By now, you’ve probably gotten used to finding the smell of rubbing alcohol everywhere you go, since the virus had us all obsessively using it as hand sanitizer. You may even have extra rubbing alcohol stocked up at home – but don’t let it just sit there. There are a ton of brilliant uses for this household liquid gold, from genius home improvements to health hacks.
40. Put A Pause On Sweat
Are you all dressed up for work, but worried you’ll get pit stains during a big meeting? Temporarily prevent sweaty pits — and any other sweaty body part — by rubbing them with alcohol before you button up your shirt.
39.Sticker Gunk Removal
Everyone loves getting new glassware or dishes, but nobody loves peeling that sticker residue off the plates before you can use them. If you can’t get that papery gunk to budge, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and allow it to soak for a few minutes. The residue should come off much more easily.
38. Tick Remover
If you come in from a hike in the woods and find a tick on you, soak a cotton ball in alcohol and cover the tick with it. The alcohol can shock it, making it detach from your skin and hopefully fall off. At the very least, it’ll make the thing easier to remove — and help to sterilize the skin afterward.
37. Dry Erase Hack
If you’ve run out of whiteboard cleaner, don’t sweat it. Spray some rubbing alcohol over the board, let it to sit for a few moments, and then wipe clean with a paper towel. You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker in case you accidentally grabbed the wrong writing tool before drawing that pie chart.
36. DIY Slushy Ice Packs
Rock-hard ice packs are great to throw in the bottom of your cooler, but not so great if you need one for an injured knee. Make a flexible ice pack by mixing one part alcohol and two parts water. The colder freezing point of alcohol will make sure it stays slushy, not frozen.
35. Window Defroster
For that very reason, alcohol makes a great windshield defroster in the wintertime. If you spray rubbing alcohol on your icy windshield, it won’t freeze, but melt the ice instead. And it’ll work as long as it’s warmer than -128.2°F outside — in which case you probably wouldn’t be driving, anyway.
34. Anti-Stink Spray
Spray stinky sneakers with rubbing alcohol, and then leave them out in the sun to dry. No more stink! You can also spray treat other stinky fabrics this way if you need to wait before washing them. This works great for theatre costumes or mascot outfits.
33. Shoe Stretcher-Outer
Maybe your shoes don’t stink, but they’re giving you blisters. Stretch them out a bit with this trick: spray a mist of rubbing alcohol on the inside soles and around the outside. Then, put some socks on and wear the shoes around for a bit. You should find that they’re a little more comfy.
32. Earwax Cleaner
To easily dissolve and remove earwax, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in a small bowl; from there, dip a Q-tip in the solution and use as normal. The added boost of the cleaning agents should help get any excess gunk out of your ears.
31. Cold Sore Remedy
Those seasonal cold sores are no joke. If you have a pesky bump on your lip, try dabbing some rubbing alcohol on it with a cotton ball; this should dry it out and help it heal more quickly.
30. Broken Makeup Pans
Did you drop your makeup palette, and now your eyeshadow or blush pans are cracked? Not to worry: add a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to the broken pigments, then use a spoon or your clean finger to smooth the wet pigment over. After a few hours, it’ll be like new.
29. Lice Treatment
Has your child come home from school itching and scratching? Don’t fret. Soak their scalp in rubbing alcohol and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. After you rinse it out, don’t forget to condition their hair, as alcohol is incredibly drying and can make hair brittle. If you still need to spot treat for lice, use a comb dipped in alcohol.
28. Makeup Brush Cleaner
Makeup brushes can harbor loads of bacteria, gunking up your pores and leading to acne. Clean them at least once a month by soaking the bristles in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes, and then giving them time to dry. Don’t do this too often, though, or you risk damaging your brush bristles.
27. Quick ‘n’ Easy Sanitizer
Sure, pouring rubbing alcohol on your hands to sanitize them technically works, but it’ll leave your skin dry and feeling chalky. Instead, mix three parts alcohol with one part aloe vera gel and a few drops of a non-citrus essential oil — citrus oil can burn your skin in the sun! — and you’ll have a much more manageable sanitizer.
26. Dust Mites, Begone!
Not only does rubbing alcohol kill germs, but it kills dust mites, too — a common source of household allergies. Spray a mist of the stuff over your bed, or any other upholstery where dust mites might accumulate. Once dry, vacuum over the fabric. This may work for bed bugs as well.
25. Shine Up Your Jewelry
Is your jewelry looking grimy? Pour a shallow layer of rubbing alcohol into a dish and let your jewelry soak in it for just a few minutes. Then, rub clean it with a dry, soft cloth. Set a timer for the soaking! If you let your baubles sit too long, you may harm them.
24. Air Freshener
You’ll also need some essential oil for this one. Pick a scent you like, and mix 10-15 drops of the oil into a cup of rubbing alcohol. Once fully blended, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and mist the air as needed.
23. Get Dirt Out Of Fabrics
Spritz rubbing alcohol onto carpet and blot with a clean rag to remove grease. No carpet shampoo required! The alcohol also gets most stains out of microfiber — you don’t want to use water on microfiber, because it’ll just add to the stain.
22. Temporary Ache Relief
Although you should use this method sparingly, you can momentarily relieve aches and pains by rubbing some isopropyl alcohol on the part of you that hurts. It’ll bring blood flow to the area, helping soothe the pain. Remember to moisturize afterward!
