What Should I Know About Cleaning with Rubbing Alcohol?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Isopropyl alcohol, better known as rubbing alcohol, has a lot going for it. In addition to being a refreshing muscle rub, rubbing alcohol can also be utilized as an inexpensive cleaning product. If you are not familiar with the idea of cleaning with isopropyl alcohol, here are some ideas on what you can do with this product to keep your home clean and fresh.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean doorknobs, phones, furniture, and more.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean doorknobs, phones, furniture, and more.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy cleaning with rubbing alcohol is to use the substance to freshen the look of switch plates, doorknobs, and telephones. By soaking a clean dry cloth with the rubbing alcohol, it is possible to quickly remove oily deposits and dust from these surfaces. Not only will the alcohol remove dirt and grime, it will also act as a disinfectant, leaving the surfaces with fewer germs.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean switch plates.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean switch plates.

Bathroom cleaning is also among household rubbing alcohol uses. Stubborn rings around the bathtub drain as well as the toilet bowl can be removed by spraying rubbing alcohol on the rings and allowing it to permeate into the area. From there, using a scrub brush will complete the job. Along with bathtub ring cleaning and toilet bowl cleaning, it is also possible to spray rubbing alcohol on tile to help minimize the presence of buildup on the tile grout. Be sure to have the bathroom well-ventilated before beginning to clean with the rubbing alcohol.

A bottle of rubbing alcohol.
A bottle of rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning tips involving rubbing alcohol also include freshening patio furniture. Metal or resin chairs and tables can be disinfected and given a bright finish with a simple rub down using a clean cloth and a little of the product. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol will cut through a good bit of the grime that builds up on outdoor furniture during the winter months and will also make it possible to quickly refresh the furniture just before hosting an outdoor party.

Bathtub and toilet rings can be removed with rubbing alcohol.
Bathtub and toilet rings can be removed with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol cleaning can also involve candles. Dust tends to collect on wax candles with a great deal of ease. Candle cleaning with rubbing alcohol is a great way to quickly remove the dust. In addition, the alcohol is less likely to damage the wick than water. Make sure to allow the alcohol to completely dry before lighting the candle.

To clean windows, mix one part alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle.
To clean windows, mix one part alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle.

Window cleaning with rubbing alcohol and water is a breeze. Mix one part alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle. Spray down the window and wipe with a clean cloth. The rubbing alcohol will leave a streak-free shine and may also help to repel dust slightly.

Because it is flammable, rubbing alcohol should not be used to clean appliances, such as a toaster oven.
Because it is flammable, rubbing alcohol should not be used to clean appliances, such as a toaster oven.

There are many other cleaning tips involving the use of rubbing alcohol. However, it is important to remember that the alcohol is flammable. This means it is not appropriate for use on appliances such as stoves or toaster ovens. It is also important to always do your cleaning with rubbing alcohol in an area that is well-ventilated. Following these simple safety measures will allow you to effectively clean porcelain, plastics, and glass objects around the house for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase cleaning products from the store.

A scrub brush can be used with rubbing alcohol to clean toilets.
A scrub brush can be used with rubbing alcohol to clean toilets.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

anon1001809

@989031 The statement about buildup and gloves doesn't make a lot of sense. The body knows how to get rid of isopropyl alcohol within hours or days. It can't build up to a significant level if it isn't breathed or swallowed continually.

anon989031

Use gloves when cleaning with rubbing alcohol. People with cancer have a build up of this in their system. The body stores it, and unfortunately its also in a lot of beauty products.

anon971030

Living with three roommates, I find alcohol to be a necessity. I use it on the toilet seat, sink, doorknobs, countertops, mirror and floors. It cleans great getting up dirt and grease as well as kills germs. I have it in a spray bottle diluted 1:1 with water.

For a tough job, I use some full strength onto a cloth to clean with. It works, is easy to use, kills germs, and no need to rinse. It is a frugal way to keep a clean environment.

anon353960

My cleaning lady said that rubbing alcohol will cause metal surfaces to discolor Is that true?

anon325791

Alcohol is also good for cleaning computer keyboard. Use also to wipe the steering wheel and door handles and supermarket trolley handles.

anon265498

I have been using isopropyl alcohol to clean many surfaces in my home, including vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, and well as countertops and birdcage, computer keyboard and mouse, and remote controls.

My logic has been that when the fumes dry down (I do not allow the bird near where I am cleaning wet), this will result in a nontoxic surface. Please advise as to whether you agree with this. Thank you!

anon187701

I live in a duplex. The neighbors (before eviction) left us with a cockroach infestation of biblical proportions. I mix (in a spay bottle) 1:12 anti-bacterial dish soap to alcohol to easily kill them and then clean the scene of the crime (one could use a squirt gun to complete the fantasy). Anyhow, this behavior led to the realization that I could economize on dish soap in a squirt bottle. It is now the most common cleaner in my house. Do not use on vinyl as it makes it brittle due to leaching of a main component of the material.

anon178938

Can I use alcohol to clean stove as long as stove is not on, it's cooled down, and don't use the stove at all until the alcohol has evaporated? Or just don't use it on the stove? Would alcohol be better to use on the countertops near the stove or should I find another recipe for an all purpose cleaner?

SalmonRiver

Since rubbing alcohol evaporates so quickly, I have found it to be a good, relatively non-toxic way to clean surfaces. I have a small child, so I don't like products that stay wet for long. I'm not suggesting the rubbing alcohol go on something that your baby may put in their mouth. I do like it for plastic surfaces. I have used it to remove smudges from my cell phone. After reading this article, I am going to try the uses suggested for cleaning the bathroom.

mantra

I have used rubbing alcohol for cleaning my floors. It works well when mixed with water to clean the laminate floor in my kitchen. I agree with the article, it is a good inexpensive cleaner.

oopart28

I never thought about cleaning candles having an affect on the wick, good to know. My favorite way to use isopropanol in cleaning is to remove sticky adhesive. You just want to be sure and test an area first to avoid damage.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: