Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a very useful ingredient. Rubbing alcohol can be used as an antiseptic, a cleaning agent, and even as an emergency agent. Rubbing alcohol is not safe for consumption and anyone who accidentally inhales rubbing alcohol should seek medical attention immediately. Knowing how to use rubbing alcohol safely at home can help you treat wounds and make your home cleaner.
Method 1 of 3: Using Rubbing Alcohol as an Antiseptic
Step 1. Clean hands with rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a common ingredient in most commercial hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizer is used to disinfect hands and does not require soap or water. Rub hand sanitizer on your hands for 30 seconds or until the liquid evaporates, to kill most of the bacteria present. Hand sanitizers often include additional components such as moisturizers to prevent hands from drying out, but such components are not required. If you can't wash your hands with soap and water or if you want to make sure your hands are really clean, rubbing alcohol can be used to disinfect your hands.
- Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands together vigorously for 30 seconds or until the alcohol is all over your hands and begins to evaporate.
- Note that rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer will not remove dirt from your hands. If your hands are visibly dirty, you will need to wash them with soap and water to remove the dirt from your skin.
Step 2. Treat the wound with rubbing alcohol
One of the most common uses of rubbing alcohol is to treat wounds. This is because rubbing alcohol can be an excellent antiseptic. Rubbing alcohol kills germs by compacting each germ protein. If the germ protein condenses, germs die faster.
Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the skin around the wound. This procedure is especially useful for lacerations that can invite foreign germs into the wound. Once the wound has cleared, you can bandage the wound and seek medical help if necessary
Step 3. Disinfect the skin before injection
Certain drugs such as insulin need to be injected into the body. Prior to the injection, it is important to disinfect the skin to prevent bacteria from entering the body.
- Pour 60-70 percent rubbing alcohol on a clean cotton swab.
- Wipe all parts of the skin to be injected. Do not wipe the same area twice.
- Wait for the alcohol to dry completely before injecting.
Step 4. Disinfect medical equipment
Some household medical devices such as tweezers contain bacteria that can enter the wound. Therefore, medical equipment must be disinfected before use. You can do this with rubbing alcohol.
Soak the tips of the tweezers in rubbing alcohol. Allow the alcohol to dry before using to ensure that the bacteria on the tweezers are killed
Step 5. Mix rubbing alcohol with vinegar in equal proportions to prevent external ear infections
Mix isopropyl alcohol with white vinegar and then put a few drops in your ear after you shower or swim. Pull the outer ear to slide the ear canal to allow this mixture to enter. Leave this mixture in the ear for 3-5 minutes.
For this use, we recommend choosing rubbing alcohol with an isopropyl alcohol content of 90-95%
Method 2 of 3: Using Rubbing Alcohol as a Cleaning Agent
Step 1. Remove the stain with rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be an effective stain remover. Mix one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water. You can use this mixture and pour it into a spray bottle or pour it on a washcloth or towel to clean stained clothes.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove grass stains from clothes before washing. Apply the rubbing alcohol mixture to the stain, rubbing the clothes. Let stand for 10 minutes then wash clothes as usual
Step 2. Clean the bathroom with rubbing alcohol
Because of its antiseptic properties, rubbing alcohol is often used to clean germ-infested areas such as the bathroom. Apply rubbing alcohol to a tissue and scrub bathroom fixtures such as faucets, sinks, and toilets to quickly clean and disinfect the surfaces of these fixtures.
Step 3. Make a window cleaner with rubbing alcohol
In addition to other cleaning purposes, rubbing alcohol can be used to make an effective window cleaner. Mix 470 ml of rubbing alcohol with two tablespoons of ammonia and two tablespoons of laundry soap. Mix this formula and apply to windows with a spray bottle or sponge.
Method 3 of 3: Recognizing Other Uses of Rubbing Alcohol
Step 1. Get rid of fleas
Some people find that applying rubbing alcohol to a hiding tick can startle the animal and make it easier to get rid of. Even if this method doesn't work, experts recommend using rubbing alcohol to kill and preserve fleas after removal. This makes it easier for doctors to find out if lice are the cause of Lyme disease.
- Use a clean cotton swab to apply rubbing alcohol to the area where the lice are. If you don't have a cotton swab, you can pour a little rubbing alcohol directly on the skin.
- Use clean tweezers (preferably sterilized, which can be done with rubbing alcohol) to pinch the tick's body as close to the surface of the skin as possible.
- Gently pull the tick up without crushing any part of the tick's body.
- Place the tick in a jar or bottle filled with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Make sure that the tick is completely submerged.
- Use rubbing alcohol to clean the surface of the skin where the tick was removed.
Step 2. Get rid of the smell on the sneakers
Use a spray bottle to spray the rubbing alcohol on the inside of the sneakers. The rubbing alcohol will kill the odor-causing bacteria, leaving the sneakers clean and odor-free.
Step 3. Remove nail polish
If you run out of nail polish remover, you can use a little rubbing alcohol. Pour rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and rub vigorously on the nail polish to remove the old nail polish. Nail polish doesn't come off as easily as it does with real nail polish remover, but rubbing alcohol can still be used to remove old nail polish.
Step 4. Do not use rubbing alcohol to cool feverish skin
A common traditional fever treatment is to apply rubbing alcohol to the skin. Because the alcohol evaporates, it is thought to give a cooling sensation. But pouring rubbing alcohol on the body, especially children's bodies can be very dangerous. A number of children have fallen into coma after their parents applied rubbing alcohol to treat fever. For this reason, using rubbing alcohol to relieve fever symptoms is strongly discouraged.
- Bandage the wound daily with wound ointment and a sterile bandage.
- Always have supplies at hand, such as isopropyl alcohol, sterile pads, and wound ointment for emergencies.
- Allow the rubbing alcohol to dry on its own before bandaging the wound or administering the injection.
- Do not apply rubbing alcohol to deep wounds.
- Do not use rubbing alcohol to cool feverish skin. This is very dangerous and is not a medical way to treat fever.
- Do not inhale rubbing alcohol. If you accidentally inhale alcohol, contact your local poison control center or emergency services immediately. The symptoms are poisoning, fainting, coma, or even death.