10+ Rubbing Alcohol Uses That Will Knock Your Socks Off!

Cleaning Tips and Tricks

You probably have a bottle of rubbing alcohol collecting dust in the back of your bathroom vanity. Run and grab it now because these rubbing alcohol uses will leave you asking yourself, “Why didn't I think of this sooner?!”

rubbing alcohol, gloves and a sponge on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

We're a little obsessed with doing more with less. And when we can find an item from the Dollar Tree that does it all? Well, we have to share!

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From skincare to disinfecting household items and keeping germs away, there's not much that rubbing alcohol can't do, but we'll cover that, too. Keep reading for 10+ incredible rubbing alcohol uses, along with 5+ ways you shouldn't use this magical product!


woman wiping fridge with rubbing alcohol, from Fun Cheap or Free

No one loves cleaning the house (except maybe Monica from Friends), but you can make it more fun with some of these little hacks:

  • Clean Stainless Steel – Need to get tiny fingerprints off your refrigerator? Reach for the rubbing alcohol! Just add a little to a soft cloth and rub gently. It's the perfect streak-free cleaner. This trick works on chrome or brass sink finishes, too.
  • Disinfect Your Sponges – You probably don't even want to know how many germs live on your kitchen sponges. Those things are magnets for filth! Fill a bowl with rubbing alcohol, soak your sponges for 10 minutes, then rinse and ring out. All those germs will disappear!
  • Remove Stains from Microfiber – If you've ever tried to clean a microfiber chair or sofa with plain old water, then you know how that story ends. As it turns out, rubbing alcohol is the best way to remove those stains. Just apply a light mist and then gently wipe it away. Because alcohol evaporates so quickly, it won't cause the stain to seep into your fabric any further.
  • Deodorize Stinky Shoes – Hey, it happens to us all! The next time you notice a stench coming from your shoes, reach for the rubbing alcohol. Spray a light mist and let your shoes air out overnight. They'll smell brand new, and your feet (and your family) will thank you!

Now for a fun topic! Let's talk about some genius ways you can rubbing alcohol for beauty. Ooooh, la, la!


woman putting on makeup, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you love hair and makeup, you need these hacks in your life. These rubbing alcohol uses are perfect for any beauty enthusiast:

  • Fix Broken Makeup Palletes – Did your toddler get ahold of your favorite eyeshadow palette? Is your blush suddenly cracked into 10,000 pieces? Ugh. It's the worst, right? Before you toss that makeup in the trash, try this! Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to your makeup. When the liquid evaporates, it will help your powder reshape.
  • Remove Hairspray from Mirrors – You know that sticky, nasty residue that builds up on your bathroom mirror? Rubbing alcohol will solve that problem. Just spray a little on your mirror and wipe away with a microfiber cloth.
  • Get Nail Polish Off Your Countertops – That DIY manicure seemed like such a good idea at the time, right? And then you got too confident, let your guard down, and dropped a big glob of pink polish on your white countertops. Eeeeek! Don't panic. Wet a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol, and scrub that polish right off.

Pretty handy, huh? We love cheap and easy hacks, and lucky for you, we've got a few more to share!


cleaning phone with rubbing alcohol, from Fun Cheap or Free

We could have stopped at the cleaning and beauty hacks and called it a day, but we geek out over this stuff, so check out these crazy cool ways to use rubbing alcohol:

  • Disinfect Your Cellphone – Did you know your phone probably carries more germs than your toilet. Ewwww, right? Grab a microfiber cloth or cotton ball and apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Turn off your phone, and then wipe gently. Word of warning: never apply the alcohol directly to your phone. It will not end well.
  • Defrost Your Windshield – Mix two parts rubbing alcohol with one part water, and keep a spray bottle of this magical elixir handy during cooler weather. Fun fact: rubbing alcohol's freezing point is -100°F, so you can keep it in your car. Just spray on your windshield and watch that frost melt away instantly. It's like magic!
  • Remove Permanent Marker From Dry Erase Boards – We've all made the mistake of reaching for a sharpie instead of a dry erase marker. Good news! A little rubbing alcohol will clean up your dry erase board in no time.

Brb…we've gotta go clean our phone! And speaking of disinfectants, we're going to answer one of your burning questions about rubbing alcohol next, so here we go, you guys!


woman using hand sanitizer made from rubbing alcohol, from Fun Cheap or Free

Well, we're glad you asked. The answer is YES! So the next time there's a shortage of hand sanitizer you'll know what to do. As long as you have rubbing alcohol around, you'll be golden because it's quite simple to make your hand sanitizer at home.

Just mix 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol with 1/3 cup aloe vera gel. Want to make yours scented? A few drops of your favorite essential oil will do the trick. Store that homemade hand sanitizer in an old spray bottle, travel-size shampoo bottle, or soap dispenser.


Ok, Freebs, before we set you loose to start playing with rubbing alcohol, we need to share a few disclaimers. While this clear elixir is pretty magical, there are a few things you should never do with rubbing alcohol. Here's what you need to know:

  • Never Use Alcohol on Painted Surfaces – While alcohol is a powerful disinfectant, it's also a powerful solvent. That means it will strip paint off furniture. Yikes!
  • Don't Use on an Open Wound – Rubbing alcohol is great for sanitizing medical tools but should not be poured or rubbed directly into an open wound. It can irritate the skin and slow the healing process.
  • Stay Away from Flames – If you read a hack that suggests you should use rubbing alcohol to clean your oven or grill, don't do it. Alcohol is highly flammable!
  • Keep it Away from Wood – Because rubbing alcohol is a solvent, it will strip wood finishes in the same way it strips paint. So don't reach for the alcohol if you need to clean your dining table.
  • Childproof It – When ingested, rubbing alcohol is highly toxic, especially for little ones. Make sure you keep yours in a safe place and contact poison control immediately in case of accidental ingestion.

Knowledge is power, so spread the word, you guys! Friends don't let friends misuse rubbing alcohol.

And there you have it! Now you know nearly a dozen brilliant ways to put your bottle of rubbing alcohol to work. Our thriftiness is really starting to rub off on you. (Sorry, had to.)

Did we miss any awesome hacks? Comment below and let us know how you use rubbing alcohol!

Image with text that reads "10+ rubbing alcohol uses" from Fun Cheap or Free

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