Cooktop Cove: 17+ alternative uses for rubbing alcohol that everyone should know
By Caitlyn Knuth
Certain tasks might at first glance require an investment in a specialized cleaning product. A second look at the situation can reveal a more simple and budget-friendly solution. From cleaning grime off delicate jewelry to keeping bed bugs at bay, homemade responses are equally as effective at taking care of the problem as brand-name, store-bought products.
Rubbing alcohol -- a simple liquid solution nearly everyone has on hand -- is a powerful disinfectant that can serve many purposes in the home. Gentle on technology and effective on well-used surfaces, rubbing alcohol proves to be a versatile approach toward maintaining a pristine home and saving money at the same time. Read on to make rubbing alcohol the go-to cleaning product in your home.
Clean jewelry
Over time, well-loved jewelry collects dirt and grime and leads to a dim appearance. Dunk your rings, earrings or necklaces in a small bowl of rubbing alcohol for a quick-fix solution to residue buildup. Rinse off and wipe down for a good-as-new shine. If you are looking for something outside of rubbing alcohol, be sure to check out these top jewelry cleaning DIY solutions.
Repel bed bugs
A spray bottle containing a bit of rubbing alcohol and water is the perfect fix to keep the bed bugs away -- this is due to the chemical properties of the solution. You can also try these home remedies for getting rid of bed bugs.
Dust light bulbs
Home lighting fixtures are prone to dust buildup. Over time, dust that accumulates on the walls, ceiling fans and air vents drops down and finds itself stuck to light bulbs. To keep lights bright and the home warmly lit, dab a little rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad and run it over the surface of the light bulbs. This method also provides a streak-free shine for a brighter bulb effect.
Clean computer keyboards
The keyboard provides an essential function but also seems to be last on the list when it comes to home items that need cleaning. Unfortunately, all of that typing and contact with hands leads to a germ-filled buildup. Instead of risking damage by swiping the keys with water, soak a cotton tissue in rubbing alcohol and use that instead. The alcohol absorbs quickly and gently on the keys and is an efficient way to freshen up the keyboard.
Remove hairspray from mirrors
Some of the best beauty work is done daily with the help of hairspray, but when it comes to maintaining a clean bathroom, hairspray can be the hardest on mirrors and countertops. Instead of furiously scrubbing glass with standard cleaners, spray a layer of rubbing alcohol on the mirror first to quickly and efficiently breakdown hairspray residue. Gentle on glass and providing quick results, there's no need to minimize hairspray in the name of keeping mirrors pristine.
Prevent your windows from frosting
While others are out scraping or manipulating heating and cooling to no avail in an attempt to defrost car windows, those who know the power of rubbing alcohol will be quickly on their. A quick spritz of rubbing alcohol on the windshield is enough to prevent frost from happening in the first place. Keep a bottle in your vehicle all year-long but especially in the winter.
Prevent collar stains
It may be the result of makeup or residue that naturally occurs on skin as a result of oils, but collar stains are most embarrassing. To avoid this scenario, spray a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad, then gently massage it into your shirt collar. The alcohol ultimately acts as an invisible barrier between the fabric and skin, protecting it from discoloration and keeping the wearer confident and fresh all day long.
Clean your phone
Cell phones live a thankless existence as they are dropped, scratched, scuffed and handled every single day. An easy way to keep a well-loved phone clean is to treat it to a small amount of rubbing alcohol regularly. Safe on screens and with a streak-free shine, it's a small step toward extending the life of a favored communication tool.
Erase permanent marker
While the packaging says it lasts forever, removing a misplaced permanent marker streak isn't out of the question. Soak a cotton wipe in rubbing alcohol as a quick fix for removing permanent marker from delicate surfaces. Swipe down the affected area a few times for the most successful results.
Clean bathroom fixtures
Advertisements would have consumers believe that the only answer to built-up, unpleasant lime deposits on bathroom fixtures is an expensive, store-bought solution. This isn't always the case. A small amount of rubbing alcohol works wonders to remove dirt and grime from fixture surfaces, and it doesn't come with the high price tag.
Remove stickers
Adding new glassware to the kitchen collection is exciting, but removing difficult stickers from the back of ceramics is tricky. Avoid the hassle by soaking a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and swiping it over the top of the sticker. The solution quickly breaks down adhesives, making the sticker easy to peel away.
Use as deodorant
Many consumers are put off by the high price and high aluminum content of many store-bought deodorants. Often leaving streaks on clothing, deodorant can be more of a hassle than a help. For a more natural approach to deodorant that doesn't harm fabric and won't leave stains, spritz a few sprays of rubbing alcohol under the arms as a protective barrier against unpleasant odors.
Deodorize stinky shoes
Shoes that have been worn excessively tend to become a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to unpleasant odors. Instead of throwing them out, spray the insides (and outsides, if you'd like) with rubbing alcohol -- it's highly absorbent and safe on fabrics. As an added bonus, it works to disinfect bacteria buildup.
Stretch tight shoes
New shoes are exciting -- but if they aren't stretched to a comfortable point, they can lead to painful blisters. When it comes time to stretch shoes, there's no need to spend money on a store-bought solution. Combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, then spray the interior and exterior of the shoes thoroughly before wearing with socks. With a little time, the fabric is able to easily stretch and form comfortably around the foot.
Save broken eye shadow
Eye shadow is the perfect final touch to an amazing makeup job, but these fragile accessories are prone to breaking either as a result of their place in a purse or a clumsy moment in the bathroom at the hands of gravity. When a favorite eye shadow is cracked into a million pieces, that doesn't mean it's bound for the trash. Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol into the containers and press firmly with a flat object until dry to restore the powder to its original, pre-cracked state of being.
Clean candles
Illuminating the home with a warm glow and lovely scent, candles are a lovely addition to the decor. Unfortunately, their constant exposure to the air generally leads to a collection of dust on the top. To avoid mixing these miniature materials with flames, swipe a cotton tissue soaked with rubbing alcohol over the candle surface. This leaves a streak-free shine and the alcohol is quickly absorbed, leaving the candle in prime condition for burning.
Clean eyeglasses
These simple yet powerful accessories allow us to clearly maneuver our way throughout life. But streaks and grime on eyewear have the power to transform a simple task into a difficult one if not removed. To keep glasses blur-free, regularly swipe over the lenses with a tissue dipped in rubbing alcohol. Safe on frames and absorbed into the air quickly, rubbing alcohol keeps glasses clear, clean and good as new.
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