Does Rubbing Alcohol Stain Clothes? 7 ways to Avoid Them?

Does rubbing alcohol leave stains? Will rubbing alcohol ruin a stain? When it comes to removing tough stains from fabrics, Rubbing Alcohol comes in as a handy solution. But let us tell you, there can come instances when Rubbing Alcohol will leave back stains of its own.

Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol isn’t just pure Alcohol, but it also contains supporting ingredients like Dye.

Thus, after removing tough stains from clothes, Isopropyl can sometimes leave Dye stains back.

Also, because Isopropyl acts as a mild bleaching agent on stains, you may notice fading marks/ stains on the treated fabric.

Though, even when Rubbing Alcohol leaves stains on cloth, it doesn’t mean you cannot use it for the purpose. The only trick is to use it in the right quantity, proportion, fabric, and method.

And if still, it stains your clothes, there are multiple ways to get done with that situation as well. Here’s some light upon the concern.

Will Rubbing Alcohol damage clothes?

Rubbing Alcohol, being a strong Chemicalized solution, can damage fabrics.

For example, fabric categories including acetate, triacetate, acrylic, modacrylic aren’t meant for treating with Rubbing Alcohol, Bleach, or any such strong solutions.

Along with them, even colorful fabrics, especially the ones with unnatural shades, may bleed from the entire section where Rubbing Alcohol was used.

How do you use Rubbing Alcohol to remove stains?

Rubbing Alcohol can tackle a number of stains including,

Oil, Permanent Marker, Gravy, Grease, Ink Spills, Grass stains, Fabric Dye, etc.

But do you know the correct way of using Rubbing Alcohol to remove stains? Here we have a step-by-step guide for the same:

Note: Even before you begin the process, remember we only need to target the stain and not the entire fabric.

  1. Firstly, moisten a Cotton ball and dab it over the stain to loosen it a little bit. Do not go overboard with the same.
  2. Now take a paper towel, fold it twice or thrice and then place it under the stained portion of your fabric.
  3. Take another cotton ball, dip it in 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, and dab it over the stain.
  4. Further, remove the paper towel from underneath (considering it is now moist), turn the fabric upside down, and settle a new/ dry paper towel like before.
  5. Again, take the Alcohol dipped cotton ball and dab it over the stain from another side.
  6. Now take some liquid detergent (appropriate for the fabric), and rub it lightly over the stained/ treated section. You can either use a cloth or your fingers for the same. Within a minute or two, you can see the stain disappearing.
  7. Further, wash the dedicated area (the one you were treating) under cold running water. Ensure all the Rubbing Alcohol and detergent are now washed off.
  8. In the end, wash the entire garment (following the instruction for the fabric) and let it machine or sundry. You will no longer see any stain over the fabric now.

The procedure applies to everything, including clothes, couch fabric, carpet, or other common fabrics at home. However, when it comes to carpets and couches, you can skip the last step.

How to remove Rubbing Alcohol stains?

It is no surprise if Rubbing Alcohol leaves stains behind. Especially when you use it over Leather, wood, treated surfaces, and certain fabrics, the risk of stains becomes so common.

However, the good news is, that treating Rubbing Alcohol stains is no rocket science. When Isopropyl stains your cloth, the dye content in the solvent transfers over the fabric. And while the stain (Dye) is still loose, removing it becomes easy. 

Here’s the step-by-step process for removing Rubbing Alcohol stains from fabric:

Things you will need

A soft brush, A soft cotton cloth, A small glass bowl, Coldwater, and Rit dye remover (for white fabrics)/ Rit dye fixative (for colorful fabrics).

  • Take a glass bowl and mix water and dye fixative or remover, respectively. Make sure you stir it well until both the liquids have blended together.
  • Now take the same paste and spread it over the Rubbing Alcohol stain. 
  • After 3 to 5 minutes, take a soft brush and rub it over the stain.
  • Once you see the stain disappearing, wash the cloth with suitable detergent, rinse under cold water and let it dry.

TIP: Let the cloth air dry, and with that, you can notice whether the stain is fading or if it persists. However, when you heat dry it in your washing machine, there are no ways you can monitor it. And once the stain dries under the heat of the washing machine and becomes permanent, there are no ways for removing it any further. 

For Removing Rubbing Alcohol stain from white clothes,

  • Prepare a mixture of Bleach and Water and spread it evenly over the Alcohol stain.
  • Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and once you notice the stain vanish, wash and rinse the cloth. 

How to remove Isopropyl Alcohol stain from Leather?

Remember, Leather is one of those fabrics which isn’t meant to be treated with Rubbing Alcohol or any such chemicalized solvents. If used, Alcohol will dry out and damage leather seats.

It will further leach out the natural oil from Leather, damaging the entire product.

However, if you have accidentally spilled Rubbing Alcohol or any of its substitute products over your leather shoes, jacket, etc., here’s how you can deal with it. 

  • Use a leather cleaner.

A Leather cleaner from trusting suppliers will clean any stain, build-up, and dirt from the leather product. However, if the Rubbing Alcohol stain was sitting there for long, it might leave some discoloration behind. 

  • Use a Leather Conditioner

Leather Conditioner is far more effective on Alcohol stains than Leather cleaner. A conditioner will not only fight stain but will also fix discoloration and fiber damage on the product.

  • Use oils that are safe for Leather

The biggest disadvantage of Rubbing Alcohol on Leather is that it dries out the natural oil from the fabric. However, if the stain is new, you can treat it with some safe oil. However, this won’t repair the damage but will surely slow down the process. 

How to remove Rubbing Alcohol stains from Wood furniture?

Like Leather, Wood well isn’t the surface where one must use Rubbing Alcohol.

When Rubbing Alcohol interacts with wood, it liquefies its finishes, including stains and varnishes.

Even a light splatter of Rubbing Alcohol can instantly hamper wood’s surface. However, the process is resolvable, and we have got the right solution for the same. 

Things you will need

A soft cotton/ microfibre cloth and Cooking/ other traditional Oil

  1. Take a soft cloth and drop a few drops of oil into it. 
  2. Now gently rub the oil-dipped cloth over the Alcohol stain, nearly for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  3. Once the stain vanishes out, take a dry cloth and wipe off all the oil from the surface. 
  4. If oil does not work for you, then consider switching to furniture polish.

Can I put Rubbing Alcohol in my washing machine?

No. Rubbing Alcohol, though is meant for spot cleaning and disinfecting, it is not recommended to use inside any machine. A large amount of Rubbing Alcohol solution can prove dangerous for your machine parts.

And also, because the washing machine is electronic, you cannot put any flammable solvent (like Rubbing Alcohol) inside.

Instead, if you want to clean your washing machine from inside, either uses a light scrubber with your regular detergent or use Chlorine bleach.

Wrapping up…

Rubbing Alcohol is an effective stain remover, though, at times, it may also leave its own stain behind.

However, instead of panicking, use the solutions and remedies explained above in any such condition.

All the solutions explained above are tried, tested, and proven for the given circumstance.

Though every fabric, wood, or leather product is different, we recommend you behave extra cautious and mindful while treating them.

Also, treating a fresh Alcohol stain is easier and more convenient, while an old stain might behave permanently regardless of whichever remedy you try.

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