Top 11 Benefits Of Rubbing Alcohol

Most of us are familiar with rubbing alcohol. It’s widely considered a staple in first-aid kits and bathroom medicine cabinets for disinfecting scrapes and other minor wounds, though not everyone knows entirely why.

The most common variety of rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol, which contains 70% pure alcohol. It’s extremely toxic, which is why makers also add foul-tasting filler ingredients to discourage buyers from drinking it. The other is ethyl alcohol, which is made up almost entirely of ethanol and is also unsafe to drink.

For these reasons, rubbing alcohol is meant to be used outside of the body, particularly on the skin or other surfaces (which is where the name “rubbing” alcohol comes from) as a sanitizer. However, it also has other uses that you might never have even considered. Below are 11 surprising uses of rubbing alcohol that benefit your health:

1. Remove Ticks


Ticks are notoriously stubborn creatures. Once they latch on, they are incredibly difficult to remove, even if you manage to remove parts of their bodies! The key is to somehow suffocate or shock them to the point that they let go.

Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub it on the skin around the tick. Ideally, this will stun the tick and force it to let go so that you can remove it with tweezers.
 

2. Eliminate Bed Bugs


Ticks aren’t the only menace that rubbing alcohol can help you eliminate. You can also use it to eliminate a bed bug infestation. 

Fill up a spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol and get to work spraying the mattress, box spring sheets and blankets, and headboard. The alcohol kills bed bugs on contact, but it doesn’t affect the eggs, so spray regularly so ensure you target recently hatched eggs. Ventilate the room afterward to avoid causing lung damage. 
 

3. Kill Fruit Flies


If your house is menaced by fruit flies, you can use a similar method to eliminate them. Fill up your spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol and spray directly any fruit fly that you see.

Since isopropyl alcohol can be toxic when inhaled for too long, you once again want to make sure that the room where you use this treatment is well ventilated. 
 

4. Alleviate Itching from Bug Bites


Many different insects plague humanity with their itchy bites. The most notorious offender, of course, is the mosquito. Most of us have experienced at least one sleepless night due to mosquito bites, and we know we’re not supposed to scratch the bites, but what else can we do?

Fortunately, rubbing alcohol can provide instant relief. Just apply directly to the bite and let the rubbing alcohol do its work.
 

5. Stain Remover


Of course, rubbing alcohol’s health benefits aren’t just limited to pest removal. You can also use it as a household cleaner to remove stains on your clothes, furniture, or carpet. 

To avoid damaging the fabric, dilute the alcohol by using one part rubbing alcohol to two parts water. Add to a spray bottle and spritz directly onto the stain. This should work even on the toughest of stains. 
 

6. Shoe Deodorizer


Stinky feet happen, and your favorite sneakers have a way of absorbing that unpleasant odor. Fortunately, you don’t have to resort to expensive treatments to rid yourself of unpleasant smells. 

Using your trusty spray bottle, spray undiluted rubbing alcohol into your smelly shoes and leave your shoes overnight to dry. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate and take the unpleasant odor with it. 
 

7. Kill Garlic Smell


Rubbing alcohol doesn’t just destroy bad foot odor. It can also target that hard-to-eliminate garlic odor from your hands. Garlic is considered an “aromatic” vegetable for a reason, and normal handwashing alone doesn’t always do the trick.

Once you are done using the garlic, simply pour rubbing alcohol directly onto your hands and then wash them normally with hand soap. 
 

8. Lens Cleaner


If you regularly use eyeglasses, you can also use rubbing alcohol to remove spots and streaks from the lenses without causing scratches or additional streaks. Gently spritz some onto the dirty lenses and rub off with a lens-cleaning or other suitable cloth. 
 

9. Treat Cold Sores


As you well know, cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are not only unsightly, they are also painful and uncomfortable. Cold sore treatments can get expensive and only come in limited quantities.

However, rubbing alcohol can be a viable alternative to treat your cold sore. Apply rubbing alcohol directly to the cold sore to disinfect the wound and shrink the sore.
 

10. Soothe Muscle Soreness


One especially surprising use of rubbing alcohol is to treat muscle and joint pain. Instead of using massage oil, just massage the rubbing alcohol directly into your sore limbs, neck, or back.
 

11. Hand Sanitizer


Last, but certainly not least, you can also take advantage of rubbing alcohol’s disinfecting properties and use it to make your own DIY hand sanitizer. 

Since pure rubbing alcohol can burn the skin, you will first want to dilute it. Add one part aloe vera to three parts rubbing alcohol for a gentler, soothing clean. You can store it in a bottle of your choice.

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As you can see, rubbing alcohol has many surprising uses for keeping you healthy. Now we would like to hear from you. Have you tried one of these 11 unconventional uses for rubbing alcohol? What other uses do you have for rubbing alcohol? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you liked these suggestions, please share this article with your friends on social media!