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Rubbing Alcohol Mistakes to Avoid

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6 Rubbing Alcohol Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to effective natural cleaners, nothing quite beats the disinfecting power of rubbing alcohol. However, even though it does an amazing job, there are certain rubbing alcohol mistakes you want to avoid in order to protect your health and the items you’re cleaning.

If you’re ready to break out the rubbing alcohol to do some cleaning around your house, make sure you first check out these rubbing alcohol mistakes to avoid!

The Benefits of Cleaning With Rubbing Alcohol

The major benefit of cleaning with rubbing alcohol is its disinfecting ability. It’s the key ingredient in these DIY disinfecting wipes because it can kill a broad range of germs, bacteria, and viruses, such as E.coli bacteria and the flu virus.

Rubbing alcohol is also a volatile chemical, which means it dries really fast. That’s the main reason why you get a streak-free shine when you clean your floors with this DIY laminate floor cleaner.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Floor Cleaner for Every Type of Floor in Your Home

Best of all, not only is rubbing alcohol effective, but it’s also fairly cheap. You can find bottles of rubbing alcohol just about everywhere for only a few dollars each.

Things to Never Do With Rubbing Alcohol

While there’s so much you can do with rubbing alcohol around the house, there are also certain things you should never do with it. To ensure you don’t accidentally harm yourself or things around your house, make sure you avoid these rubbing alcohol mistakes.

1. Never Mix With Bleach

There are particular cleaning ingredients that should never mix together because they can combine to make very dangerous chemicals. Rubbing alcohol and bleach are two such ingredients you should completely avoid mixing at all times.

Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl and ethanol. When these two chemicals mix with bleach, they create chloroform. If you watch any type of mystery shows on TV, you’re probably familiar with chloroform’s ability to knock someone unconscious.

Chloroform can also emit corrosive fumes, and inhaling it can cause serious issues with the central nervous system, damage the liver and kidneys, cause nausea and dizziness, and irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. In a high enough concentration, it can even be deadly.

Related: Why You Should Never Kill Mold With Bleach

2. Don’t Use on Certain Surfaces

Just like there are certain things you should never clean with vinegar, there are also certain items around your house you should never use rubbing alcohol on.

Since the ethanol in rubbing alcohol is a solvent, it can literally turn varnishes and finishes into liquid. Obviously, this can do major damage to your furniture and other surfaces in your home.

That’s why you should avoid using rubbing alcohol on treated wood and surfaces that have been painted, varnished, shellacked, or lacquered.

If you’re looking for a natural way to clean wood, this homemade furniture polish is a much better option. It’s easy to make, has a rich scent, and leaves behind a warm glow you’ll absolutely love.

Plus, while rubbing alcohol is great at removing permanent marker stains from clothing, it’s too strong to use on synthetic or delicate fabrics, such as acetate, rayon, wool, and silk.

That’s why I prefer to use this DIY stain remover for clothes. I’ve yet to encounter a stain this solution can’t remove. You really have to see the results to believe them!

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Stain Remover Bars

3. Never Use in an Unventilated Area

Since rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, it can create potentially harmful fumes. When you’re cleaning your home with it, always make sure you keep the area where you’re working as well-ventilated as possible. The easiest way to do this is to simply open some windows while you’re cleaning.

Related: 10 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants That Naturally Clean the Air

4. Don’t Use Near Flames

As is obvious by the name, rubbing alcohol contains alcohol, which is highly flammable. This means it’s very important to avoid using it around open flames or anything that’s smoking.

So before you start using your homemade cleaning products that contain rubbing alcohol, make sure you blow out any candles you’re burning.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Candles (That Smell Amazing!)

5. Don’t Use on Certain Wounds

Most people keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol around the house to use as a disinfectant. While it’s certainly fine to use it to sanitize tweezers before removing a splinter or to clean a small cut, you should never use large amounts to cover a lot of skin.

Not only can rubbing alcohol dry out and damage skin, it can delay the healing of wounds and other serious injuries, which can lead to even more skin irritation. Plus, you should never use rubbing alcohol on dry, sunburned, or otherwise irritated skin.

Related: How to Make a DIY After-Sun Spray With Essential Oils for Sunburns

6. Never Ingest It

At one time, parents used to apply rubbing alcohol to a child’s skin because it was thought to lower a fever. Not only is this NOT TRUE, but it’s also potentially dangerous because the skin can absorb the alcohol and become toxic. Adults can also have heart and neurological problems from applying alcohol-soaked towels to bare skin.

In addition to being bad when applied to the skin, even a small amount of rubbing alcohol can be toxic if it’s ingested. This is why you should always keep rubbing alcohol out of the reach of children.

It’s also a good idea to leave rubbing alcohol in its original bottle instead of transferring it to a glass jar or another container. This way, it’s never mistaken for water or any other liquid.

Dangerous Rubbing Alcohol Mistakes to Avoid

Rubbing alcohol is a great tool to keep around your house for disinfecting and natural cleaning. And now that you know the rubbing alcohol mistakes to avoid, you can be sure you’re using it safely and effectively each and every time you clean.

More Helpful Natural Cleaning Tips

Did you find this guide on things to never do with rubbing alcohol helpful? Are you interested in learning even more about natural cleaning? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:

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Picture of bottle of rubbing alcohol with text overlay Rubbing Alcohol Mistakes to Avoid
Picture of bottle of rubbing alcohol and person cleaning door handle with spray bottle and paper towel with text overlay 6 Things You Should Never Do With Rubbing Alcohol