40 Amazing Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

40 Amazing Uses for Rubbing Alcohol


We’ve all got it, that bottle of rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet. Even the most inventive DIY types probably have a mere handful of uses for that bottle, be it rubbing on sore muscles or maybe treating a few odors around the house.

So I thought I would put together a full list of 40 ways to put that bottle of rubbing alcohol to work around your home! Read on to learn how to use rubbing alcohol on everything from bug bites to frosty windows, and even in arts and crafts!

Health Uses

Ticks – to make ticks loosen their grip, dab an attached tick with rubbing alcohol. Remove with tweezers as close to the skin as possible, then follow up again with alcohol.

Cold Sores – to promote healing, just dab alcohol on the sore.

Cold Sores

Muscles – rub on sore muscles to relieve pain.

Joints – yes, it works on painful joints as well!

Ear Wax Removal – mix alcohol and vinegar equally and dab into ear. Treat every 2 weeks.

Ear Wax

Sterilizer – use alcohol to sterilize items such as thermometers and tweezers.

Nail Fungus – mix equal parts alcohol and water and use as a simple and effective foot soak.

Swimmers Ear – by simply putting a few drops into the affected ear, the alcohol will help dry out the ear and prevent infections.

Athlete’s Feet – Treat and prevent this rash with a daily rub of alcohol.

Athlete’s Feet

Homemade Ice Pack – mix 1 part of rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a freezer bag and put in the freezer.

Mosquito Bites – to relieve itching, disinfect, and promote healing, simply dab on a little rubbing alcohol.

Mosquito Bites
Ryan Hyde via flickr

Cleaning and Home Uses

Electronics – dampen a rag and simply wipe your home electronics clean.

Hand Cleaner – rubbing alcohol is great for quickly killing germs and odors on hands.

Hand Gel – To make a quick and effective hand sanitizer gel, just combine 3 parts of rubbing alcohol with 1 part aloe vera gel.

hand sanitizer

Homemade Window Cleaner – combine 3 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons ammonia, and a few drops of dish soap.

Hairspray – to remove spray build up from mirrors and countertops, spray the area with alcohol and wipe clean.

Paint & Ink Stains – soak spots with alcohol for a few minutes then wash.

Permanent Marker – It’s not so permanent… you can remove marker spots from hard surfaces by just soaking in alcohol and wiping.

Cleaning and Home Uses

Makeup Brushes – sanitize by soaking in a couple of alcohol for 30 minutes and allowing them to air dry.

Makeup Brushes
Jeff Hills via flickr

Prevent Ring Around the Collar – just wipe your neck with rubbing alcohol before dressing to prevent stains.

Stainless Steel Cleaner – alcohol will remove oily smudges and fingerprints leaving a nice shine.

Degreaser – rubbing alcohol can be used to effectively break up grease on appliances, countertops, and cabinets.

Carpet – to remove greasy stains, lightly rub with a dampened rag.

Eyeglass Cleaner – lightly spray glasses with rubbing alcohol and buff clean with a soft cloth.

Jewelry Cleaner– simply soak jewelry in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes, then polish with a soft, clean cloth.

Fruit Flies – with adequate ventilation, spray fruit flies with a fine mist of rubbing alcohol.

Dust Mites/Bed Bugs – just spray a light mist of rubbing alcohol on bedding, allow to dry and vacuum.

Air Freshener – make your own by mixing a cup of rubbing alcohol with 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Sticky Residue – to remove, just spray the area with a little rubbing alcohol and let sit briefly before wiping it clean.

Nail Polish Remover – In a pinch, a little rubbing alcohol will remove nail polish.

Candles – wipe away dust and grime with a lightly dampened rag.

Dry Erase Board – again, simply wipe clean with a rag lightly dampened with alcohol.

Shoe Stretch Aid – apply a thin rub of alcohol on the inside and outside of shoes then put them on your feet or a shoe stretcher.

Shoe Deodorizer – to remove odors, spray shoes with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry before wearing.

Crafty Uses

Windshield Defroster – to remove frost, fill a spray bottle with alcohol and just spray it on.

Windshield Defroster
Tony Alter via flickr

DIY Reed Diffusers – Add 1/4 cup carrier oil (almond, safflower or mineral), 12 drops essential oil, and a splash of rubbing alcohol.

DIY Spray paint – put equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and shake. Add an equal part of acrylic paint and shake again.

DIY Sharpie pillow – Draw on plain pillows with colorful sharpies and spray with rubbing alcohol for a watercolor/tie dye effect.

Fix Broken Eye Shadow – Simply spray a broken eyeshadow with alcohol and smooth it out with your finger or a spoon. Wait a few hours for the shadow to harden completely and it will be as good as new!

New Life For Dried Sharpies – Pour some rubbing alcohol into the cap and dip the tip of the Sharpie into the cap. Let sit until you can see a bit of ink swirling out, then put the cap back on and leave it for 15+ minutes.


  1. Add a few drops of soap to the ice packs. It prevents anyone from thinking it is regular ice.

  2. You should NEVER put anything onto a tick ! it may cause it to regurgitate its stomach contents into whatebver it has bitten !! Always use a tick remover, they only cost a couple of quid !!”