Rubbing alcohol is used by many people as a disinfectant or for adhesive removal. But there are many uses beyond disinfection that most people don’t know about. It can even be used in cosmetics!
1. Get rid of bed bugs
Bed bugs can be a real problem to get rid of once you get them. But even if you are really careful, they can sneak home with you after vacation or a stay at an unhygienic friend’s house. Thank goodness rubbing alcohol can help kill these nasty pests. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray it generously over your pillows and mattress. Since bed bugs lay eggs, it’s important to repeat this process several times to completely get rid of them.
2. Deodorant replacement
If you forgot your deodorant at home while you are away for the weekend, there is no need to panic. Rubbing alcohol kills the bacteria that causes bad body odor and is easy to find in every first-aid kit. But make sure you only use this temporarily, because long exposure to alcohol can irritate the skin.
3. Homemade cool pack
If you place alcohol in the freezer, it won’t turn to ice, but rather to a cold, thick mass. Why is that important? Well, thanks to this property, you can use alcohol to make your own cooling pad. Pour 1 part alcohol and 2 parts water together in a sealable plastic bag. Make sure you remove as much air as possible before placing it in the freezer. After an hour or so the mixture should be the right texture. You could use this as an ice pack for an injury or to cool your lunch on a hike.
4. Kill lice
Rubbing alcohol is also great for removing lice. Fill a spray bottle with alcohol and add a few drops of lavender oil. Go outside and apply the mixture generously to your scalp and hair. Comb your hair to remove the dead lice. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health recommends to leave used lice combs soaking in the mixture for at least 1 hour to make sure all the bugs are taken care of.
5. Clean your ears
Many people still use cotton swaps to clean their ears, but this method is actually dangerous because it buries wax deeper and deeper in the ear canal. There is an easier way to clean your ears: Mix white vinegar and rubbing alcohol together in a cup. Dip a cotton swap in the mixture and drop it into your ears. The wax will be removed on its own.
6. Remove fingernail polish
Typical nail polish remover often contains the harsh chemical acetone, which can damage your nails. You may even start feeling nauseous from the fumes. Pure rubbing alcohol is one possible alternative. It may take a little longer to completely remove the polish, but your nails won’t be damaged in the process.
7. No more ingrown hairs
Ingrown hairs are the worst. You shaved your bikini line or armpits and now the area is covered in red dots. That can all change once you apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to your skin. The alcohol should alleviate any irritation, leaving your skin looking smooth once again.
8. Clear your skin
Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient found in acne-fighting creams and ointments, but rubbing alcohol works just as well. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, it will not only disinfect any existing pimples, but also sooth the surrounding skin and help prevent additional ones from popping up. Make sure to only apply it directly to the pimple, however, as extended use can cause skin irritation.
9. Cold sores
85% percent of people carry the herpes virus, but only a small percent will ever experience a break out. If you are hit with a painful outbreak at some point, try using 70% isopropyl alcohol on the spots. According to the University of Michigan, this will make the herpes sores go away faster.
10. Hand sanitizer
Rubbing alcohol makes a great base for homemade hand sanitizer. Mix 4 oz. aloe vera gel, a half tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol, and a few drops of teatree oil and put it in a sealable bottle. Homemade hand sanitizer is that easy!
Here’s a video showing all the steps: