10 Household Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

10 Household Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also known as Isopropyl alcohol, is one of the most common household items. It is used for multiple purposes and is a perfect solution to get rid of stubborn marks and residues. When it comes to cleaning efficiently, there is nothing better than rubbing alcohol. Here is an article with amazing household uses for rubbing alcohol. 

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol-based liquid and is most widely available. When people think of rubbing alcohol, one common question that comes to mind is what it is made of. It comes in two forms: one is 70% isopropyl alcohol, and the other is 90%+ isopropyl alcohol.  

The rubbing alcohol containing 70% alcohol is sensitive and a bit less expensive. The one with 90%+ rubbing alcohol contains lesser water content, which leads them to dry fast. This option is good for items that are not supposed to get wet. 

10 Household Uses of Rubbing Alcohol

It can be used for varied household purposes. Below mentioned are some of the common isopropyl uses. 

1. Erase Ink of Permanent Marker

toddler using a marker to write on the wall

If you are unable to get rid of the ink left behind from a permanent marker, then you should give a try to rubbing alcohol. It is a perfect solution to get rid of the marks of permanent marker. It has the quality to dehydrate the ink of permanent marker, which makes it easy to wipe and remove.


  • All you need to do is squeeze a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on the stain and let it stay for a minute and then wipe it. This tip is best to get rid of permanent marker stains. 

2. Cleans Electronics

laptop and mobile

We touch our electronics from dirty hands all the time, which makes it essential to clean and disinfect the electronics regularly. The electronics that you regularly use, like phones or laptops, are essential to get disinfected and cleaned regularly. 

Rubbing alcohol is a great choice to clean electronics as it evaporates quickly, which in turn reduces the chances of electronics getting affected by moisture.

  • All you need to do is apply a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on to a cotton ball, then wipe the cotton ball across your electronic device. Finally, buff the device dry using a microfiber cloth. 

3. Removes Stickers

rubbing alcohol to remove stickers

It is difficult to get rid of stubborn stickers. But you can remove the stickers easily with the help of rubbing alcohol.


  • In order to remove the sticker, apply rubbing alcohol on the whole sticker, and let it stay for around ten minutes. It will dissolve the sticky content, and you would be able to wipe the sticker easily, leaving behind no residue. 

4. Cleans Residue of Hairspray

woman with hairspray

If you regularly use hairspray or any other aerosol hair products, then you might be aware of the sticky residue they leave behind. It is quite difficult to remove the residue of hair spray, but with rubbing alcohol, it is an easy task.


  • In order to remove the residue of hairspray using rubbing alcohol, dampen a paper towel with the help of rubbing alcohol and then wipe down all the places like a mirror, or countertop having residue to hairspray. You can also use an alcohol wipe to clean the residue.  

5. Cleans Microfibers

sofa cleaning with rubbing alcohol

If you have upholstery of microfiber in your house, then trust me rubbing alcohol is the best solution for you. Cleaning upholstery and removing stains from them is a daunting task, but with rubbing alcohol, it is easy.It is the best and easiest way to remove stubborn stains from microfiber upholstery.

  • You need to use some rubbing alcohol over the stained area and then wipe it using a cloth or sponge. It is not only the easiest but also the safest way of cleaning the upholstery furniture. 

6. Remove Fruit Flies

fruit flies on food

Fruit flies in the kitchen can be a real nuisance and are also daunting to deal with. Cleaning fruit flies is not easy, and if you are tired of fruit flies, then cleaning alcohol is your new best friend.



  • Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and then spray it on the fruit flies. Let it stay on the flies for some time and then sweep them using a clean cloth. Removing fruit flies is one of the best rubbing alcohol uses, and it can make your kitchen look sparkling clean.  

7. Stretch Tight Shoes

brown leather shoes with maroon socks

If you have a pair of shoes that are too tight and you are looking for a solution to stretch them, then trust me rubbing alcohol is perfect for you. It is perfect for stretching tight shoes.


