Can rubbing alcohol go bad?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “can rubbing alcohol go bad?” and the shelf life of rubbing alcohol.

Can rubbing alcohol go bad?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can go bad. On the bottle or label of rubbing alcohol, the expiration date is usually printed.

The shelf life of rubbing alcohol is between two and three years. At this time, the alcohol starts to evaporate, and the antibacterial effects of the alcohol may begin to diminish.

To be on the safe side, always use rubbing alcohol that has not expired. In addition, you may disinfect your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub that includes at least 70% isopropanol or 60% ethanol, depending on your preference.

The most recent medical checkup took conducted on June 16, 2020, according to the most current records.

How to Use Rubbing Alcohol Safely and Effectively?

Use rubbing alcohol with care and adhere to the following safety precautions:

Keep rubbing alcohol from getting into your eyes or nose. – If this is the case, rinse the area with cold water for 15 minutes.

Alcohol for rubbing is a flammable substance that should be used with caution. Fire, sparks, electrical outlets, candles, and direct heat should all be avoided while working with this product.

Consult with a healthcare professional before using rubbing alcohol to clean serious wounds, burns, or animal bites and scratches.

Is it possible to store rubbing alcohol for a long time?

True, the expiration date is very important. In the process of oxidizing isopropyl alcohol or ordinary rubbing alcohol, the substance acetone is formed. Rubbing alcohol’s effectiveness tends to diminish gradually over time, and the expiration date shows when this happens. The good news is that alcohol is very affordable and widely accessible! The ability to rely on something that is not out of date is beneficial when it comes to staying healthy and avoiding costly medical expenditures.

Is it OK to use rubbing alcohol that has reached the end of its shelf life?

Most likely, expired rubbing alcohol has less isopropanol than non-expired rubbing alcohol, which means it is less effective. It’s possible that, despite the presence of very definitely existing isopropanol, it will be unsuccessful in fully eliminating germs and bacteria.

It is possible to clean the surfaces of your home with expired rubbing alcohol if you do not have any household disinfectant on hand at the time. But remember that this technique may not completely remove all germs from these surfaces, so proceed with caution.

Cleaning your hands with expired rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, may assist to remove some germs, but it is unlikely to be entirely successful.

Restriction: Do not come into contact with your face or other surfaces until your hands have been thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. You may also disinfect your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you want.

When rubbing alcohol is used for medical purposes, it may be dangerous if it has expired. It is conceivable that using outdated rubbing alcohol to wash the skin before an injection is hazardous to the patient’s health. Aside from that, treating a wound with old rubbing alcohol is not recommended either.

What variables may have an impact on the effectiveness of rubbing alcohol?

The longer rubbing alcohol is used, the less effective it gets in the long run, on average. The length of rubbing alcohol may be affected by a variety of factors.

The method in which it is sealed is significant. Taking the cap off your rubbing alcohol bottle causes the isopropanol in the bottle to evaporate far more rapidly than if the top is kept on.

This is referred to as the aspect ratio. Rubbing alcohol will evaporate more rapidly if more of its surface area is exposed to air — for example, if you pour it into a shallow dish rather than a larger container. It is possible to reduce the quantity of rubbing alcohol that comes into contact with the air by keeping it in a high-sided container.

Temperature. The rate of evaporation increases in direct proportion to the temperature. To keep evaporation to a minimum, keep your rubbing alcohol in a cool, dark place away from sunlight.

Methods for Using Rubbing Alcohol in Your Everyday Life

To begin, put one part rubbing alcohol and two parts water in a freezer baggie and place it in the freezer for several hours. It is possible to prevent water from freezing solid by adding rubbing alcohol to the water supply.

Sticky items may be removed from price tags that are tough to remove off merchandise.

In a well-ventilated location, use just a little amount and carefully wipe it off.

Pierced ears may benefit from this remedy since it speeds up the healing and cleansing process.

Apply a little quantity to bug bites and cold sores to relieve them.

If you want to clean your stove, spray some on it and scrape it about. It dries quickly.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “can rubbing alcohol go bad?” and the shelf life of rubbing alcohol.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.