So many of us also turn to rubbing alcohol as the next best alternative since you don't always have access to soap and water, especially when you’re out and about. Sanitizing and disinfecting are very important to reduce the risks of contamination and getting sick. To do this effectively, you need to clean your hands and the surfaces you usually touch as often as possible. However,
Especially now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it wouldn’t hurt to take extra steps to stay safe and free from the virus. In this article, we will tackle the important points to consider when choosing rubbing alcohol, along with our top 10 picks on the best products available online. We also asked for some tips and insights from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
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Rubbing alcohol is not limited to sanitizing one’s hands. It’s a very powerful disinfectant that can kill different types of germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that they have a wide variety of uses. Here are some of the most common applications of rubbing alcohols.
It is safe to say that you’ll never miss a bottle of alcohol when you’re in a hospital or clinic. They are commonly used in sterilizing thermometers, stethoscopes, and other non-critical medical equipment. It is also being used to disinfect the skin prior to injections and punctures.
Aside from this, rubbing alcohol is a first-aid kit essential. They are used to temporarily treat minor wounds when there is no accessible soap and water. However, you should apply it moderately as it contains chemicals that can burn the skin. It is also not advisable to apply on cuts and open wounds as it can slow down tissue regeneration.
With the current pandemic, rubbing alcohol has become a clinic and home staple, an essential. Since safety is our topmost priority these days, it's important to make sure that the rubbing alcohol you're using is effective.
Nothing beats washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if soap and water are not available and your hands are not visibly dirty, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the use of hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is very useful when cleaning surfaces at home. It can be used as a glass cleaner, especially when mixed with vinegar. You can use it to eliminate sticky residues and marks on glass surfaces, mirrors, and windows. It is very useful in cleaning kitchen surfaces as well.
If you have greasy stoves and countertops, you can use rubbing alcohol to make them squeaky clean. It can also make your sink shiny again. Moreover, it works well with stainless-steel surfaces. However, alcohol may produce unwanted reactions when applied to certain surfaces, like plastic and wood, so it is best to perform a spot test before using it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following: cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly or as needed, especially if you have had visitors in your home and focusing on high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, tables, handles, light switches). Make sure to clean surfaces using a product suitable for each surface to prevent damage!
Smartphones are considered daily essentials, especially during quarantine, because they serve as our link to the outside world. For some of us, we can’t get our hands off of our phones and gadgets. We take it almost everywhere with us, which is why it’s important to clean it all the time.
It is highly recommended to clean our gadgets at least once a day as a safety measure. To do so, you may spray a small amount of 70% isopropyl alcohol to a cloth and gently clean the surfaces of your phone. Avoid soaking the crucial parts of your phone, such as screens and ports, as they may be damaged.
Consider a wipeable cover on electronics (e.g phones, tablets) to make cleaning easier. You should also check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the electronic device to prevent causing damage to it.
Here are some points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
One of the most common misconceptions when buying alcohol is that the higher the concentration, the better. For one, solutions with a concentration of around 91% or higher take longer to disinfect than those with lower concentrations. This drastically reduces its disinfecting power.
On the other hand, a concentration lower than 50% is considered too low and becomes useless as too much water can cause the alcohol to evaporate quickly. According to health experts, 70% is the ideal concentration for disinfecting purposes. This amount of alcohol can kill organisms by penetrating the cells, denaturing proteins, and dissolving lipids.
The amount of water it has balances the overall mixture, making it dissolve more slowly and kill bacteria in the process. Overall, either too much or too little alcohol content can be ineffective in disinfecting, that’s why it would be best to select the right balance between alcohol and water levels.
In the healthcare setting, "alcohol" refers to two compounds - ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. And yes, a higher concentration does not necessarily mean better. The optimal bactericidal (aka bacteria-killing) concentration is 60-90% solutions in water.
Basically, rubbing alcohol is just a mixture of either isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol and water. Both have germicidal properties, making them effective disinfectants. Check the section below to know the difference between the 2 types of alcohol bases.
The most common type of rubbing alcohol is the isopropyl-based one. Isopropyl alcohol is often used in disinfectants and sanitizers. It is also used as a cleaning agent in various settings. This is due to its effectiveness in rapidly killing certain bacteria and viruses.
If you’re looking for alcohol that you can use to clean your hands, opt for an isopropyl-based one. They are relatively milder than ethyl-based alcohol. They won’t dry out your skin as much as ethanol does, making them suitable for hand sanitizers. It also evaporates quicker than ethanol.
Isopropyl alcohol (aka isopropanol) is slightly more bactericidal (bacteria-killing) than ethyl alcohol for certain bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus.
If soap and water are not available, then you can opt to use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Ethyl alcohol is the type of alcohol found in beverages. It is denatured when used for sanitizing and also proven to kill certain types of viruses, such as herpes, enterovirus, and vaccinia. However, ethyl-based alcohol is stronger. Thus, it can dry out and irritate your skin.