  • All you need to do is spray or rub a light layer of rubbing alcohol on the inside and outside of your shoes and then pull the pair over a thick pair of socks. It will help in stretching the shoes. 

8. Remove Smell from Shoes

Smelly shoes can not only be uncomfortable but can also be embarrassing. No one line smelly shoes, but how to get rid of the smell? In order to remove the false smell from the shoes, you can use rubbing alcohol. It is the best solution to deodorize smelly shoes.

  • All you have to do is spray a small amount inside the shoes and put them in the sun to dry. The combination of sunlight and alcohol will help in killing the bacteria responsible for the odor.

9. Alternative for Deodorant

Deodrant bottle



If you have to go outside and you run out of deodorant, then you can rubbing alcohol is the best alternative.




  • In order to use it, add 15 to 20 drops of skin-friendly essential oil like tea tree or lavender to a little amount of alcohol and can use it. Keep in mind not to use it immediately after shaving. 

10. Cleans Bathroom Fixtures

bathtub bathroom

If you are planning to clean your bathroom fixtures, then give a try to rubbing alcohol in order to get a sparkly clean bathroom. It is the best solution to clean and disinfect stainless steel, glass, and chrome as it quickly evaporates when it comes in contact with the surface.




  • Put some rubbing alcohol on absorbent clean and then use it to clean the bathroom fixtures. You do not need to rinse the fixtures after using  as it evaporates naturally. 


Rubbing alcohol is the perfect solution when it comes to cleaning. It has varied household uses and is even effective in killing harmful viruses, so you can also use it as a smart disinfectant. However, you need to use it carefully with precaution. Due to unique chemical composition and properties, extra care is needed to use it around the house. 

1. Avoid Using Rubbing Alcohol in Unventilated Areas

It is a volatile chemical and can also form potentially harmful fumes. While cleaning your home using rubbing alcohol, keep in mind to keep the house well-ventilated by opening windows. 

2. Do Not Combine Rubbing Alcohol with Bleach

do not mix rubbing alcohol and bleach

There are certain combinations that should be avoided, and bleach and alcohol is one such combination. Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl and ethanol, and when it is combined with bleach leads to the creation of chloroform, which is a toxic compound that emits corrosive fumes. 

Inhaling chloroform can create serious issues related to the central nervous system, kidney, and liver. It can also lead to irritating eyes, skin, lungs, and can cause dizziness and nausea. 

3. Say Not to Using Rubbing Alcohol Near Smoking or Flames

It contains alcohol, which makes it highly flammable. Therefore, it is essential to avoid it using near open flames or smoke in your home. So be careful while using it. 

4. Avoid Cleaning Specific Surfaces with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an amazing disinfectant and is best to use for cleaning toilets, counters, or even electronic devices. However, there are certain surfaces on which you should avoid using it. 

  • Specific Fabrics – It can be an amazing solution to clean certain fabrics like microfiber and can help in removing stains of grease, sap, or ink. It is the best solution to clean your carpet. However, you should avoid using it on delicate synthetic fabrics such as wool, silk, rayon, and acetate. 
  • Finished Surfaces – Ethanol present in rubbing alcohol can liquify finishes or varnishes, which can cause major damage to furniture in your home. You should avoid using it on lacquered, varnished, or painted surfaces. In addition to this, you should also avoid using it on treated wood. 

5. Do Not Use Rubbing Alcohol on Certain Wounds

Doctors use rubbing alcohol to sterilize medical equipment due to associated antiseptic properties. You can use it to sanitize tweezers or other medical equipment, but you should not use it to clean serious injuries or wounds as it can lead to skin irritation and delay healing. You should also avoid using it on sensitive areas like irritated, dry, or sunburn skin. 

Final Thoughts

So these are some uses and the limitations of uses of rubbing alcohol. Give these tricks a try and let us know if that worked for you or not. Also if you have any other ideas that might work please write to us in the comments or mail it to us.

Rashmi Saini