will rubbing alcohol stain clothes

will rubbing alcohol stain clothes

Will Rubbing Alcohol Stain Clothes?

If you’re a person who loves to have a spotless wardrobe, then it’s worth knowing if rubbing alcohol can leave a mark on your clothes. Liquids such as rubbing alcohol can cause full-coverage stains or discoloration on fabrics such as wool, silk, and spandex.

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is a clear, colorless liquid made from isopropyl alcohol and used primarily as an antiseptic, a drying agent and a solvent. As an antiseptic, rubbing alcohol kills bacteria by chemically denaturing the cell membranes, stopping the cells from absorbing further energy.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Stain Clothes?

The answer to this question is yes, rubbing alcohol can indeed stain clothes. As a volatile substance, rubbing alcohol will evaporate quickly, but it has the potential to leave behind a faint yellowish hue upon contact with delicate fabrics. Though this discoloration is less noticeable on dark colored shirts, it can still be visible on light-colored or white clothing.

How to Remove Rubbing Alcohol Stains

If you’ve somehow gotten rubbing alcohol on your clothes, it’s best to act quickly to limit the damage. Taking action right away will increase your chances of successfully removing the stain.

  • Step 1: Blot up excess rubbing alcohol with a clean cotton cloth. Do not rub the stain; the more you rub, the harder the stain will cling.
  • Step 2: Rinse the fabric with cold water to dilute the alcohol. Pour water onto the back of the fabric to force the solution through to the front.
  • Step 3: Wash the garment as you normally would. It’s best to use a liquid laundry detergent for delicates.
  • Step 4: Let the clothing line dry or use a cool, low-heat setting with a dryer.


Rubbing alcohol is a great solution for removing dirt and bacteria from surfaces or fabrics, however if it isn’t used properly, it can stain clothes. The good news is, with some patience and knowledge, you can still get your clothes looking good as new.

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