Four Everyday Cleaning Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

23 May 2023
Est. Reading: 9 minutes
What's in This Guide?

Introduction

In this tutorial we show you how to clean four everyday personal items with rubbing alcohol. This truly is a safe and effective cleaning tutorial that works!

We'll explore four cleaning uses for rubbing alcohol that will keep your gadgets and eyewear clean and germ-free. As well as show you how to remove felt pen (Sharpie) marks from plastic surfaces using rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol (IPA).

How to Clean an iPhone or Android Device

Our smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives. We carry them everywhere we go, and we use them to communicate, navigate, work, and entertain ourselves. However, with all that use, our phones can accumulate a lot of dirt, grime, and bacteria. One effective way to clean your iPhone or Android device is to use rubbing alcohol. In this cleaning tutorial, we'll show you how to do it safely and effectively.

What You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol (IPA)
  • Spray bottle
  • Natural solvent
  • Microfibre Cloth
  • ShopVac detailing brushes and ShopVac vaccum cleaner or similar

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step One: Turn it off
Before you start cleaning your phone, turn it off and unplug it from any power source. This will prevent any damage to your phone or injury to yourself.

Step Two: Fold the microfibre cloth
To get the most out of microfibre cleaning, use only one section at a time. Fold the towel in half (you get 4 cleaning sides) i.e., 2 sections on each side of the cloth.

Step Three: Dampen the microfibre cloth
Dampen the microfiber cloth with one or two spritzes of rubbing alcohol. Don't soak the cloth, just make it damp enough to clean your phone. It's important to use a microfiber cloth because it's gentle and won't scratch your phone's surface.

IMPORTANT: Do not spray directly on your phone as it will causes damage!

Step Four: Wipe down the phone
Using the dampened cloth, gently wipe down the exterior of your phone, including the screen, back, sides, and buttons. Wipe in a circular motion and avoid using too much pressure, as this can cause damage to your phone. Make sure you don't get any liquid into the ports or buttons of your phone.

Step Five: Dry and buff
Once you've wiped down your phone, use a clean, dry microfiber side to buff it dry. Very quickly this should leave the phone with a nice sheen without any streaks. A simple method to get your phone clean.

Step Six: Clean the speaker area, ports, and buttons
Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the ports, speaker area and buttons on your phone. We use the ShopVac detailing brushes, to gently clean around the ports and buttons. We use this in conjunction with a wall mount ShopVac (but any similar vacuum cleaner will do). Attach the stiff brush attachment to the ShopVac and use the brush to loosen the debris and vacuum it out. Your aim is to remove as much as the dry soil as possible.

Remove the brush from the vacuum. Apply the slightest amount of natural solvent to the brush attachment and lightly agitate the gunk that is left in the hard to get areas. Be careful not to get any liquid inside the ports or buttons, as this can cause damage to your phone. You do not want to flood the areas with solvent, you just want to use a small amount to loosen the debris. Work gently, the brush does most of the work.

Reattach the brush back to the ShopVac and vacuum out the loose debris.

TIP: Try to keep the phone on a flat angle (parallel to the floor), so that the solvent does not seep into the phone.

Step Seven: Wipe down the phone once again
Do one more wipe down using a dampened cloth to remove any debris that may have been left by the solvent. Spray the rubbing alcohol on to the microfibre cloth and gently wipe the phone down.

Step Eight: Let it dry
After cleaning the ports and buttons, use the microfibre cloth to buff the phone. Let your phone dry for a few minutes before turning it back on.

Tips and Reminders for Cleaning Your Phone

Cleaning your phone with rubbing alcohol is an easy and effective way to get rid of dirt, grime, and bacteria. However, it's important to do it safely and correctly. By following these tips and reminders, you can clean your phone safely and effectively, and keep it looking and functioning like new:

  • When dampening the microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol, don't soak it. Just make it damp enough to clean your phone.
  • When wiping down your phone, make sure you don't get any liquid into the ports or buttons of your phone. This can cause damage or malfunction.
  • Use a light touch when cleaning your phone, and don't apply too much pressure. This can cause scratches or other damage to your phone.
  • After cleaning your phone, let it air dry for a few minutes. Don't use a hairdryer or any other heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can damage your phone.
  • It's a good idea to clean your phone regularly. Aim to clean your phone at least once a week or whenever you notice it's dirty.

How to Clean EarPods and Earphones

Keeping your EarPods and earphones clean is important for maintaining their performance and prolonging their lifespan. Over time, earwax, oils, and dirt can accumulate in the ear tips and on the surface of the earbuds, which can reduce their sound quality and even cause damage. Thankfully, cleaning your earbuds and earphones is a simple task that can be done using rubbing alcohol.

In this section, we’ll go over how to clean your earbuds and earphones using rubbing alcohol.

What You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol (IPA)
  • Spray bottle
  • Natural solvent
  • Plastic or wooden toothpick
  • Microfibre cloth
  • ShopVac detailing brushes and ShopVac vacuum cleaner (or similar)

Step-By-Step Instructions - EarPods and Charging Case

Step One: Remove the heavy debris from the EarPods case and EarPods
Use a simple plastic or wooden toothpick to gently scrape loose the heavy debris without causing any damage. The aim is to break up the embedded debris, so that the solvent can get into the hard-to-reach areas to do its job.

Step Two: Clean the EarPods with rubbing alcohol
Spray a very small amount of rubbing alcohol on to a clean side of the microfibre cloth. Using the slightly dampened microfiber cloth, wipe down the EarPods to remove any dirt, earwax, or other debris.

Be sure to pay special attention to any areas where earwax or dirt may have accumulated, such as the ear tips, grills, and seams.

The alcohol will evaporate off and not cause any damage to the interior of your EarPods.

