Every so often alcohol surfaces in the news, usually related to a crime or an accident that has gone terribly wrong. Alcohol in its pure form though, can actually be very useful around the home. You would be in danger of death if you attempted to drink it, but 70% alcohol such as isopropyl rubbing alcohol could be your saviour in giving your property a quick pick me up.
Melt ice on windows
If you’re struggling to see out of your home’s windows, create a mixture consisting of one quarter of a cup of water and half a cup of rubbing alcohol. Washing them with the solution will melt the ice – it’s a quick and easy tip that’s a lifesaver in the winter. Best of all, it works just as well on cars if you need a quick de-icer before the school run.
It’s easy for grease to build up in the kitchen where you’re likely to be cooking fatty foods and using oils to lubricate oven trays. By pouring rubbing alcohol onto a cloth and running it over your kettle and the top of your cooker, you’ll soak up the grease. The alcohol dries in a minute or two so you don’t even need to rinse it off with water afterwards. If you’re an eco fan who disapproves of using product cleaners containing harsh chemicals, it’s worth considering using rubbing alcohol instead to prevent the release of the chemicals into the air. By swapping shop-bought cleaners for rubbing alcohol in the kitchen and baking soda and vinegar in the bathroom (to remove mineral deposits and toilet blockages), we can maintain our homes in a much more environmentally friendly manner.
Freshen up countertops
Granite, marble and stone surfaces can’t be treated with acidic cleaners as they leave marks which spoil their effect. You can however, use alcohol as a replacement (a quarter of a cup) and mix it with 2 cups of water, 3 drops of dishwasher soap and 5 or 6 drops of citrus oil. Citrus oils containing citric acid will damage your surfaces, so make sure that you only use non-acidic oils. To begin, give your countertops a quick once over with water and a damp cloth to help budge any surface stains before you rub the mixture onto the surface using a fresh cloth. You’ll notice the smell of the alcohol which can be offputting, but they’ll sparkle in no time.
Remove nail polish stains from flooring
If you’ve ever dropped nail polish onto wooden or carpet flooring and have tried lifting it with water to no effect, try using a small amount of rubbing alcohol and scrub it with a soft cloth. You can also use hair spray and non-acetone based nail polish removers but they won’t always work as well and you might find yourself eating into your hairspray supply quickly if you’re spraying onto a carpet. Carpets may be soft and spongy but there’s a downside since they will absorb the hairspray, meaning you’ll need to spray more to really coat and attack the stain.
Do you look into your bathroom mirror to find a streaky, blurred reflection staring back at you? Pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth and lightly buff the surface. Ordinary cleaners are marketed as suitable for mirrored surfaces but acidic and alkaline solutions can often be too strong to remove the marks without leaving behind a residue. Funnily enough, the technique also works where dust has accumulated, so there’s no need to clean differently if you’re dealing with a dusty as well as blurry mirror.
Soaking your garden tools
When plants rot and die, bacteria is produced which can be passed on to garden tools and infect other healthy plants if you use the same garden tools to prune them. You can prevent killing off your pride and joy by first washing them in warm, soapy water before soaking them in rubbing alcohol for 2-3 minutes. Finish up by pouring a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto a cloth and using it to wipe the tools, before leaving them to dry naturally.