The Usefulness of Rubbing Alcohol

One of the many things you should have in your survival pack is rubbing alcohol. It’s one of the most multifunctional items you’ll have in you bag. The applications of rubbing alcohol range from fairly obvious to complete unconsidered. In this article I’d like to go over a few of the many uses of rubbing alcohol in a survival situation. The Usefulness of Rubbing Alcohol:


This is, of course, the most relevant and obvious use for rubbing alcohol. It can be used to disinfect cuts, scraps, or really any type of wound. It is the most effective way to clean a wound completely and be sure you’ve killed all the germs that can cause infection and illness. Though keep in mind, I wouldn’t count on it being able to completely disinfect a zombie bite. It may look clean but the zombie virus can likely, as it’s nature suggests, survive a little alcohol.

Fire Fuel

Rubbing alcohol is extremely flammable. While some drinking alcohol may also be strong enough to light a fire, many are not. Rubbing alcohol is plenty flammable and can be used to light a fire just like lighter fluid. Just remember to use caution and be careful not to light yourself on fire by accident.


Alcohol of any kind will be a highly sought after item. It can likely be traded to any other survivor for food, water, or any other supplies you may need more. It will depend who you are trading with as to what type of alcohol, rubbing or drinking, will be more valuable.

Bug Bites

You may not be able to get your hands on proper bug replant and if that’s the case you will likely end up with at least a few irritating bug bites. Especially if your in the wilderness. Dabbing a small amount of rubbing alcohol on bug bites can relieve itching and swelling.

Muscle Pain

Rubbing alcohol is called rubbing alcohol for a good reason. Rubbing it over small areas can relieve minor muscle and joint pains. When I was a child, my mother often rubbed my legs with rubbing alcohol when they would ache. The alcohol cools the skin and releases tension in the muscles and joints.


One thing that is unfortunately certain about the apocalypse is that your opportunities to bath properly will be few and far between. You will get dirty, you will get sweaty, and you will stink. Now this may not seem like a really big concern, but it will be fairly big annoyance. There will be enough stinky things around clogging your nose with putrid stench that when you get a moment of fresh air, the last thing you want to realize is that you don’t smell any better than the rest of the world. Rubbing a small amount of rubbing alcohol under your arms can reduce sweating slightly and act as an effective deodorant.

These are just some of the many uses of rubbing alcohol. I know many people would rather opt for having drinking alcohol in their bags but, trust me when I say, rubbing alcohol is much more useful. As I mentioned before, many drinking alcohols aren’t even strong enough to be flammable. They are not as effective as disinfectants, and they also present the temptation to relax and have a drink. Which in a high stakes, constant alert, apocalyptic survival situation is just not a good idea. Though they may present a more desirable bartering item, rubbing alcohol is a more practical survival item. Be aware also, you CAN NOT drink rubbing alcohol. Most common types of rubbing alcohol contain Methanol which if consumed can be extremely toxic. You could easily kill yourself trying to drink even a little amount of rubbing alcohol. Nevertheless, it is a useful and valuable item that I would personally suggest every survivor have at least a small bottle of in their pack.

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Written by Joanna

#LiteraryPsychopath, strange enthusiast, aspiring individual, author of A BLOODY ROAD TO NOWHERE AND TALES FROM THE APOCALYPSE, available on Amazon.

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