Therefore, this type of alcohol is often used in heavy-duty disinfecting. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, ethyl alcohol is more effective than isopropyl alcohol when it comes to the influenza virus.
Ethyl alcohol, at concentrations of 60 - 80%, is a strong virucidal (aka virus-killing) agent effective against certain viruses from influenza that causes the flu to that of the common cold) as well as effective against certain fungi.
If soap and water are not available, then you can opt to use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol.
Rubbing alcohols come in different bottle types and sizes. The best choice really depends on how you plan to use it. For example, if you want to carry it around while traveling or doing errands, you may opt for a pocket-sized, spray-type bottle to avoid spillage. For first-aid kits and family usage at home, a medium-sized, pour-over bottle may be suitable.
As for commercial establishment settings, a large packaging with a pump is recommended as it is easier and faster to use and refill. Meanwhile, you can also opt for gallon-sized containers for refilling your containers at home.
If you're buying from a physical store, make sure to check if it is sealed properly to prevent the alcohol from evaporating quickly. Inspect the pump or nozzle as well to avoid spilling and leakage.
Choose the size and packaging based on your needs! Nowadays, we always need to have a hand sanitizer on hand - choose a spritz bottle or the usual flip-top bottle based on your convenience.
Rubbing alcohol can come off too strong for some people. If you’re not fond of its natural scent, you may opt for a scented rubbing alcohol. Others use this to get rid of unpleasant odor since it smells like a cologne.
Alcohol can also dry and irritate your skin, especially if it is extra sensitive. To avoid this, go for a brand with aloe and other moisturizing ingredients. Thanks to this, you can keep on sanitizing your hands without having to worry about getting dry and chapped skin.
Follow up alcohol or hand sanitizer use immediately with a moisturizer. No need to fret! Using a moisturizer after does not negate your hand sanitizing efforts.
Click to purchase
Ethyl Alcohol With Moisturizer
Moisturizing Alcohol From a Trusted Brand
70% Ethyl Alcohol
Ethyl-Based Alcohol Suitable for Hospitals
Ethyl Alcohol 70%
Alcohol With a Refreshing Scent
Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70%
Many Filipinos' Go-To Brand
70% Isopropyl Alcohol Solution Spray
Pocket-Sized Alcohol That You Can Carry Around
Germ Kill Alcohol With Moisturizer
Isopropyl Alcohol With Vitamin E
70% Ethyl Alcohol
Feel Good With This Green Tea-Scented Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol With Moisturizer
Offers Floral Fragrance and Cooling Sensation
70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Freshly Scented Alcohol Perfect for Daily Use
70% Isopropyl Alcohol
Keep a Bottle of This in Your First Aid Kits
When it comes to rubbing alcohol, one of the first brands that come to mind is Green Cross. Having a goal of improving people's hygiene habits, they have developed alcohol and sanitizers to help us protect ourselves from germs. The Green Cross ethyl alcohol is claimed to be an effective disinfectant and antiseptic.
They also have expanded their brand to a wide range of products like bath soaps and sanitizers, which you can pair with this ethyl alcohol. It is dermatologically tested and has moisturizing effects, so it can be used for massaging and aftershave applications.
You can get this pump dispenser, then refill it with its 500-ml pour-over bottle or stock up with the 3500-ml container. It also has other variants, such as the Green Cross isopropyl alcohol and the 5-in-1 total defense antibacterial sanitizer.
If you're looking for rubbing alcohol that hospitals trust, then Doctor J's ethyl alcohol may be what you're looking for. It is not only used in hospitals but also in homes, offices, and other establishments. One of the best things about this trusted brand is that it contains high-quality, non-recycled alcohol, which makes it trustworthy and effective.
Though ethyl alcohol is known to have a stronger effect on the skin, this brand contains natural moisturizers, making it gentle on the hands. Also, if you're not a fan of the "hospital smell," that won't be a problem since this alcohol has fragrance imported from Grasse, France. It is available in different sizes, from 1 gallon, 500 ml, even as small as 60 ml.
Another trusted brand when it comes to personal care and hygiene is Cleene. One of their most popular products is 70% Ethyl Alcohol, which is guaranteed to be safe and reliable. One of the things people love about this brand is that it has a cologne-like fragrance. It's very refreshing and "easy on the nose."
It comes in a pour-over bottle that is perfect when you're out or traveling. Like most recommended alcohols, it also has a 70% solution that can effectively kill germs. You can also use it for removing bad odor and works well as a deodorizer for shoes and toilets.
The Family Rubbing Alcohol is one of the oldest alcohol brands in the Philippines. It is easily accessible and available even in sari-sari stores. Nowadays, this trusted brand can also be purchased from E-commerce platforms. It has a wide variety of applications, including cleaning bathroom fixtures, mirrors, blinds, and removing ink stains and dog ticks.
