Rubbing Alcohol Vs Vodka: Which Is Better?

The Truth About Ethanol vs Rubbing Alcohol For Cleaning Purposes


When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, many people often wonder if rubbing alcohol or vodka is the better option. Both of these liquids can effectively kill germs and bacteria, but there are some key differences between the two that make them better suited for certain tasks.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a common household disinfectant. It is typically made up of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water, making it a very effective germ killer. Rubbing alcohol is often used to clean wounds, disinfect surfaces, and even remove stubborn stains. One of the benefits of using rubbing alcohol is that it evaporates quickly, leaving no residue behind. This makes it a great option for cleaning electronics and other delicate items that may be damaged by other cleaning solutions.


Vodka, on the other hand, is a popular alcoholic beverage that is not typically used for cleaning or disinfecting. However, some people believe that vodka can be just as effective as rubbing alcohol when it comes to killing germs. While vodka does contain alcohol, it is typically only around 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). This means that it is not as effective at killing germs as rubbing alcohol, which is typically around 70% ABV.


Rubbing alcohol is best suited for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, as well as for use in first aid applications. It can be used to clean wounds, disinfect surfaces, and even remove ink and other stains. Vodka, on the other hand, is better suited for drinking than for cleaning. However, it can be used as a disinfectant in a pinch, and some people even use it as a natural deodorant or insect repellent.


Both rubbing alcohol and vodka can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities. However, rubbing alcohol is more toxic than vodka and should never be consumed. It is also important to avoid inhaling rubbing alcohol, as it can be harmful to your respiratory system. When using rubbing alcohol, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect your skin.


In conclusion, while both rubbing alcohol and vodka can be effective at killing germs and disinfecting surfaces, rubbing alcohol is the better option overall. It is more effective at killing germs, evaporates quickly, and is better suited for first aid applications. However, if you find yourself without rubbing alcohol, vodka can be used as a temporary substitute. Just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and avoid consuming it or inhaling it.