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18 Brilliant Uses for Rubbing Alcohol You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Step away from the pricy cleaners and say hello to cost-effective rubbing alcohol.

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Use rubbing alcohol to clean bathroom fixturesPhoto: Shutterstock

Use rubbing alcohol to clean bathroom fixtures

Just reach into the medicine cabinet the next time you need to clean chrome bathroom fixtures. Because it quickly evaporates upon contact with surfaces, it cleans and disinfects chrome, stainless steel, and glass without streaking, according to Carol Smith, the owner of Hire A Maid. Pour some rubbing alcohol straight from the bottle onto a soft, absorbent cloth and wipe the fixtures. There’s no need to rinse, since the alcohol evaporates.

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Bathroom mirrorPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove hairspray from mirrors

When you’re spritzing your with hair spray, some of it inevitably winds up on the mirror. A quick wipe-down with rubbing alcohol will whisk away that sticky residue and leave your mirror sparkling clean. Not only does rubbing alcohol polish mirrors, but it’s also useful for cleaning windows and glass surfaces too, according to Stephanie Cooper of Energy Cleaning.

Find out how to clean your entire bathroom in five minutes (or less).

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Beige venetian blindsPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean venetian blinds

Rubbing alcohol does a terrific job of cleaning the slats of venetian blinds. To make quick work of the job, wrap a flat tool—a spatula or maybe a six-inch drywall knife—in cloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip in alcohol and go to work.

Next, declutter every room with these clever home organizing hacks.

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Woman cleaning her windowsPhoto: Shutterstock

Keep windows sparkling (and frost-free!)

Do your windows frost up in the winter? Wash them with a solution of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to one quart (one litre) water to prevent the frost. Polish the windows with newspaper after you wash them to make them shine.

Check out 25 more cleaning tips that actually work.

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Woman scraping frost off car windshieldPhoto: Shutterstock

Dissolve windshield frost

Wouldn’t you rather be inside savouring your morning coffee a little longer instead of scraping frost off your car windows? Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz the car glass. You’ll be able to wipe the frost right off. Ah, good to the last drop!

Experts agree: this is the best way to remove snow from your car.

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Man in navy blue suit and tiePhoto: Shutterstock

Prevent ring around the collar

To prevent your neck from staining your shirt collar, wipe your neck with rubbing alcohol each morning before you dress. Feels refreshing, too!

Your old shirts can be salvaged with these pro tips on how to remove sweat stains.

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Young man with smartphonePhoto: Shutterstock

Clean your screen

Cleaning your phone, laptop, and smart TV is easy with trusty rubbing alcohol, says Greg Shepard, the president and founder of Emily’s Maids. “Rubbing alcohol cleans them all, whether it is just dust or natural oils from finger sticking to the keyboard,” Shepard says. “And it’s exceptional ideal for this task because alcohol evaporates quickly, lessening the risk of harming the electronics.” All you need is a cotton pad with alcohol.

This is how often you should be cleaning your cell phone.

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Rubbing alcohol with ethanolPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove ink stains

Did you get ink on your favourite shirt or dress? Try soaking the spot in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes before putting the garment in the wash.

Find out more clothing care tips dry cleaners don’t want you to know.

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Permanent markersPhoto: Shutterstock

Erase permanent markers

Did your little angel just decide to decorate your countertop with a permanent marker? If your counters are made of a non-permeable material such as plastic laminate or marble, you’re in luck. Rubbing alcohol will dissolve the marker back to a liquid state so you can wipe it right off!

Find out 12 things you shouldn’t clean with paper towels.

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Yorkshire Terrier dogPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove dog ticks

Ticks hate the taste of rubbing alcohol as much as they love the taste of your dog. Before you pull a tick off Fido, dab the critter with rubbing alcohol to make it loosen its grip. Then grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can and pull it straight out. Dab again with alcohol to disinfect the wound. This works on people too!

Here’s what to do when you find a tick in your house.

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Fruit flyPhoto: Shutterstock

Get rid of fruit flies

The next time you see fruit flies hovering in the kitchen, get out a fine-misting spray bottle and fill it with rubbing alcohol. Spraying the little flies knocks them out and makes them fall to the floor, where you can sweep them up. The alcohol is less effective than insecticide, but it’s a lot safer than spraying poison around your kitchen.

Here are the 10 most disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.

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Woman with ice pack on her foreheadPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a shapeable ice pack

The problem with ice packs is they won’t conform to the shape of the injured body part. Make a slushy, comfortable pack by mixing one part rubbing alcohol with three parts water in a self-closing plastic bag. The next time that sore knee acts up, wrap the bag of slush in a cloth and apply it to the area.

Check out more clever new uses for resealable bags.

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Tying shoelaces of leather shoesPhoto: Shutterstock

Stretch tight-fitting new shoes

This doesn’t always work, but it sure is worth a try: if your new leather shoes are pinching your feet, try swabbing the tight spot with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Walk around in the shoes for a few minutes to see if they stretch enough to be comfortable.

Find out 20+ more home hacks that will save you money.

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Car frosted upPhoto: Shutterstock

Keep car doors and locks from freezing in the winter

Another one of the great rubbing alcohol uses pertains to your car doors and locks, according to Cooper. “If you are not prepared for the cold months, this trick will save you a lot of trouble,” Cooper says. Spray the insulation of your car doors and your locks with rubbing alcohol the evening before you expect the weather to go bad, and it goes a long way in preventing your vehicle from freezing over.

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Women's tennis shoesPhoto: Shutterstock

Refresh your tennis shoes

Active souls who own tennis shoes should be happy to know one of the best rubbing alcohol uses is for cleaning the soles. Shepard says to add a dab of rubbing alcohol to a baby wipe to wash away any stain or mud from your kicks.

Find out more easy ways to clean white sneakers.

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Close up of child's hands playing with colorful plastic bricks at the tablePhoto: Shutterstock

Sanitize toys

A quick and safe solution to sanitize your toddler’s toys is wiping them with rubbing alcohol. “Considering all junior’s toys end up in his mouth, rubbing alcohol not only kills the bacteria but it’s also a safer alternative than using harsh, chemical-filled cleaning products,” Shepard says.

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Red wine spilled on white carpetPhoto: Shutterstock

Spot clean carpets

Opt for rubbing alcohol to spot clean your rug. Shepard says it works better than any branded spot solutions. Just pour it on the spot, then blot and repeat as necessary.

Don’t miss these housekeeping tips from professional cleaners.

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Rustic mason jarsPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove stickers from jars

Keep the glass tomato or pickle jars without the old labels or decals. “Rubbing alcohol is great at removing that sticky glue residue after peeling off the brand sticker,” Shepard says.

Check out 25 more cleaning hacks for hard-to-remove stuff.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things