The 70% Isopropyl solution kills 99.9% of germs, making it suitable for sterilization and disinfection. Additionally, it can be used for sponge baths and insect bite relief. Use this alcohol as well to remove stinky odor! Many users prefer this brand because of the nostalgia it brings. As the tagline says, "'Di lang pang pamilya, pang sports pa!"
If you're looking for portable alcohol that you can spritz on the go, then this alcohol from Biogenic is suitable for daily and all-around use. You don't have to worry about drying your hands as this brand contains glycerin, an excellent moisturizer. It has USP-grade isopropyl alcohol, which is certified and ensured to have high purity and potency.
This alcohol works well as a sterilizer and general antiseptic. If you to refill your pocket-size spray bottle, this brand is available in larger volumes: the 500-ml regular bottle and the 330-ml spray container. You can also buy its ethyl variant depending on your needs and preference.
Hygienix is known to provide simple yet effective goods. They make sure that their products do not contain harmful chemicals and are eco-friendly. Their two main areas of focus are personal and surface care. Aside from rubbing alcohols, Hygienix also offers other disinfecting products, such as germicidal soap as well as hand and body wash.
As for their rubbing alcohol, the Germ Kill Alcohol is clinically proven to kill 99.9% of germs. Aside from this, it contains Agenen which helps retain skin moisture. It also contains Vitamin E that blocks free radicals. Pair this with their disinfecting hand soap for maximum cleansing. You can also get this alcohol in a pump dispenser, 1-liter refill container, and trigger spray bottle.
If you're not fond of the typical alcohol scent, this alcohol from Curabliss may be suitable for you. It has a refreshing green tea scent that not only relaxes you but also alerts your senses. It is Ethyl-based and is claimed to be 99.9% effective against certain types of viruses and bacteria.
Moreover, it contains tea tree essence that can extract and wash away bacteria. Aside from being skin-friendly, it can also be used as a general antiseptic and disinfectant. You can extend its application by using it to clean surfaces. Additionally, its packaging is made of recyclable material, which is a huge plus!
The hot weather in the Philippines can be very uncomfortable and irritating. Others use ice packs to beat the heat, while others use rubbing alcohol as it can provide a cooling sensation. Aside from being used as a disinfectant and cleanser, the RHEA isopropyl alcohol is also commonly used to relieve prickly heat.
You can also turn to this rubbing alcohol when suffering from itchy insect bites. Just apply an ample amount on your skin, and you're good to go. It contains moisturizing ingredients that prevent your skin from drying and a floral fragrance that smells truly refreshing.
One of the perks of buying alcohol in huge containers is that you can reuse its packaging afterward. Get this pump dispenser if it's your first time to try this brand, then you can opt for the 1-gallon container to refill. This way, you'll be able to help save both money and the environment.
This 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol can kill viruses and bacteria quickly without drying out your skin. It also has a fresh scent, which is always a big advantage. Patkins offers isopropyl alcohol and liquid handsoap bundles as well, in case you need a complete set when traveling or having a staycation.
Nature's Rain offers affordable products without compromising the quality. They utilize materials that are sourced both locally and internationally. Moreover, their 70% isopropyl alcohol is FDA certified, which guarantees its safety. It has a number of uses as well, whether at home or in hospitals.
It is also available in a 1-gallon pour-over container that is convenient for hospital use. If you prefer a smaller size for personal use, a 500ml bottle is available too. It is best used as an antiseptic for first-aid treatments. It also has a mild and light scent.
Here are some helpful tips as Dr. Katrina answers some of the most asked questions from the internet!
Rubbing alcohols do have an expiration date or better referred to as shelf life. It typically has a shelf life of 2 to 3 years. After which, the alcohol starts to evaporate, and thus, may not be as effective at killing germs.
Nothing beats washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. However, if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, then a hand sanitizer that contains a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol will do. If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Apply hand cream or lotion onto the hands while damp from washing hands or after using rubbing alcohol.
Continue your hand sanitation efforts, especially during this global pandemic. Remember, washing hands with soap and water is still preferable as it reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. If soap and water are not available, then you can opt to use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Continue to wash your hands or use hand sanitizers, even if your hands are dry. Remember, safety first! Also, #AskYourDerma for more tips on how to prevent and/or relieve your hands of dryness.
There are several ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other viruses. One of the most effective practices is to disinfect and sanitize your hands and surroundings. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe with these recommended products.
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Green Cross | Ethyl Alcohol With Moisturizer
No. 2: Dr. J | 70% Ethyl Alcohol
No. 3: Cleene | Ethyl Alcohol 70% | Set of 3
No. 4: Family | Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70%
No. 5: Biogenic | 70% Isopropyl Alcohol Solution Spray
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