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Uses for rubbing alcohol

By on June 15, 2011
rubbingalcohol

Rubbing alcohol is often shoved into the back of the cabinet. It usually gets pulled out as a first-aid item to prevent infection from minor cuts and scrapes. It’s time to move it toward the front of the shelf. It’s considered a frugal household staple because it’s cheap to buy and has multiple uses.
How have you used it?
Here are a few suggestions.

 

GEL PACK:

This is great for small bumps or bruises. Mix three parts water and one part rubbing alcohol in a freezer bag. Seal and encase it in a second freezer bag. Place it in the freezer. The more alcohol you use, the softer the pack will be. Wrap with a cloth before applying to skin.

TREAT HOUSEPLANTS:

To treat houseplants that have spider mites or white flies, spray with a solution of four parts water to three parts rubbing alcohol and add a squirt of dishwashing liquid.

CLEAN YOUR EYEGLASSES:

Mix 8 ounces ammonia with 32 ounces rubbing alcohol.

WINDOW CLEANER:

Make your own cleaner at home. One reader, Amanda W., from Wisconsin, shares: “It can be made at home for pennies! Pour into your spray bottle with a funnel.

1/4 cup (rubbing) alcohol
1 teaspoon dish soap (I use Dawn)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ammonia
blue food coloring (optional if desired)

The alcohol really helps it evaporate and gives you streak free windows and mirrors! It works on chrome faucets, too.”

EXTEND LIFE OF WIPER BLADES:

Another reader, Jan S., from Indiana, shares: “When your blades are not cleaning the windows completely, if you take a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and wipe the blades down, you can make them “new” again. This works most times but not always, so don’t kill the messenger. This doesn’t work for blades that are cracked and split and falling off. You gotta replace those. Sorry.”

CLEAN A FLAT SCREEN:

Use a microfiber cloth. Flannel works well, too. Dampen the cloth with either water or water diluted with vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. To prevent damage, don’t press hard or spray product directly on the screen. Another reader, Kellie J., from Indiana, shares: “My son scribbled on my computer screen with permanent marker. I wasn’t sure how I would ever get it off. I used rubbing alcohol, and it came right off. After I admitted what happened to my husband, he said I could have used a little toothpaste or a pencil eraser, too.”

REMOVE LATEX PAINT FROM CLOTHES:

You can saturate the spot with rubbing alcohol, rinse and launder as usual.

REMOVE INK STAINS:

Another reader, Tammy O., from California, shares: “Rubbing alcohol or hairspray is good for getting out ballpoint-pen ink. Put some on a clean cloth, and dab and blot away at the stain using a clean section of the cloth every time you dab.” It works to remove permanent marker, too.

STOP THE ITCH:

Apply a dab of rubbing alcohol on mosquito bites. Another reader, Judy D., adds: “The last time I got poison ivy, I bought rubbing alcohol from the dollar store and poured it right on the itchy spots. I did this a couple times and it dried up completely.”

REMOVE ADHESIVE LABELS OR TUB DECALS:

Soak a washcloth with rubbing alcohol and let that set on the decals or label. You’ll need only a small edge to lift, and you can grab it and pull it off. The remaining adhesive can be removed with more rubbing alcohol and a nylon scrubber if needed. Rubbing alcohol will also work two remove the sticky residue left on your skin from surgical tape.

FABRIC FRESHENER:

Freshen carpets, furniture or clothing.

1 pint (16 ounces) water
2 tablespoons liquid fabric softener
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

Mix in a spray bottle. Test on inconspicuous part of fabric.

photo by L Marie
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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns GenXZ, Follow me on Twitter

2 Comments

  1. Mrs. Sellaneous

    6/25/2011 at 3:48 am

    Thank your for giving me some more uses for rubbing alcohol. I had used it for window cleaner and to remove adhesive labels, but have never tried it for latex paint removal or ink removal.

  2. Mike

    9/5/2011 at 5:01 pm

    Great ideas! I can tell you nothing has worked better at cleaning off all those splattered bugs off my car windshield after a week of highway driving on vacation!

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