Step Three: 3. Clean the EarPods case
Using the microfiber cloth, wipe down the EarPods case to remove any dirt, earwax, or other debris. For particularly stubborn grime and grease in the inside of the case, use a natural solvent to lift it off. Be careful not to get any rubbing alcohol on the EarPods’ speaker grill or the EarPods case's charging port, apply it sparingly! Apply a little amount on the tip of a plastic toothpick and apply to the required area. Allow it to sit and work. Remove the residue with a fresh section of the microfibre cloth.

Step Four: Remove the debris
Use the ShopVac detailing brush and ShopVac to loosen the debris and vacuum it out (or a similar vacuum). Wipe and buff with the microfibre cloth.

Step-By-Step Instructions - Standard Earphones

Step One: Remove the heavy debris from the earphones
Take the toothpick and gently go around the seams of the speakers on your earphones to loosen the wax and debris. The aim is to pick off the debris, so that the solvent can get into the areas to do its job.

Step Two: Clean the earphones
Spray a very small amount of rubbing alcohol on to a clean side of the microfibre cloth. You want to avoid dripping alcohol inside the earbuds or earphones. Gently wipe down the earphones, including the cables. A simple technique is to gently draw the cable through the dampened cloth using a little bit of pressure. You do not want to strain the cable! Continue this technique to work the debris out.

Step Three: Dry the earphones
Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the earphones to remove any excess moisture.

Tips and Reminders for Cleaning Your EarPods and Earphones

In conclusion, cleaning your earbuds and earphones using rubbing alcohol is a quick and easy way to maintain their performance and extend their lifespan. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can keep your earbuds and earphones clean and functioning properly for years to come.

  • Avoid using water to clean your EarPods, EarPods case, and earphones as water can damage the electronic components. Instead, use rubbing alcohol or specialised cleaning products designed for electronic devices.
  • When cleaning your EarPods, EarPods case, and earphones, be gentle and avoid using too much force. This will help prevent any damage to the device and ensure that it continues to work correctly.
  • Do not apply rubbing alcohol or any other cleaning solution directly to the device's speaker grill or charging port. Instead, apply the solution to a microfiber cloth to clean the device.
  • After cleaning, allow the device to dry completely before reassembling and using it again. This will prevent any moisture from damaging the device's electronic components.
  • Clean your EarPods, EarPods case, and earphones regularly, especially if you use them daily. Regular cleaning will help maintain their sound quality and prolong their lifespan.
  • Store your EarPods, EarPods case, and earphones in a clean, dry place when not in use. This will help prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the device and reduce the need for frequent cleaning.

How to Clean Ray-Bans

If you own a pair of Ray-Bans, you know how important it is to keep them clean. Not only does a smudged or dirty lens affect your vision, but it also ruins the aesthetic of your sunglasses. To keep your Ray-Bans looking their best, it's important to clean them regularly. We show you a simple cleaning technique on how to clean your Ray-Bans effectively and efficiently. Please note that this is a cleaning guideline and not a restoration tutorial.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol (IPA)
  • Microfibre Cloth

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step One: Spray the rubbing alcohol on to a microfibre cloth
Take a clean and dry microfibre cloth and fold it into four sides. Instead of spraying your rubbing alcohol directly on to the Ray-Bans, you will want to spritz a little mist over one side of your microfibre cloth.

Step Two: Wipe the lenses
Gently wipe the lenses of your Ray-Bans with the damp microfiber cloth. Make sure to clean both sides of the lenses and pay extra attention to any areas with smudges or fingerprints. Pinch the glasses between the cloth and use a circular motion to remove any dirt or debris. Do not apply too much pressure, you want to work nice and light to loosen the debris and grease off the lenses.

Step Three: Clean the frame
Once you have cleaned the lenses, use the same method to clean the frame of your sunglasses. Pay special attention to the nose pads, as they tend to collect sweat and oil.

Step Four: Polish the lenses
Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to buff dry your Ray-Bans after cleaning them. Polish the lenses and wipe the frame with a dry microfiber cloth to eliminate any smudges or streaks after cleaning. Use a gentle circular motion to buff the lenses until they are clear and shiny.

Tips and Reminders for Cleaning Your Ray-Bans

By following these tips and reminders, you can keep your Ray-Bans looking like new for years to come.

  • Use a microfiber cloth to clean your Ray-Bans. These cloths are gentle on the lenses and are highly effective at removing dirt and fingerprints.
  • Store your Ray-Bans in a protective case when not in use to prevent scratches and other damage.
  • Avoid using household cleaners, solvents, or abrasive materials to clean your Ray-Bans as they can damage the lenses and frames.

How to Clean Felt Pen/Sharpie from Plastic Surfaces

Another outstanding use for rubbing alcohol is using it to lift felt pen marks off plastic surfaces and countertops. Read on to find out more.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol (IPA)
  • Microfibre Cloth

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One: Spray on to a microfibre cloth
Spray some rubbing alcohol on to a corner of your microfibre cloth.

Step Two: Wipe the felt tip marks
Gently wipe the felt pen marks in a circular motion. The alcohol will break down and dissolve the marks, which can then be wiped away.

Step Three: Repeat as necessary
You may need to wipe down the mark several times before lifting off the stain.

Step Four: Dry with a clean cloth
Switch to a clean, dry side of your microfiber cloth to buff dry the surface after cleaning.

Conclusion

Rubbing alcohol is a powerful cleaning agent that can be used to clean a wide range of surfaces and items, including electronic gadgets and eyewear. By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can keep your Ray-Bans, iPhone, EarPods, and earphones clean and germ-free.

Remember to always use rubbing alcohol in a well-ventilated area and avoid using it on sensitive surfaces like leather or suede.

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