12 Ways to Use Rubbing Alcohol

From household cleaning to defrosting your car's windshield in seconds -- rubbing alcohol has uses you'll find truly handy.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things
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1. Remove hair spray from mirrors

When you are spritzing your head with hair spray, some of it inevitably winds up on the mirror. A quick wipe with rubbing alcohol will whisk away that sticky residue and leave your mirror sparkling clean.

2. Clean venetian blinds

Rubbing alcohol does a terrific job of cleaning the slats of venetian blinds. To make quick work of the job, wrap a flat tool — a spatula or maybe a 6-inch (15-centimeter) drywall knife — in cloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip in alcohol and go to work.

3. Keep windows sparkling and frost-free

Do your windows frost up in the wintertime? Wash them with a solution of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to 1 quart (1 liter) water to prevent the frost. Polish the windows with newspaper after you wash them to make them shine.

4. Dissolve windshield frost

Wouldn’t you rather be inside savoring your morning coffee a little longer instead of scrape, scrape, scraping frost off your car windows? Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz the car glass. You’ll be able to wipe the frost right off. Ah, good to the last drop!

5. Prevent ring around the collar

To prevent your neck from staining your shirt collar, wipe your neck with rubbing alcohol each morning before you dress. Feels good too.

6. Clean your phone

Is your phone getting a bit grubby? Wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. It’ll remove the grime and disinfect the phone at the same time.

7. Remove ink stains

Did you get ink on your favorite shirt or dress? Try soaking the spot in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes before putting the garment in the wash.

8. Erase permanent markers

Did your little angel just decide to decorate your countertop with a permanent marker? Don’t worry, most countertops are made of a nonpermeable material such as plastic laminate or marble. Rubbing alcohol will dissolve the marker back to a liquid state so you can wipe it right off.

9. Remove dog ticks

Ticks hate the taste of rubbing alcohol as much as they love the taste of your dog. Before you pull a tick off Fido, dab the critter with rubbing alcohol to make it loosen its grip. Then grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can and pull it straight out. Dab again with alcohol to disinfect the wound. This works on people too.

10. Get rid of fruit flies

The next time you see fruit flies hovering in the kitchen, get out a fine-misting spray bottle and fill it with rubbing alcohol. Spraying the little flies knocks them out and makes them fall to the floor, where you can sweep them up. The alcohol is less effective than insecticide, but it’s a lot safer than spraying poison around your kitchen.

11. Make a shapeable ice pack

The problem with ice packs is they won’t conform to the shape of the injured body part. Make a slushy, conformable pack by mixing 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a self-closing plastic bag. The next time that sore knee acts up, wrap the bag of slush in a cloth and apply it to the area. Ahhh!

12. Clean bathroom fixtures

Just reach into the medicine cabinet the next time you need to clean chrome bathroom fixtures. Pour some rubbing alcohol straight from the bottle onto a soft, absorbent cloth and the fixtures. No need to rinse — the alcohol just evaporates. It does a great job of making chrome sparkle, plus it will kill any germs in its path.