remover

You’ve finally gotten the mint summer green polish color and can’t wait to try it out! Only to realize, you don’t want to take a late-night trip to the drugstore just for nail polish remover.

Don’t worry! Just dampen a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and dab it onto your nails. It’ll work just as well as nail polish remover.

Don’t worry if you overdo it a bit with the alcohol since it also works as a sanitizer. It’ll clean out the dirt and grime under your fingernails that you’ve been trying to dig out for ages.

39. Soothe A Twisted Ankle

Apply some rubbing alcohol directly to the affected area and wait for the swelling to go down. It’ll regulate the blood flow and reduce the redness around the area.

Rubbing alcohol won’t inflame skin or affect it, especially if you’re skin is sensitive. Granted, it will leave it dry so make sure to moisturize it afterward.

You can either use essential oils or lotion as an effective moisturizer. Or, you can incorporate a few drops into the rubbing alcohol and rub it into your skin. Two birds with one stone.

40. Homemade Air Freshener

In all fairness, Febreeze does a pretty good job. But with kids, dogs, and a really stinky toddler, that bottle looks as empty as a movie theater on a Monday night. Whip up your own freshening solution with just 2 ingredients. 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, obviously, and about 1-15 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Usually lemon, orange, and lavender are the best for this purpose. These are the more common options, but I’m pretty sure you’ll want to switch it up according to the season to include berries, cinnamon, or peppermint.

41. Removes Ear Wax

Sometimes earbuds just don’t cut it anymore. It’s like trying to dig a grave with a toothpick. Frustrating and fruitless. Fear, not my waxy friends. All hope isn’t lost.

Mix equal parts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a small bowl. Dab a bit of cotton and clean out your ears. If you feel like the cotton is overbearing, since it soaks up way too much liquid, just use a soft cloth or dip your earbuds and have a go at your ear.

If you really want to get fancy with it, use a plastic syringe and slowly pump a few drops of this solution into your ear. You can do this if you feel like you’re itching your ear as severely as you’re mutilating that scratch card that never seems to be on your side.

42. Cleaning Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are quite easy to maintain and are durable and scratch-resistant. Oh, don’t worry if your dog loves pawing in her favorite spot every night. Make a solution with equal parts of vinegar, dish soap and rubbing alcohol and fill up the bucket. Mop the floors using this solution.

Or, you can spray it onto the floor and use a mop to spread it around the entire floor. This may take a little longer, but oh so worth the shine in the end.

43. Marbled Manicure

Can’t afford that trip to the salon that you usually take on a monthly basis? You can totally cover it up by giving yourself a much more affordable and quicker manicure while making it look like you visited a salon. Budget in style baby!

Paint your nails either white or pale white, depending on your choice. Color your nails with your favorite color of the sharpie. Or go all out and use multiple colors on each nail. Use a bit of cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol and go over your nails. Watch the colors make a beautiful, bleeding marble texture.

44. Clear Up Acne

Welcome to the real world where Instagrammers and actresses never tell you how much acne they actually have. When they wake up, it’s like a sleepy angel coming back to life. When I wake up, it’s like Lady Frankenstein had a really bad nap and #wokeuplikethis.

Clearing up stubborn acne is the story of everyone’s life! Clear up those stubborn pimples by dabbing some cotton onto them. Be careful not to leave the alcohol on for too long since this could burn your skin. Follow up with some warm water to avoid any inflammation or irritation.

45. Get Rid Of Nail Fungus

If your nails are flaky or cracked, you’re probably dealing with nail fungus. Not fun, and definitely not pretty. Soak your feet in a solution of warm water and rubbing alcohol for approximately 10 minutes. They should be in a 1:1 ratio. Repeat this about 2-3 times throughout the week.

46. Treat Athlete’s Foot

Continuing with the theme of feet and fungus (everyone’s favorite topic), treat your athlete’s foot with rubbing alcohol. While there are tons of ointments and creams that promise to cure athlete’s foot, stick with the basics as well.

Dab some cotton pads in rubbing alcohol and clean the affected area with the pad. This gets rid of nail fungus and athlete’s foot. No more stinky feet or awkward feet situations.

47. Sterilize Medical Items

While it’s perfectly okay to sterilize your thermometer in iodine or some other disinfecting solution, rubbing alcohol is much more effective. Just soak it in rubbing alcohol overnight. It’ll make the chrome part of the thermometer clean, and sterilize it!

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