Rubbing alcohol, cleaning alcohol, or first-aid alcohol – whatever the term you use to call it, this perfect solution is the answer to affordable germicide. With the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak spreading its way across the globe, we won’t blame you if you’re more than ready to break out the cleaning alcohol. Like most of us stuck working from home with government-sanctioned lockdowns, preventing the spread of germs is definitely on the top of our priorities. Other than using rubbing alcohol as a homemade hand sanitizer, here are seven other ways you can use it as a cleaning agent.
A little note: rubbing alcohol is a highly flammable solution, please exercise caution when using it! Avoid using it around open flames.
DIY disinfectant spray
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If you have some rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol, or IPA) in your medicine cabinet, pour some into a spray bottle for convenience. Perhaps some of you may have purchased your rubbing alcohol at a 99% concentrate. That’s a strong solution; you might want to dilute it to a concentration of 70% for general cleaning.
You can use this multipurpose cleaner to disinfect all your personal items (such as earring studs, makeup brushes), door handles, windows, TV remotes, your mailbox, and surfaces like tables and chairs. Spritz a little on a soft cleaning cloth and get to sanitizing everything!
Based on reports by the CDC, you’ll want to use an alcohol solution with more than 60% of alcohol present. Any less than 60% of alcohol concentration can merely reduce the growth of germs instead of fully killing them.
Clean your devices
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Smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop screens are a germ-attracting mess, especially when you’ve been touching them throughout the day. Think about all those germs wiggling across your pillow when you fall asleep with your phone in hand… yikes! While you can’t always see specks of dirt on your device’s screen, it doesn’t always mean it’s clean. We don’t recommend spritzing your screens directly – instead, pour a little cleaning alcohol onto a cleaning cloth and give your devices a much needed sanitizing wipe-down.
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Sterilize your kitchen sponge
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Let’s face it, your kitchen sponge has probably seen better days. You’re also probably cringing at the thought of a germ colony living on it. Maybe it’s time to replace your kitchen sponge, but you can always saturate it with a good amount of rubbing alcohol in a bowl. Allow it to soak in that alcohol bath for at least 10 minutes. Once done, squeeze it out and then give it a good rinse before reusing it again.
Refresh the insides of your shoes
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We’ve all been there – kicking off your shoes after a long day of being on your feet, or returning from the gym and toeing off your sweat-drenched trainers. Add some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spritz inside your footwear to give it a sanitizing refresh. Not only does rubbing alcohol kill bacteria that have made the insides of your shoes a home, but works to remove any unwanted odors too. Leave it overnight to dry out completely – your feet will thank you!
Target stains on clothes
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Like everyone else, sometimes we get clumsy and spill stuff on ourselves or worse, whatever we’re wearing. Food, coffee, ink, or makeup stains can happen to the best of us. For clothing, you’ll want to spritz some rubbing alcohol on the stain and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Then, toss it into your washing machine for a proper wash cycle.
A little note: solvents in alcohol (like ethanol, for example) can damage certain fabrics. Don’t use rubbing alcohol on silk material or your best wool sweater!
Deodorize your carpet
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Did Rover or Kitty make a stinking mess on your favorite carpet? After you’ve removed the mess, sometimes the smell can still linger in your carpet’s fibers. It’s time to bring in the rubbing alcohol to spot clean and sanitize the area. Similar to the method of removing stains on clothing, spray or pour an appropriate amount of alcohol onto the spot and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes. Next, use an absorbent or microfiber cloth to absorb the excess moisture from your carpet. If the smell is still present, repeat the process until it’s all gone.
Remove fingerprints from stainless steel
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Maybe you have a steel-top surface in your kitchen. Or maybe you have some fingerprint-riddled stainless steel appliances you want to clean. Grab your homemade disinfectant spray and give their surfaces a rub with a cloth. This works great on door handles, too! Your stainless steel surfaces will be fingerprint free and properly sanitized.
Rubbing alcohol is truly a multipurpose, affordable and easily accessible cleaner. If you have a little extra time after working from home, why not make use of this all-in-one sanitizing solution to clean your living spaces?
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