Some Practical Benefits of Rubbing Alcohol

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Some Practical Benefits of Rubbing Alcohol

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Rubbing alcohol is used mainly as an antiseptic or as fuel for an improvised rocket stove or heater.  However, there are a few other benefits that rubbing alcohol can provide that are worth mentioning.  Let’s take a look at a few examples, and you’ll see why this is something that you want to stock up on and have on hand during a crisis.

Cleaning Mirrors

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Whether you need to clean the mirrors on your vehicle or one that you are using as a signal device, isopropyl alcohol is one of the best compounds to use next to ammonia.  Pour a little bit on a damp cloth and wipe down the mirror.  You may have to rub out some spots of gunk or grime in order to prevent streaking, but after a good cleaning and rinse, your mirrors will reflect as good as new.

Improvised Ice Pack

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A lot of people don’t know that you can make a rudimentary and temporary ice pack out of a plastic zipper bag and some rubbing alcohol.  All you need to do is add 3 parts of water and 1 part of alcohol to the bag, give it a good shake, and store it in a freezer.  The alcohol prevents the water from freezing, and you’ll end up with a slushy ice pack that can be used to help control inflammation almost anywhere on the body.  Just be careful that the bag is completely sealed and doesn’t have holes that can cause leaks once the liquid inside starts to melt, particularly if you’re using it near the eyes.

Frost Removal

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There are mixed opinions about the practicality of using rubbing alcohol to treat frosty windows, but it does work.  The question is whether or not it’s worth using so much alcohol and water instead of just scraping off the frost yourself.  If you decide to use this method, use 1 part alcohol for every 3 parts of water and either pour or rub the liquid over the windows.  The frost should start to melt immediately.  This is another reason why you may want to put a couple of bottles of rubbing alcohol in your vehicle survival kit.

Adhesive Remover

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I find that a lot of people associate nail polish remover with adhesive residue.  However, rubbing alcohol can be just as effective and less-expensive as well.  Pour a little of the alcohol onto a piece of cotton or fabric and place it over the affected area.  Allow the liquid to soak through the material for a couple of minutes, and before you know it, labels, or other items with adhesive backing should peel right off.  You can continue to soak and buff out the sticky gunk until it simply dissolves away. 

Garden Tool Cleaner

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This is one trick that I never even thought of before, but some people clean their garden tools with an alcohol/water mixture after each use.  Since rubbing alcohol is a fantastic antiseptic, this is a great way to kill of any bacteria, small bugs or microorganisms that may be lurking on your spades, shovels and trowels.  This is an ingenious way to prevent the spread of contaminants as well as disease from one group of plants or vegetables to another.

Finally, don’t forget that rubbing alcohol can also be used as a general de-greasing agent, as it is a powerful solvent that can cut through all kinds of gunk and grime.  The only drawback is you may need a lot of it, particularly if you are doing more than a little bit of spot cleaning.  However, it’s a good way to clean tools, small components and even your hands after making repairs or handling grimy items.

Can you think of any other uses for rubbing alcohol?  Chances are that it won’t take a lot of ingenuity to come up with some ideas of your own, and this versatility underscores why you may want to think about incorporating a good amount of rubbing alcohol into your stockpile.