When it comes to efficient cleaning practices, there’s a serious advantage to using multipurpose items. Common first aid supplies—and rubbing alcohol, in particular—can be used as excellent cleaning supplies around the house.
As an antiseptic, rubbing alcohol is an effective means of killing germs, but because of its unique chemical properties, using alcohol for cleaning requires that some care be taken.
Here are some cleaning and safety tips you should keep in mind.
1. Don’t mix rubbing alcohol with bleach
Rubbing alcohol and bleach should never be mixed together, as the resulting combination forms chloroform. According to the CDC, inhaling chloroform can result in severe problems in the central nervous system, kidneys, lungs, and skin.
Always use rubbing alcohol separately when disinfecting surfaces and using a clean cloth every time.
2. Don’t use rubbing alcohol near flames
Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, which means you need to be careful when using it around the house, particularly in the kitchen. Even when you’re not using it, store it away from any open flames or areas where smoke can seep through easily.
3. Use rubbing alcohol in a properly ventilated area
Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl alcohol, which can evaporate quickly, causing fumes in the air. These fumes are potentially harmful and can cause dizziness or nausea, among other things. When using rubbing alcohol, make sure to keep the area properly ventilated with windows open and exhaust fans working.
4. Don’t use rubbing alcohol on certain surfaces
As a super-charged disinfectant, rubbing alcohol removes E.coli bacteria and the influenza virus from countertops, toilets, and even phones. However, there are some surfaces that you definitely want to avoid cleaning with rubbing alcohol. These include:
- Finished surfaces:Rubbing alcohol contains ethanol, which is a solvent; using it on polished surfaces can liquefy the varnish and ruin the surface. To avoid this, don’t use rubbing alcohol on painted, varnished, or lacquered surfaces.
- Certain fabrics:Rubbing alcohol is an effective stain remover that can help get rid of difficult stains, like grease, ink, and grass. While your carpet might be able to sustain rubbing alcohol with ease, some fabrics are more sensitive. Avoid using rubbing alcohol on fabrics like rayon, wool, and silk.
Rubbing alcohol has many practical uses around the house. If you’re looking for high-quality disinfectants, choose from the wide range of products from Safety 1st PPE. We offer a wide selection of hand sanitizers and disinfectants for use in homes, including Medex instant hand sanitizer, Lysol disinfecting wipes 80ct, and 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.