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.
Rubbing Alcohol Uses That Will Save You Time, Money and Effort
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, rubbing alcohol cleans and disinfects chrome, stainless steel, and glass without streaking, according to Carol Smith, 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.
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.
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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—kitchen tongs, a spatula or maybe a six-inch drywall knife—in cloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip in alcohol and go to work.
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Keep windows sparkling (and frost-free!)
Do your windows frost up in the winter? Wash them with a solution of 125 mL (1/2 cup) rubbing alcohol to one litre (one quart) water to prevent the frost. Polish the windows after you wash them to make them shine.
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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!
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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!
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Clean your screens
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’s just dust or natural oils from fingers sticking to the keyboard,” Shepard says. “And it’s exceptionally ideal for this task because alcohol evaporates quickly, lessening the risk of harming the electronics.”
Here’s exactly how often you should be cleaning your phone.
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.
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Erase permanent markers
Did your little angel 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!
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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!
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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.
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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 sealable plastic bag. The next time that sore knee acts up, wrap the bag of slush in a cloth and apply it to the area.
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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.
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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’re 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.
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.
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A quick and safe solution to sanitize your toddler’s toys is wiping them down with rubbing alcohol. “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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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.
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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.
Now that you’ve got these rubbing alcohol uses under your belt, find out how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen.