SHTF Uses For Rubbing Alcohol

Prepper SHTF Uses For Rubbing Alcohol

Although sometimes overlooked there are many SHTF uses for rubbing alcohol that could prove invaluable to preppers. Rubbing alcohol is a surgical spirit solution that can be purchased from online retailers like Amazon and from most pharmacies. Originally designed as a topical antiseptic and commonly used to treat minor wounds to prevent infection. It contains antimicrobial agents that kill and inhibit microorganisms. Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl which is a disinfecting and sterilizing agent. Nurses use it to clean skin of pathogens prior to giving an injection. Hospitals spray it on surfaces to kill infectious organisms and prevent the spread of disease. Because of this, it has lots of hidden prepper uses. Let’s take a look at what SHTF uses for rubbing alcohol you may not be aware of.


20 SHTF Uses For Rubbing Alcohol

#1 Cleaning and Disinfecting

Use rubbing alcohol to clean and disinfect worktops and other commonly touched, non-porous surfaces like toilets and basins. You can also use it to disinfect wounds and minor cuts and grazes.

#2 Sterilizing

Rubbing alcohol is perfect for sterilizing pretty much anything that needs sterilizing. For example Items like tweezers and thermometers.

#3 Hand Sanitizer

Using roughly three parts rubbing alcohol and one part Aloe Vera gel you can make your own DIY hand sanitizer. You can even add lavender oil to create a fragrance.

#4 Swimmer’s Ear

Swimming in unclean water may cause swimmers ear which is an inflammation of the middle ear. You can either add a few drops into the affected ear, the alcohol will help dry out the ear and prevent infection. Or you can put a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar on to some Q-tip cotton swabs and carefully moisten the external and middle ear.

#5 Fire Starter

By applying some rubbing alcohol to tinder or a piece of cloth you can use it as a fire accelerant.

#6 Deodorant

Whilst probably not a long-term solution if you don’t have anything available to you. Rubbing alcohol can suppress unwanted odors nicely. (remember to check for sensitivity first though)

#7 Remove Ticks

Ticks hate the taste of rubbing alcohol. Put a drop of rubbing alcohol on to the tick to make it loosen its grip. Then grab the tick as close to the skin as you can and pull it straight out. Wipe the area again with the alcohol to disinfect the wound.

#8 Treat and Prevent Athlete’s Foot

When suffering from athlete’s foot, you can use rubbing alcohol as a foot soak. You can also apply it directly to your feet by rubbing them with the alcohol once a day. It kills the fungus and prevents further secondary bacterial infections.

#9 Treat Nail Fungus

If you soak your hands or feet in a container of mixed water and rubbing alcohol. It will help get rid of bacterial growth under nails. Repeat the process on a daily basis until the fungus has disappeared.

#10 Head Lice

Killing head lice and nits with rubbing alcohol is an old home remedy. You can put some rubbing alcohol onto your comb and run it through your hair. Alternatively, bend over the tub or basin and carefully pour a little rubbing alcohol onto your hair. Then use your fingers to spread the rubbing alcohol around your scalp and throughout your hair. Only leave it on for a few minutes then rinse thoroughly.

#11 Make a Flexible Ice Pack

You can add one part rubbing alcohol with three parts water into a plastic zipper bag. The rubbing alcohol stops the bag from freezing solid. Instead, you have a more flexible slush pack that you can use as a cold compress. Keep in mind that alcohol is “wetter” than water, so more prone to leak so remember to double check your bag or container for alcohol-tightness. (Thanks, Mic – see comments section)

#12 Earwax Removal

If you have excessive earwax accumulation you can mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and vinegar. Put this solution onto a Q-tip cotton swab and carefully dab your ear with it. The solution will help to dissolve the wax.

#13 Treat Cold Sores

You can aid healing and dry up stubborn cold sores by dabbing a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol on it.

# 14 Clean Eyeglasses

Pop some rubbing alcohol onto a clean cloth and use it to clean your glasses. It will clean them and get rid of any germs.

# 15 Soothe Body Aches

Rubbing alcohol brings blood flow to the skin’s surface. So it can instantly cool and relaxes your muscles.

#16 Reduce Swelling

Rubbing alcohol can help soothe and reduce swelling from injuries such as a twisted ankle or similar minor injury. By applying some rubbing alcohol directly onto the area. It will help bring blood to the area and calm down the swelling.

#17 De-Frosting

Rubbing alcohol works great as a de-icer / defroster. Put some in a spray bottle and use it on windows, windscreens or anything else you want to defrost. It can also be pre-applied to prevent frost from forming.

#18 De-Greaser

Alcohol is a solvent so it will dissolve dirt and oil in the same way a degreaser does. It also dries almost instantly so has many uses as a type of solvent cleaner.

#19 Pest Control

As mentioned above rubbing alcohol can be used to treat head-lice. It can also be effective against other unwanted pests like bed bugs, gnats, and fruit flies. Mix a solution of a half to one cup of rubbing alcohol with one quart of water in a spray bottle and spray the pests when they appear.

#20 Clean Electronics

Using rubbing alcohol on electronic items like smartphones makes sense because is disinfects them and helps stop the spread of harmful bacteria.

SHTF Uses For Rubbing Alcohol Summary

You may or may not have been aware of the above SHTF uses for rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol makes a great addition to your emergency preparedness supplies. It won’t cost you a lot and a little goes a long way. Before using any of the suggestions above, remember to test for allergic reactions and carry out further research if needed. Please also be aware that Isopropyl alcohol can be harmful if it is swallowed or gets in the eyes. If you have any SHTF uses for rubbing alcohol that I have neglected to mention. You can use the comments section below to let me and Prepper Bits blog readers know.

Recommended Reading

Survival Cards Could Save Your Life

iphone Survival Apps

Swan 70% Rubbing Alcohol

Why Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) a Better Disinfectant than 99% Isopropanol, and What Is IPA Used For?



2 thoughts on “20 SHTF Uses For Rubbing Alcohol”

  1. Per #11, keep in mind that alcohol is “wetter” than water, so more prone to leak. After my wife’s surgery last year, we made some homemade icepacks with water and alcohol. They worked great and were infinitely reusable. The problem was the ice bag we used. It had a cap and rubber gasket that was fine for containing water. Alcohol, not so well. Check your container for alcohol-tightness.

    We were inadvertently disinfecting our freezer. That’s good too, I suppose. 🙂

    1. Hi Mic thanks for this. You make a good point, as soon as I get a minute I will update #11 to reflect this info. Thanks again.

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