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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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Rubbing alcohol uses - clean bathroom fixturesPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Rubbing alcohol uses - wipe down bathroom mirrorPhoto: Shutterstock
Cleaning service concept. Cropped view of woman wiping mirror with rag, standing in bathroom. Housewife make daily routine work at home

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.

Here’s expert advice on how to clean your bathroom without harsh chemicals.

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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—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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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 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.

Check out 25 more surprising cleaning tips that really 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!

Find out how to separate laundry for the cleanest, brightest clothes.

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Young man with smartphonePhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Rubbing alcohol usesPhoto: 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 secrets dry cleaners don’t want you to know.

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Permanent markersPhoto: Shutterstock

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!

Here are 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!

Brush up on five tick-borne diseases that are found in Canada.

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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 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.

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.

Discover 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’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.

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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 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.

Find out 13 bad cleaning habits you didn’t know you had.

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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.

Now that you’ve got these rubbing alcohol uses under your belt, find out how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things