10 Household Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol: A Miracle Cleaner

bottle of rubbing alcohol

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Just about everyone has a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet. You need it for its antiseptic properties, but you can use it lots of other ways. It's time to put that bottle to work. Here are 10 handy household uses for rubbing alcohol.

  • 01 of 10

    Remove Permanent Marker

    removing permanent marker

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Permanent marker isn't as permanent as the name suggests. Use rubbing alcohol to remove it from hard surfaces such as countertops, furniture, plastic, and a myriad of other places. Just dab it on the spot and wipe clean. This is a great tip to keep in mind when you come across a yard sale find that someone has put their name on.

  • 02 of 10

    Make Your Own Ice Packs

    ice pack made from rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Save some money by making your own ice packs. All you need is rubbing alcohol and water. And a plastic bag.

  • 03 of 10

    Clean Mirrors

    cleaning a mirror with rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

    Bathroom mirrors have a way of collecting a buildup of hairspray and splashes of toothpaste. Just spray the mirror with rubbing alcohol and wipe it clean. It'll take off all the gunk and leave you with a streak-free shine. You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove hairspray from your bathroom sink, floor, hairbrushes, and any other styling tools.

  • 04 of 10

    Remove Water Spots and Fingerprints

    cleaning spots of of sink hardware

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Rid faucets and stainless steel sinks of water spots by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol. If you have stainless steel appliances, you can also use it to remove fingerprints and smudges.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Keep Car Windows Frost-Free

    spraying rubbing alcohol on the windshield of a car

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Scraping frost off your windshield is one of the biggest irritants of winter in a cold climate. Rubbing alcohol can keep the frost away. Just mix one part rubbing alcohol together with eight parts water and apply the solution to your car windows to prevent frost from forming on them. To maintain effectiveness, repeat the process each time you wash your car and after heavy rainstorms.

  • 06 of 10

    Remove Grime

    cleaning a cell phone with rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Wipe cellphones, computer keyboards, and other high-use gadgets down with a rag that's been lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol to remove all that built-up dirt and grime from the keys and to keep germs to a minimum.

  • 07 of 10

    Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

    woman pumping hand sanitizer into her palm

    The Spruce 

    Using hand sanitizer is an all-around good idea. You can easily make your own at home with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel. Just mix 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel, and voila. If you like, add a few drops of essential oil for a more pleasant fragrance.

  • 08 of 10

    Degrease Your Kitchen

    person preparing to clean the kitchen with rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Tackle that grease buildup on your stove, countertops, and cabinets by wiping them down with a sponge or rag that's been soaked in rubbing alcohol. It's quick, easy, and effective.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Make Your Own Room Spray

    homemade room spray using rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Freshen the air in your home with an all-natural room spray that you made yourself. Start with rubbing alcohol and add any fragrance you like.

  • 10 of 10

    Make Your Own Glass Cleaner

    spray cleaner made from rubbing alcohol

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

    Combine rubbing alcohol with water and vinegar, and you'll have a glass cleaner that performs just as well as anything you can buy at the store. Use 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar, combine in a spray bottle, and you're good to go. Just be careful not to use vinegar products on stone surfaces.