10 clever uses for rubbing alcohol

Next time you need a handy go-to product for cleaning or healing common ailments, it might pay to reach for your first aid kit.

Buried in your first aid kit (particularly an older kit), you’re likely to find a bottle of rubbing alcohol.

While it’s used for disinfecting wounds in a first aid kit, it’s uses go far beyond that, especially around the home.

Here are 10 clever ways you can use rubbing alcohol around the house.


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1. Stop your shoes from stinking

Stinky feet lead to stinky shoes – and stinky shoes can quickly stink out your whole house. Next time you or anybody in your family has smelly shoes, get your rubbing alcohol out. Just rub the inside of the shoes with rubbing alcohol and leave them to dry in the sun, the alcohol should neutralise the odour and any bacteria.


2. Get the smell of onion and garlic off your hands

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If you spend a lot of time cooking with onion and garlic, then you’ll know all too well how the smell can linger on your hands for hours afterwards. If you don’t have any hand sanitiser handy, then use rubbing alcohol instead. It turns out, rubbing alcohol is the ingredient in hand sanitiser that makes it so effective. Give your hands a quick rub with rubbing alcohol and the smell should disappear.


3. Remove scuff marks from your floor

If you have laminate flooring, you’ll be able to relate to the frustration of having scuff marks on your floor. But don’t think that they’re permanent, even if you can’t get them out when you mop. All you need to do is dab some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and scrub the scuff mark until it it virtually no more. It’ll take surprisingly less effort than you would think.


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toenail fungus

4. Treat your nasty nail fungus

Nail fungus can be particularly unpleasant and difficult to get rid of. Instead of using products from your pharmacy, try rubbing alcohol. Just make up a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water and soak your feet it in. Try this daily until your nail fungus has cleared up.


5. Help get rid of zits and boils

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For irritating zits, boils and acne, ditch the creams and potions. In fact, so long as the zit, boil or acne is away from your eyes, you can actually use rubbing alcohol to get rid of it. Just dab a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton bud and apply it to the zit/boil/acne. Don’t apply the rubbing alcohol for too long or it could burn your skin and leave a scar.


6. Get rid of cold sores faster

Let’s face it, cold sores can be unsightly and irritating at the best of times. If your cold sore cream isn’t working as fast as you’d like, try dabbing a little bit of rubbing alcohol on as well to help speed up the process.


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7. Shine and clean your stainless steels appliances

Finger prints and water marks on your stainless steel dishwashers, fridges, microwaves, doorknobs and taps can be difficult to get off. Instead of using sprays and chemicals that will only mark the appliances even more, try using rubbing alcohol. You can either spray on the rubbing alcohol and wipe the area down or dab some on a cloth and wipe the stains off.


8. Remove stains from around the collars of shirts

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Summer is coming, and if you or someone in your family wears collared shirts, then you’ll start to find more sweat stains around the collars. You could go out and spend a fortune on cleaning products and bleaches to try and remove the stains, but instead you can use rubbing alcohol. Try putting some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and scrubbing the stained collar. The stains should come off immediately, but if they don’t try putting the shirt through the wash and repeating the process.


9. Clean the slats of your blinds

Cleaning your blinds can be a painful task at the best of times. Instead of spraying the slat of your blinds with sticky sprays that’ll leave residue, use rubbing alcohol. You can either put the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it on the slats, or you can put some on a cloth and wipe down the dirt and dust off the blinds.


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10. Erase permanent marker stains

Have you grandies drawn on your floors or walls with permanent markers? Never fear, just grab your rubbing alcohol. With rubbing alcohol on your side, there’s no such thing as permanent marker! Just dab some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the area until the stain comes out.