cleaning supplies: cleaning spray bottle with plastic dispenser, protective gloves, sponge

14 Ways to Use Cheap Rubbing Alcohol Around the House and Garage

Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is more than a medicinal cooling and soothing liquid for external application. Pour it into a good spray bottle and rubbing alcohol becomes an effective disinfectant and also a natural solvent to solve so many common but often annoying issues around a home and garage. Plus, it dries quickly and leaves no streaks. Just spray it on then wipe off with a good microfiber cloth.

cleaning supplies: cleaning spray bottle with plastic dispenser, protective gloves, sponge

Hairspray overspray

When allowed to build up day after day, hairspray can be tough to remove. What you need is a solvent that will melt the hairspray without harming the surfaces. Bonus points if that solvent does the job then dries quickly without leaving streaks.

For tough situations where the hairspray has built up over time—like on the floor—allow the alcohol to sit for a few minutes to soften and melt the hairspray so you can wipe it away. (Before using on painted surfaces, always test in an inconspicuous place.)

For routine maintenance between weekly cleaning, use a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol 50/50 with water plus a drop or two of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. A quick spray and wipe down is all it takes to keep hairspray overspray away.



Ink stains

If that ink stain is fresh, chances are high that a quick soaking with rubbing alcohol will prevent a permanent stain. Once allowed to soak for a few minutes, launder as usual.

Whiteboard stains

You know what happens when dry erase markers are used on whiteboards and allowed to stay on there for a long time—permanent marks! You could buy a pricey whiteboard cleaner, or grab that spray bottle of 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth to give it a good cleaning. Works like a charm.


Shiny chrome

Want to bring back the sparkle to your bathroom and kitchen sink fixtures? Rubbing alcohol will do it in no time at all.

Candle soot

Clean the inside of those beautiful candle holders or jars with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. It removes all of that dark soot in seconds.

Jewelry cleaner

Soak jewelry in rubbing alcohol to remove gunk and grime that builds up over time. A quick brush with an old soft toothbrush and careful rinse will produce beautiful results.



Spray a soft clean cloth with rubbing alcohol to clean the screens of all your devices—especially touchscreens. Never spray directly on the screen or keyboard. It evaporates quickly, lessening the risk of harming the electronics. All you need is a cotton pad or microfiber cloth with alcohol.

Microfiber upholstery

Rather than trying to remove a dirty spot from that microfiber sofa with soap and water—which is likely to leave a new spot—clean it with rubbing alcohol. It won’t penetrate the fabric and dries quickly.

Smelly shoes

To remove odors, liberally spray the inside of shoes with rubbing alcohol. Place in a sunny spot to dry completely.

Nail polish remover

This works in a pinch if you don’t have real nail polish remover handy. Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and rub over the polish. It might take some rubbing, but the polish will come off.

Clean Venetian blinds

Rubbing alcohol does a fabulous job of cleaning the slats of Venetian blinds. Do this: wrap a flat tool—a spatula or = six-inch drywall or putty knife—in cloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip in alcohol and go to work.

Keep windows frost-free

Wash windows with a solution of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to one-quart water to prevent frost. Polish with a good microfiber cloth to make them shine.


Dissolve windshield frost

Spritz the frost and ice on your car’s windshield and windows with straight rubbing alcohol. You’ll be able to wipe them clear without the need of a scraper.

Prevent ring-Around-the-collar

To prevent your neck from staining your shirt collar, wipe your neck with rubbing alcohol each morning before you dress. Feels good too.



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