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Isopropyl Alcohol Uses

By Jamey Wagner | Home | Rating:

Probably nine out of ten households in the United States alone have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol in their medicine cabinets without even realizing all the uses it can be put to. In fact, isopropyl alcohol can be used for more than sanitizing a thermometer in between each use. Most of us would be surprised at all the amazing household uses for isopropyl alcohol. Even if you donít like the smell it evaporates quickly and most drugstores carry wintergreen isopropyl alcohol which smells much nicer. While it is a great sanitizing agent it also cuts grease, therefore there are infinite uses for it around the house. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with alcohol and just how much money you can save with this one little bottle.

Cleaning Windows and Glass

One of the first things you will want to do is go to the dollar store and buy an empty spray bottle. It is best not to use one that has been filled with any other product at any time. Make sure that you find a spray bottle that has a mist as well as a stream setting. Sometimes you will want to use the stream, but for windows and glass, you need the mist. Simply use isopropyl alcohol instead of those foul smelling ammonia window cleaners and it will clean so effectively that even the most stubborn of fingerprints will come up quite quickly.

You will also find that isopropyl alcohol doesnít leave streaks as easily as window cleaners do and it cuts through grease and cigarette smoke quite nicely. For this reason, it is great to use glass top tables. Not only does it clean them efficiently but it also disinfects them at the same time. You will find that wintergreen scented isopropyl alcohol actually doesnít leave a bad odor because the alcohol evaporates within moments.

Countertops and Appliances

Another one of the amazing uses for isopropyl alcohol is cleaning kitchen countertops and appliances. As mentioned, alcohol cuts through grease because it is one of the most amazing solvents in use today. Once you have run a damp cloth over the area to pick up any crumbs and particles on the surface, simply use the mist setting to spray with the alcohol and with a clean dry cloth wipe the counter or appliance clean. As a safety measure, remember not to use alcohol near open flames on a gas stove or on a surface hot enough to start a fire.

If you have glass doors, which most of us do, on your oven or stove you will be able to clean them much more easily with alcohol than you can with ammonia, and again the smell is much more tolerable. You can wipe down the outside of literally every appliance in your kitchen, including the microwave and toaster oven and isopropyl alcohol can even be used to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator! How amazing is that? You donít need to use bleach to disinfect the inside because wintergreen rubbing alcohol does the same thing, if not better!

Electronics and Computer Equipment

Before talking about using alcohol to clean electronics and computer equipment, there are a couple of warnings you should be aware of. First of all, make sure your equipment is off and unplugged. Secondly, you do not need a rag saturated in alcohol as it just needs to be damp. A tiny bit of alcohol goes a very long way so you do not need to spray it on electronics or computer equipment. Finally, try to use a microfiber or dust free cloth for this type of equipment and it would be best if you wore cotton clothing when dealing with electronics so as to avoid damaging the equipment with static electricity.

You can clean anything from your computer monitor to the digital displays on home entertainment equipment as well as the display of your televisions and electronic picture viewers. Isopropyl alcohol should be used frequently for cleaning your phones, including your cell phones to both sanitize and keep them clear of dirty finger prints and smudges. After your usual method of dusting your keyboards, simply wipe the keyboard with your alcohol cloth and you will not only keep it sparkling clean you will avoid spreading germs if it is used by multiple members of your household or office.

Cleaning the Bathroom With Isopropyl Alcohol

You should scrub you sink, bathtub and toilet bowl in the normal way you would, but isopropyl alcohol can be used for everything else. Vanity mirrors, the outside of the toilet, the handles on the doors and even the faucets can be cleaned up with alcohol. It picks up soap scum as well because, again, it is an efficient solvent. Unlike those products with ammonia, it doesnít leave behind that horrible smell in such a confined area.

Shower doors can also be cleaned with alcohol because it will easily lift those white deposits from hard water and soap. In fact, once you have the bathroom cleaned and you are ready to move on to the next room, spray a little alcohol in the garbage can, and give the toilet seat a quick Ďonce overí with a little alcohol. It is much more potent as a sanitizing agent than bleach products, and as mentioned, smells a whole lot better. Also, if you have used any ammonia products, you will not need to worry about chlorine gas when using isopropyl alcohol as you would if you mixed bleach and ammonia.

One bottle can be used throughout the house for more than a week and the usual price is less than $2 a bottle! If you arenít bothered by the smell, plain isopropyl alcohol is usually a little cheaper than the wintergreen variety, but even that is much cheaper than all the other products you would need to buy to accomplish so many different tasks. The only thing to be aware of is that alcohol is a solvent and will take the varnish off furniture, so try to avoid using it near any wooden areas. These are just a sampling of uses as there are so many more you will come up with once you start working with alcohol as a cleaning agent. You can quickly accomplish everything from lifting stubborn scuffs off linoleum to sanitizing countertops. Thatís pretty amazing in itself.

Jamey Wagner

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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Boris)
    what happens when u drink it???

    can u mix it with cola???
  • Comment #2 (Posted by Kaio)
    Good article overall, but it would be perfect if it talked a little more about it's solvent and/or abrasive properties: It says that "is a solvent and will take the varnish off furniture" but it also says it's excellent for cleaning glass. Can I use it to clean my pair of glasses? They are delicate lenses and I need to know in advance if it would damage any surface or would blur them in some way.
  • Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Very informative, thanks!
  • Comment #4 (Posted by an unknown user)