21. Fruit Fly Repellent
Having a problem with pesky fruit flies? Don’t want them spoiling your tomatoes and bananas? Pour some rubbing alcohol into a mister bottle. When the flies have settled on the produce, sneak up and spray them, continuing as they fly away. This will kill them and may help to curb their return.
20. Clear Pores
While rubbing alcohol can sometimes irritate your skin, varieties that are under 70 percent are actually great for cleansing your pores. Besides getting into every little crevice, alcohol also has anti-inflammatory properties.
19. Laptop Cleaner
Move on from germy, grody keyboards with a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. The Q-tip allows you to get into all the nooks and crannies between those keys. You’ll be amazed by how much grime will come off!
18. Sanitize Your Home in Seconds
Short on time, but need to sanitize? Viruses and bacteria love doorknobs, light switches, keys, faucets, toilets, and fridge handles — frequently used stuff. Simply spray said spots with alcohol sanitizer. Deep clean when there’s more time.
17. Disinfecting Wipes Substitute
If you’re out of disinfecting wipes, you can make do with regular baby wipes instead. To ensure sanitation, spray the wipe with rubbing alcohol. Some packs of baby wipes only cost one dollar.
16. Clean Your Carpet
While bread balls can soak up spills, vodka could be the perfect tonic for removing carpet stains. To explain more, Dallas Maids chief Greg Shepard spoke with NBC News. He said, “First blot the stain. Second, pour any type of clear alcohol (rubbing alcohol, vodka, white wine) onto the stain. This is better than any over the counter product.”
15. Clear Couch Stains
As we learned earlier, alcohol can be very useful in cleaning up carpet stains. That also extends to unwanted marks on microfiber couches which seem impossible to remove. To fix up a dirty sofa, all you need to do is apply some rubbing alcohol to the cushions and massage it in with a bristle brush.
14. Happy Camper
There’s no running water in the great outdoors, so it pays off to carry some rubbing alcohol so you can wash your hands. And, if you’re in a pinch, it can also be very effective in lighting a campfire. Just be careful – it’s powerful stuff.
13. Clear Reflection
Mirror, mirror on the wall — what’s the greatest cleaner of them all? Yep, rubbing alcohol will clear up reflective surfaces too, especially when they get gunked up by hairspray and other aerosol can residue.
12. Ditch the Garlic Smell
Any home chef knows that peeling garlic cloves can leave your hands smelling garlicky for what seems like forever. Hot water and soap often doesn’t cut it, but a bit of rubbing alcohol will wash that pungent odor away in seconds.
11. Don’t Be Blind
The spaces in between window blinds might just be the most neglected area of your home in terms of cleaning. You can sanitize them with a cloth dabbed with rubbing alcohol, and for the higher slats, you can make an extender by fastening that cloth to a spatula or yardstick with a rubber band.
10. Ring of Fire
A sharp outfit can make you feel like a million bucks, so what do you do when your best dress shirt gets a ring around the collar? Regular washing won’t get rid of that stain. But wiping the area with rubbing alcohol will erase all the dirt and grime that has accumulated along the seams.
9. Loosen Your Joints
You wouldn’t think of this trick at first, but many people report that rubbing alcohol can be a great reliever of stiffness when rubbed into achy areas of the body. It helps reduce inflammation, though obviously it won’t fix more serious injuries and health conditions.
8. Goodbye, Ink Stains
Don’t count ink-stained garments as a loss. Instead, grab a bottle of hand sanitizer and get to spritzing. Let your stain remover of choice sit for ten minutes, then toss the garment into the wash for its usual cycle. The pre-treatment will make it easy for your machine to lift the tough stain. Job done!
7. Thrift Shopping
When you find the perfect retro garment at a thrift shop, there’s nothing worse than noticing a spot on the fabric. Is that a permanent stain? One expert suggests that you test out that blot with “emergency supplies like tissues, hand sanitizer and stain remover.” Be prepared for anything and everything!
6. Clear Glasses
There’s nothing worse than having a smudge on your glasses that won’t come off. Just rubbing the lens on your shirt won’t necessarily do the trick. Dab on some rubbing alcohol to clear up your vision.
5. Save Your Car Seat
Eating in the car can be a dicey prospect. Dropped pizza slice about to leave a permanent pepperoni smear on the passenger seat? Remove stains by dabbing them with rubbing alcohol.
4. DIY Steel Cleaner
Stainless steel bathroom fixtures tend to get spot stains and streaks, and sometimes you get more of these after you clean them! The good news is that a little rubbing alcohol will have your faucets sparkling like new.
3. Nail Polish Begone
Run out of nail polish remover? Well, you don’t have to wait days for the polish to chip away. A cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol will do the trick. You’ll be ready for a fresh coat within minutes!
2. Banish Those Bumps
Razor burn is no fun. Besides leaving your skin sore, this sensation causes unsightly red bumps to pop up. But if you administer a bit of rubbing alcohol after you shave, there is a much lesser risk of running into this problem. This works both on the face and body, by the way.
1. Call for Help
Your cell phone is something that you probably touch a hundred times a day — but how often do you clean it? Rubbing alcohol, when put on a cloth and q-tip, can help you make your personal device absolutely spotless.