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I think isopropyl alcohol is one of the most underrated tools in the home, so today I want to share with you why rubbing alcohol is better for cleaning than many other items.
Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is even better than vinegar for most things!
Household vinegar is not effective at killing bacteria that can linger in the home.
So, I use vinegar strictly for removing build up, but rubbing alcohol for disinfecting and cleaning most places especially the kitchen.
Isopropyl alcohol was invented in the 1920s and has been available for home use since the 1930s or so. When Standard Oil made this product, chemists realized that it had unique household properties that could make it a wonder chemical for health and home. Oddly enough, rubbing alcohol was first used in World War I to prepare smokeless repellent!
Little did they know it would be such an effective disinfectant for both body and home.
Since rubbing alcohol is capable of sterilizing and disinfecting surfaces in your home, it is one of the cheapest options for safe cleaners.
In fact, it is the key ingredient in one of my favorite all-purpose cleaners from the eBook. This cleaner has the capacity to clean the entire kitchen, remove stains, freshen fabrics, and can even be used to kill insects inside. All thanks to the isopropyl alcohol found inside.
Another chemical property that makes rubbing alcohol so effective is how volatile it is. This means it will evaporate quickly without leaving a residue like water would.
Most store-bought cleaners are comprised of many different alcohols for this reason. There are very few substances you can use for at home that are capable of disinfecting without leaving any residue behind.
Clean Stainless Steel
You can clean stainless steel with rubbing alcohol to leave a nice shine. It not only disinfects, but cleans up any residue.
Remove Stains on Clothes
If you have a set in sweat stain or dirt stain, saturate the area in rubbing alcohol and dab off. Then wash it with normal soap and water. This does great at getting stains up from the fabric.
Clean Crayon or Marker off Walls
Rubbing alcohol does a great job of getting up the waxy residue left from crayons or markers. Especially on walls with a painted texture.
Clean Window Blinds
This is my favorite tip for rubbing alcohol. Many cleaners leave a bad residue on blinds, especially wooden ones (like I have). The alcohol will dissolve dust well and does not leave a residue or water marks behind.
Make a Homemade Cleaner
If you own the book (use code “alcoholpost” to get 10% off the book now!), you can make many fantastic DIY cleaners. All of them cost less than $0.50 to make too.
Remove Hairspray from Surfaces
Alcohol is the best for removing sticky residue, especially hairspray. Recently, I had a can of hairspray leak out on my bathroom counter. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I noticed, the hairspray was completely glued on. I poured rubbing alcohol on it, and let it sit a few minutes. Then, rubbed it off!
Kill House Gnats
I use this all-purpose cleaner to even kill fruit flies or little gnats that will fly around. You can also spray rubbing alcohol on areas they are, and it will kill them too!
Chemist tips for Rubbing Alcohol
While rubbing alcohol is an amazing disinfectant, it is potentially flammable, so you need to be cautious when using it. It is best not to use in the oven or in areas of high heat. It does evaporate really fast, so if you use an alcohol based cleaner for the stove top, just allow it to dry before using it.
You might have noticed there are many different percentages of rubbing alcohol available. Always get one that is over 70% to get the most out of using it. I actually like to get the 91% for a more powerful cleaning aspect, especially when making home cleaning solutions.
Always be careful when using rubbing alcohol when it comes to breathing. Again, this alcohol is VERY mild compared to most store-bought cleaners, but as a chemist, I want to make sure everyone is safe.