Here is a list of 10 rubbing and isopropyl alcohol uses around your home, for cleaning and stain removal.
Chances are you already have a bottle of rubbing or isopropyl alcohol in your medicine cabinet or bathroom. But did you know this inexpensive drug store staple has lots more uses than just first aid?
If not, read on to see why it's one of my favorite homemade cleaning ingredients. You definitely want to keep this product on hand at all times in your home for cleaning and stain removal.
Before I begin sharing all the ways that rubbing alcohol is pretty darn awesome as a cleaner around your home, I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about the type of alcohol I'm discussing, since there are many varieties.
All of the uses provided below are designed to be used with rubbing alcohol, which is normally found in the first aid section of most drug stores. Rubbing alcohol is typically 70% isopropryl alcohol and 30% water.
You can buy what is called isopropyl alcohol, and if sold in 70% concentration that is basically rubbing alcohol, but if you buy it in higher concentrations, such as 97% or 99% that just means it hasn't been diluted with water.
Denatured alcohol also has its household uses, but it is an ethyl alcohol (not an isopropyl alcohol), and since many ethyl alcohols can be consumed, such as contained in whiskey, beer or wine, denatured alcohol also contains poisons so that it cannot be consumed.
I'm not discussing denatured alcohol in this article further, but you can check out uses for this type of alcohol here on the site.
Also, please note, as with all cleaning products, keep all these types of alcohol out of the reach of children and pets since they can be toxic if ingested.
Now, here are 10 cleaning and stain removal uses for rubbing or isopropyl alcohol, for around your home.
One of the many reasons why alcohol can be a great cleaning product is because it is a solvent, and evaporates quickly. These two properties make it an excellent ingredient for glass cleaners, and keep the glass from streaking.
You can check out a couple of homemade window cleaner recipes here, the first of which contains alcohol.
As a solvent alcohol is also a simple way to help loosen and remove sticky residue and labels off hard surfaces. Simply take a cotton ball or edge of a rag, dip in rubbing alcohol, and gently rub over the sticky mess. Rinse afterward mainly to remove the residue, since the alcohol itself with evaporate.
You can get more ideas for adhesive removal products here.
Your stainless steel appliances can look lovely until they get all kinds of smear marks on them, sometimes from little fingers.
To remove these marks and smudges just add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cloth and buff your stainless steel surfaces removing the fingerprints and leaving a shine behind.
This is also a great way to shine" your stainless steel sink at the end of the day!
You can get more tips for how to clean stainless steel here.
Permanent markers are not quite as permanent as we sometimes fear when we see someone has written on the wall or another hard surface with them, assuming you know how to remove it.
One of the first things you should try to remove the marker or pen is rubbing alcohol. Put a small amount on a rag or paper towel (something disposable works best since the permanent marker will come off the wall and stain the cloth as you work) and rub in small circles over the marks.
Don't make large swipes since you don't want to smear the marker over a larger surface as you work. The marker will lift and remove with several applications, always using a clean part of the cloth for each new application.
Warning -- before trying on your wall test in an inconspicuous area first because the alcohol can remove wall paint, or the gloss from some surfaces.
You can get more tips for permanent marker removal from walls here.
White boards are designed to wipe clean, but I think we've all experienced those "ghost marks" where you've wiped off the writing, but a faint amount is still visible.
A simple way to remove these ghost marks is to wipe down the board with rubbing alcohol and it will lift the set in marker and completely whiten the board.
As we use the touch screens on many of our electronic devices they get dirty with fingerprints, smudges, and more.
To clean them mix one part rubbing alcohol with distilled water into a small spray bottle. Then, spray the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth (never spray directly onto your screen) and rub the screen gently with the cloth to clean it.
You can get full instructions for this homemade screen cleaner recipe here.
We all have looked down and noticed a stray ink mark, or even have a story about the exploding pen that got all over something. When these stain disasters happen one of your best bets is to try to remove the ink from the fabric with rubbing alcohol.
This doesn't always work because there are so many different formulations of ink, and so many other variables, but it is absolutely worth a try.
Blot at the stain with a rag soaked in alcohol, or even soak the stained area in alcohol for a few minutes before washing as normal.
You can get more tips for removing ink stains from clothing here.
If you use hairspray you know how it can get a lot more places than just your hair when using it in the bathroom. Alcohol, since it is a solvent, works quite well to loosen and dissolve that hairspray film that develops on hard surfaces near where you typically fix your hair.
Mix one part rubbing alcohol, 2 parts water and 1 drop of dish soap and use this mixture to clean any of these surfaces.
Always test in an inconspicuous area first before using on walls for the same reason mentioned above when discussing permanent marker removal. Rinse and then dry surfaces when finished to remove all hairspray residue, plus the small amount of dish soap.
Just like you can shine your stainless steel with rubbing alcohol, you can also clean your bathroom fixtures, especially chrome.
Pour a small amount of alcohol onto a cleaning cloth and buff your faucets and sink handles to clean and shine them. The best part, you don't even have to rinse since the alcohol just evaporates.
You can get more information about a homemade chrome cleaner and polish recipe here.
Everyone's got a pair of tweezers or scissors in their bathroom for lots of uses, but when's the last time you cleaned them?
You should clean items like this quite frequently, and a simple way is to just take a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and rub them over these metal tools and let it dry. Simple!
So how do you use rubbing alcohol in your home? I'd love to know, so, tell me your own tips below in the comments.
In addition, I've rounded up even more uses for rubbing alcohol here, from tips throughout the site.
Finally, would you like to find out more uses for common household items, for cleaning, laundry and stain removal? If so, check out these homemade cleaning products recipes here on the site.
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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