While most people have rubbing alcohol in their bathroom medicine cabinet, it often tends to sit there for months and months, gathering dust and only occasionally being used to disinfect a cut or cool the heat of a fever. But rubbing alcohol has many surprising uses that go way beyond that, and as it’s rather inexpensive, you should really start taking advantage of them.
1. A homemade ice pack
An ice pack is great to have around. They can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions, such as arthritis. You can make your own ice pack easily by combining one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water in a Ziploc-style freezer bag. The rubbing alcohol prevents the bag from completely freezing into a solid block of ice.
2. Stain remover
Rubbing alcohol makes for an excellent stain remover when combined with water. It’s effective for everything from coffee and wine stains to ink, so leave that pricey bottle of stain remover on the grocery store shelf, and turn to what may become your new favorite household product. Simply combine one part rubbing alcohol to two parts water in a spray bottle. If you have a large enough spray bottle, you can pour in an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol, and then fill it up with water, add, and repeat. Just spray it onto any spots and spills, allow it to sit for a few minutes and then throw into the wash as you normally would.
3. Shoe deodorizer
If your athletic shoes or sneakers start to smell funky, you can use rubbing alcohol to eradicate that unpleasant odor. In this case, add rubbing alcohol to a spray bottle without mixing water in. Spray it into the inside of the shoes, concentrating on the smelly areas, making sure they’re totally saturated. Allow them to sit overnight before wearing. In the morning, they should be dry and the smell should be gone.
4. Remove ticks
Ticks are not only annoying, they can spread diseases to both humans and animals. Fortunately, they hate alcohol, which means rubbing alcohol can help in the process of removing one. The idea is to use it to stun the tiny arachnid with the rubbing alcohol – it will then immediately lose its grip from the skin so that it can be more easily removed. To do so, douse a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol and then gently rub it onto the area with the tick. Immediately afterward, remove it using a pair of tweezers and then spray rubbing alcohol on the wounded area to disinfect it. This can be used on animals as well as people.
5. Take hairspray off of mirrors
Whenever you spritz your hair with hairspray, some of it inevitably ends up on the mirror. It doesn’t take long before it builds up and your mirror isn’t able to do its job. While you might think you need glass cleaner to remove it, all you have to do is wipe it down with a bit of rubbing alcohol to take away the sticky residue, and voila! Your mirror is now sparkling clean.
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