Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean?

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Rubbing alcohol, commonly referred to as Isopropyl alcohol, is popularly known for its health and hygiene uses. You have definitely reached this solution if you treated a minor wound or insect bite. But can you use rubbing alcohol to clean?

Absolutely! Rubbing alcohol is a general cleaner. It is a degreaser, disinfectant, sanitizer, and stain remover. Many people use rubbing alcohol not only for various tasks. Since it quickly evaporates, it efficiently cleans glass and stainless-steel material without streaking. It can also wipe off dirt, stains, and gum.

Rubbing alcohol is also great for cleaning electronics, especially your cell phone. Not only will it clean your sweat marks and fingerprints off the screen but it will disinfect the germs it gathers from everywhere else you take it.

Overall, rubbing alcohol can be used as part of your cleaning routine. But even if rubbing alcohol is a popular cleaner, there are a lot of risks associated when using it as a cleaner. Let’s find out how you can properly use rubbing alcohol to clean. 

What is Rubbing Alcohol Used For?

Generally, rubbing alcohol is used for various healthcare and industrial applications. Its 70% alcohol and 30% water concentration are useful for skin and wounds. But it should not be intended for extended periods because it can cause redness and dryness.

Due to germicide properties, alcohol is a good sanitizer. As such, it can be used for cleaning. Typically, rubbing alcohol can sanitize various surfaces in your house. 

Is It Safe to Clean with Rubbing Alcohol?

Yes, it is safe to clean with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol contains 70% alcohol and is a good sanitizer. It is an antiseptic that effectively kills viruses, bacteria, and germs. It is an excellent disinfectant to keep around the house, especially during the germ-ridded winter season.

However, rubbing alcohol is not a stellar cleaner like dish soap. Its effectiveness cannot be compared to vinegar as a natural cleaner. Rubbing alcohol has minimal effect on some grease and salts. 

It has no detergent properties, so while it may be safe to clean with rubbing alcohol, it may not be as efficient. However, note that rubbing alcohol has a strong odor and should not be used for extended periods as it may affect the air quality at home. It is also highly flammable, so you do not use it near heat sources or open flames. 

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Surfaces?

Absolutely! Rubbing alcohol is known to clean surfaces, most notably as a disinfectant. To use it, mix 50:50 water and rubbing alcohol to clean surfaces like granite, quartz, countertops, and even on and around the toilet.

However, you should not use rubbing alcohol on finished surfaces as it can liquify finishes or varnishes. You should also void using the solution on painted, lacquered, shellacked, and treated wood. 

Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove Stains?


Rubbing alcohol is a degreasing solution, so it works great for removing stains. If you ever notice stains on your clothes, or upholstered furniture, rubbing alcohol can help you remove the mess. Just pour some rubbing alcohol on the stained area, leave it for a few minutes, and wipe it. 

However, not all types of stains can be removed by rubbing alcohol. They only work for ink marks, sap, grease, and grass. While rubbing alcohol treatment will work on your carpet, remember that some fabrics will not do well with it. 

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol as an Air Freshener?

Generally, rubbing alcohol is a strong solution, so using it alone as an air freshener may not be good for someone with a sensitive nasal palate. However, rubbing alcohol is a deodorizer; thus, you can use it as an air freshener.

To safely use it, mix it with water and your favorite essential oil. The resulting mixture is an excellent disinfectant and air freshener. The antiseptic properties of rubbing alcohol can kill bacteria that cause foul odor in the house. 

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    Can You Clean the Kitchen with Rubbing Alcohol?

    Yes, you can tackle the grease buildup on your countertops, stovetop, and cabinets with rubbing alcohol. This solution can cut through the dirt and grease and dry quickly, making the surfaces squeaky clean. 

    To safely use rubbing alcohol in your kitchen, mix warm water and rubbing alcohol in a container. Dip a soft cloth or clean sponge into the solution and wipe the grease. Now, rinse the area with warm water and wipe it with a clean cloth to dry.

    Can You Clean the Bathroom with Rubbing Alcohol?

    It is ideal to use rubbing alcohol to clean the bathroom. It tends to be the most used spot in the house and it can also kill bacteria. As mentioned, rubbing alcohol can clean surfaces, including the toilet, fixtures, bathtubs, etc. You can also use the solution to clean dirty tiles and grout.

    To use rubbing alcohol to clean the bathroom, wet a paper towel with the solution and rub it firmly on the area you want to clean. You can also spray rubbing alcohol on the surface, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and use a scrub to remove dirt. 

    What to Avoid When Cleaning with Rubbing Alcohol


    Indeed, when it comes to natural cleaners, the disinfecting power of rubbing alcohol comes in handy. But although it does a great job, there are things you should avoid while using the solution to protect you and the items you are cleaning.

    Never Use Around Flames

    As apparent in their name, rubbing alcohol has alcohol, which means it is highly flammable. Hence, you should never use it near open flames or anything that is smoking. 

    Never Mix with Bleach

    There are certain cleaning ingredients that you can not mix because they create toxic chemicals. The same goes for rubbing alcohol and bleach. When these ingredients are mixed together, they form chloroform.

    If you watch mystery shows on TV, you should be familiar with the effects of chloroform when it is inhaled to make someone unconscious. Inhaling chloroforms can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, and more. 

    Don’t Drink It

    Rubbing alcohol is different from alcoholic beverages. Drinking it is dangerous and can damage one’s health. Keep it far from children as it can easily be mistaken as water. 

    Don’t Use It in Unventilated Areas

    Rubbing alcohol dissolves quickly, creating harmful fumes. Once you’re cleaning with this solution, keep the room as well-ventilated as possible. You can do this by simply opening the windows while cleaning.

    Rubbing Alcohol on Your Skin

    Rubbing alcohol can help cleanse your skin, but too much can also dry out your skin. When cleaning with rubbing alcohol, use gloves to avoid drying out your skin. Too much of it on your skin, and you can absorb the solution and have a toxic reaction.


    Rubbing alcohol, first-aid alcohol, or hand sanitizer – whatever you call it, is the solution to affordable germicide. After a pandemic, people are more paranoid than ever about germs, and rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer can help protect you and eliminate those germs.

    However, while rubbing alcohol is very handy, it is a chemical and can be dangerous when not used properly. Once handled with care, though, there are no reasons why you should not use rubbing alcohol to clean the house. It will help you clean, disinfect, degrease, and sanitize the home.

    To learn more about rubbing alcohol, check out our article – Five Quick Facts Cleaning Rubbing Alcohol?

    To know more about the associated risks of drinking rubbing alcohol, read our article – Can You Drink Rubbing Alcohol?