There are a few household basics that I make sure I always have on hand, and one of those items is rubbing alcohol. I consider rubbing alcohol to be one of the most useful things you can keep around the house. I’d even go so far as to rank it right up there alongside white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in terms of household usefulness! It also doesn’t hurt that rubbing alcohol is inexpensive and sold in nearly every grocery store.
Today I’m going to share some of the best uses for rubbing alcohol that I’ve discovered over the past several years. You can use whatever isopropyl alcohol bottle you have in your cupboard, but for those who are curious about the different kinds available, here’s a quick overview. Rubbing alcohol usually comes in two grades: 70% isopropyl alcohol and 90%+ isopropyl alcohol. The 90%+ solutions have a lower water content, so they dry faster and can be better for items that aren’t supposed to get wet. The 70% solution is gentler on skin, and is generally a bit less expensive. Either one will work fine for the uses listed here in this post. :-)
So without any further ado, here are 11 “miraculous” things you can do with a little bit of rubbing alcohol!
11 Miraculous Uses For Rubbing Alcohol
1. Remove Hairspray Residue
If you use hairspray or other aerosol hair products on a regular basis, then you likely already know about the sticky residue it leaves around your bathroom. Luckily, rubbing alcohol can take care of it in a snap! Just dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol (or use an alcohol wipe) to wipe down your sink and countertop. They’ll be left sparkling clean with zero sticky residue!
2. Erase Permanent Marker
Rubbing alcohol can rehydrate the ink left behind from a permanent marker, making it easy to wipe away. Just squeeze a bit of rubbing alcohol, let it sit on the stain for a minute, then wipe. This tip has saved me from permanent marker disasters numerous times!
3. Remove Stickers
To remove a stubborn sticker with ease, grab your bottle of rubbing alcohol. Saturate the whole sticker and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The rubbing alcohol will help dissolve the adhesive, and you’ll be able to wipe the sticker and the sticker goo away in one go.
4. Clean Electronics
It’s important to regularly disinfect your electronics, especially the ones you use frequently like your phone or laptop. Rubbing alcohol is a great choice because it evaporates quickly, and there’s less of a chance that moisture will affect your devices. Just apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab, swipe it across your device, then buff it dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
5. Remove Stains From Microfiber
If you have microfiber upholstery on any of your furniture, rubbing alcohol is your new best friend! It’s the best and easiest way to remove stains from microfiber upholster. Just mist some alcohol over the affected area, then wipe it clean with a sponge or cloth. Get full details on removing stains from microfiber at the link below.
6. Use As Deodorant
If you’re suddenly out of deodorant, you can use rubbing alcohol as a substitute in a pinch. Add 15 drops of a skin-safe essential oil (like lavender or Tea Tree) to a small, fine-mist spray bottle of alcohol. Just make sure you don’t apply it immediately after shaving—ouch!
7. Eliminate Fruit Flies
Fruit flies can be a real nuisance in your kitchen! Fill a fine-mist spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and use it to spray the fruit flies the next time you see them. The alcohol should knock them out long enough for you to sweep them up and toss them outside. Here’s another way to get rid of fruit flies if that doesn’t work or you want another way to get rid of them.
8. Deodorize Smelly Shoes
To help deodorize smelly shoes, spray the insides with rubbing alcohol and set them out in the sun to dry. The combination of alcohol and sunlight will help kill the bacteria that are causing the odor.
9. Stretch Tight Shoes
Have a pair of shoes that’s just a bit too tight? Use rubbing alcohol to stretch them out! Rub or spray a light layer of alcohol on the outside and inside of your shoes, then pull them on over a thick pair of socks. Check out more tips for saving too tight shoes at the link below!
10. Save Broken Eyeshadow
It can be heartbreaking to drop your favorite eyeshadow palette, but you can save those broken shadows! Place the broken bits back into the palette, then add some rubbing alcohol to the shadow a few drops at a time (or spray it, it that’s easier for you). Use a stick or a spoon to mix up and smooth out the remoistened mixture. Let it sit out for a few hours until the mixture dries completely, and it will be good as new!
11. Make A Reed Diffuser
You can use rubbing alcohol to make your own reed diffuser! Add 1/4 cup of your favorite carrier oil (I like almond and safflower), 12 drops of your favorite essential oil, and a splash of rubbing alcohol to a small glass bottle. Drop in a few wooden skewers, and voila! You’ll have a reed diffuser that couldn’t have been any quicker or easier to make.