Use Of Rubbing Alcohol as Bleaching Agent

Rubbing alcohol, while effective at removing certain stains from clothing, can also leave behind stains of its own. These stains can be attributed to the alcohol’s forming ingredients, such as dyes.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Bleach Clothes?

Rubbing alcohol, like other types of alcohol, contains a mild bleaching agent, which may be visible if you use it on your clothes.

It is an excellent stain remover because it aids in the removal of stains such as paint, ink, or tree sap. There are two potential effects of rubbing alcohol on fabric that you should be aware of. One is a dye film, and the other is the result of the mild bleaching agent in the alcohol and is often referred to as rubbing alcohol stains.

The good news is that both stains are easily removed. Using the appropriate steps, you can remove the dye stain and bleach marks.

How to Get Rid of Rubbing Alcohol Stains on Clothes?

There are numerous methods and cleaners available for removing stubborn stains from clothing, carpet, and furniture. However, removing every last trace of a stain does not necessitate an arsenal of chemical cleaners and multiple washing machine cycles. Most stains can be removed in a matter of minutes with a small amount of alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol can cause stains for two reasons. To begin, rubbing alcohol is not pure isopropyl alcohol; it contains other ingredients, including dye, which can stain fabric. Another way that rubbing alcohol, like other types of alcohol such as vodka or isopropyl alcohol, can leave stains is that it acts as a mild bleach.

The good news is that the rubbing alcohol stains will disappear. Because the dye was only recently transferred to the fabric, it is loose and easy to remove. Here’s a step-by-step guide with useful products to help you do an effective and safe job.

Before starting, you need dye fixative for colored fabrics and dye remover for whites, towels made of soft cotton, water, and a gentle brush.


In a small bowl or cup, combine some water and the dye fixative or remover, and stir to make a paste. After that figure out the stain and apply the prepared paste to it; let it sit for a few minutes.

Then scrub the stain softly with the help of a delicate cloth, towel, or brush. Once you are certain that the stain has been removed, wash and rinse the cloth as usual before allowing it to air dry.

If you dry the cloth and the stain does not come out completely, it will set in and become permanent. As a result, it is best to let it air dry so that if any missed stains become visible, you can still repeat the procedure to remove them.

When dealing with white clothing, soak the stained area in a bleach-water mixture. After the stain has been removed, wash and rinse thoroughly.

For new stains, use some elbow grease and a good stain remover. After successfully removing the juice, oil, or ink stains with rubbing alcohol, you may notice a film or bleaching. The sooner you take care of these new stains, the better.

What Precautions Should Be Taken While Using Rubbing Alcohol?

Though rubbing alcohol is exceptional in chemical properties, extra care should be taken while using it. It can pose some serious threats to the environment as well as to human beings.

1. Never combine rubbing alcohol and bleach.

Some weird combinations should be avoided at all costs.  One such combination is bleach and alcohol. Chloroform is produced when rubbing alcohol is combined with bleach which emits toxic and corrosive fumes.

Inhalation of chloroform can lead to serious problems with the CNS, liver, and kidneys, as well as irritate the skin, eyes, and cause nausea and dizziness.

2. Avoid using rubbing alcohol while smoking.

Rubbing alcohol can easily catch fire because of the obvious alcohol content. So make sure to avoid using it near smoke or any open flames in your home. Also, before using any alcohol-based cleaning products, be careful to extinguish all of your candles.

3. Avoid using rubbing alcohol in a poorly ventilated area.

As isopropyl alcohol is a volatile chemical, it can emit potentially harmful fumes. Whenever you clean your home with alcohol, make sure to keep your windows open to keep the area as well-ventilated as possible.

4. Do not use on certain wounds or skin conditions.

Rubbing alcohol is antiseptic, so doctors commonly sterilize medical equipment by using isopropyl alcohol. You can also use it to sanitize your tweezers before removing a splinter or cleaning a small cut on your skin.

However, the use of isopropyl alcohol or covering a large area of your skin with it in large concentration can result in serious skin damage.

Rubbing alcohol should not be preferred to clean wounds or other more serious injuries as it may cause further skin irritation and stop the healing process. Avoid using it on sensitive skin, such as sunburnt, dry, or otherwise irritated skin.

Is it possible to bleach black clothes with isopropyl alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is the most effective way to remove bleach stains from black clothing. When bleach comes into contact with black clothing, it is by far the most affected, so you will need to use a strong product to reverse this damage.

What can I use instead of rubbing alcohol?

When it comes to cleaning household surfaces and disinfecting your skin, the classic soap and water combination, as well as vinegar, are among the best substitutes for rubbing alcohol. Vinegar is a tried-and-true treatment for eczema-related dryness and itching, as well as cleaning out infected ears.


In context to other strong bleaching agents, rubbing alcohol is not as effective. However, it can be efficiently used to bleach clothes.

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