Rubbing alcohol has a number of health-giving benefits, and yet people tend to overlook this simple but effective and quite inexpensive method. Applying alcohol topically can disinfect small wounds and cuts, alleviate the heat of a fever, or contribute in another way to your overall well-being.
Here are almost two dozen benefits of rubbing alcohol, also called isopropyl alcohol.
1. Mix water and rubbing alcohol to make a homemade ice pack
Ice packs can help in many ways such as relieving pain, inflammation, and swelling caused by injuries or conditions like arthritis.
You can make your ice pack even more effective by blending one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water in a freezer bag. The bag won’t freeze into a solid block of ice due to the rubbing alcohol.
2. Fix broken eye shadow
Cosmetics are both expensive and fragile, and when they break you tend to reflexively throw them away. Instead of disposing it, you can fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray some on the eye shadow.
Use your finger, a spoon, or something similar to smooth it out. Let the eye shadow harden for several hours and it will seem almost new.
3. Candle cleaner
Unused or decorative candles can accumulate a lot of dust throughout the year. Use a rag with rubbing alcohol to easily remove the dust, but before lighting, of course, as alcohol is highly flammable.
4. Wipe the surface of your electronics
Computers, cell phones, laptops, and similar electronics are a hotspots for bacteria and germs and they must be disinfected every once in a while. Saturate a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol and gently sweep the surface of your device.
5. Removing head lice
Spread some rubbing alcohol through your hair with your fingers and let it stay for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a long-toothed comb to brush out any lice and wash your hair with shampoo afterward.
Do this method once a week for a month to make sure all lice are gone. Rubbing alcohol is a potent disinfectant which is in no way harmful to the skin.
For optimum effect, you can dip your comp in running alcohol every time you brush and it will help a great deal in keeping lice and nits at bay.
6. Emergency deodorant
If you run out of deodorant you can mix some rubbing alcohol with 15 drops of any essential oil at your disposal, lavender is preferred. Add the mixture in a fine-mist spray bottle and spray your armpits, but not right after shaving as it may sting.
7. Remove permanent marker
Every once in a while you will find yourself musing how to remove permanent marker which, if you have a toddler, is simply bound to happen at some point.
But “permanent” marker is not so permanent when sprayed with some rubbing alcohol, which will make the marker dissolve and come right off.
8. Rubbing alcohol to remove nail polish
It may take a little extra scraping, but rubbing alcohol is quite effective in removing nail polish if your nail polish remover has just run out. Soak a cotton ball with a little rubbing alcohol and wipe it off.
9. Removing grass stains
Grass stains are a real challenge to clean, but soaking them in rubbing alcohol might do the trick. Apply some rubbing alcohol on grass stains and leave it for at least 10 minutes before laundering.
10. Get rid of that garlic smell
Garlic may have a pungent smell and taste, but we like to add it to our meals nonetheless. However, this tasty herb leaves a trail of smell on your fingers and clothes that can last for days, and water and soap will simply not do the trick in removing it.
If water and soap fail you, you can always rely on some rubbing alcohol to remove the garlic smell from your fingers.
11. Use it as a de-greaser
In addition to the above uses, rubbing alcohol is an inexpensive and quite strong degreaser to clean your stove and other kitchen appliances.
Rubbing alcohol can even prove more effective and the great thing is you won’t be required to rinse afterwards as it dries almost instantaneously.
12. Use it as shoe freshener
Unpleasant shoe odor can occur if you frequently exercise or do other physical activities, and rubbing alcohol can actually help rid your sneakers of their musty smell.
Pour rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle without mixing water, and spray the inside of your shoes, making sure they are thoroughly wet.
Let them sit overnight before you wear them again. The rubbing alcohol will purge your shoes of any odious smells by morning.
13. Rinse bathroom fixtures
Just like with kitchen appliances, rubbing alcohol can come in handy when cleaning bathroom fixtures. Saturate a piece of cloth with some rubbing alcohol.
Your fixtures will not only be glistening, but the alcohol will also kill any germs and bacteria along the way.
14. Fix a dried Sharpie
It doesn’t take long for a lidless Sharpie to dry out, but that doesn’t necessarily render it useless as long as there’s some rubbing alcohol lying around.
Pour some of the alcohol into the cap of the Sharpie, dip the Sharpie into the cap and let it saturate till it starts releasing some ink. After that, put the cap on the Sharpie and leave it for 15 minutes before using it.
15. Eliminate bed bugs
Your bed is one of the few places you can actually unwind and completely loosen up, and when you have that stolen from you by such things as bed bugs, it becomes an issue.
To terminate these vexing little insects, put running alcohol in a spray bottle and spray your bed and other furnishings with it. Let it dry for several minutes and vacuum.
16. Use rubbing alcohol to remove stains
When mixed with water, rubbing alcohol is quite effective in removing stains from coffee, wine, ink, etc. Just blend one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water in a container, preferable a spray bottle.
To use it, simply spray directly onto stains, spots, or spills, let it absorb for a few minutes and add it with your other clothes when doing your laundry.
17. Repel fruit flies
Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray these pesky little flies with it and around your garbage bin. The flies should scatter or fall to the floor.
You can, of course, use more effective insecticides but using running alcohol beats any harmful and potentially poisonous repellant.
18. Remove hairspray off of mirrors
No matter how careful you are with your hairspray, some of it always ends up on the mirror and, before long, your mirror will be covered with hairspray stains.
However, you do not necessarily need glass cleaner to get rid of the stains. Just wipe it with some rubbing alcohol and a piece of cloth and your mirror will be restored to its former sparkling self.
19. Dissolve frost on your windshield
Every car owner has, at one point or another, dealt with windshield frost, and it can be quite the nuisance. But instead of freezing in the bitter cold while desperately trying to scrape the frost, you can simply spray some rubbing alcohol on it and the frost will thaw in no time.
20. Tick repellent
Ticks are repulsive in many ways as they spread diseases to humans and animals alike, but luckily, they do not tolerate alcohol. Use rubbing alcohol to remove ticks on you or your pets.
The alcohol stuns the irksome parasite which, in turn, makes it lose grip on the skin and is easier to remove. Apply a cotton ball soaked with some rubbing alcohol on the tick and remove it within a few moments with a pair of tweezers.
Be sure to apply rubbing alcohol afterwards on the place you were bitten to prevent infections.
21. Polishing your shoes
Rubbing alcohol undoubtedly helps in making your shoes shinier, but it doesn’t does so alone. In addition to rubbing alcohol, you will also need regular shoe polisher.
Rub your shoes with undiluted rubbing alcohol and the polish will go much easier and smoother.
22. Cleaning and disinfecting garden tools
Garden tools serve many purposes, and it is key to occasionally disinfect them from harmful bacteria. While there are many sanitizers on the market made particularly for this reason, they tend to be costly, and chances are that you probably already have rubbing alcohol lying around in your home.
First, clean your tools of any dirt with some water, and soak them afterwards in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes. After it has soaked, use a piece of cloth to wipe it and let it dry.
23. Remove stickers
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot seem to completely remove stickers or price tags off of something, and there’s always some of the glue and sticky residue left.
To smoothly remove a sticker, pour some rubbing alcohol on it and leave it for the next 10 minutes. Running alcohol is a dissolvent so the sticker should come off easily.