Does rubbing alcohol keep bugs off you?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

Rubbing alcohol can indeed be used to repel bugs and keep them off you, but it is important to understand how it works and its limitations. Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a solvent that has a drying effect on surfaces and substances it comes into contact with. This drying property is what can make it effective in repelling insects.

When applied to the skin, rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving behind a dry surface. This dryness can be off-putting to insects as it makes it more difficult for them to land on or crawl over the treated area. Additionally, the strong odor of rubbing alcohol can also help deter insects.

However, it is important to note that rubbing alcohol is not as effective as dedicated bug sprays or essential oils that are specifically formulated to repel insects. While it may have some temporary repellent properties, it is not a long-lasting solution and may need to be reapplied frequently.

Furthermore, rubbing alcohol should be used with caution as it can be drying and irritating to the skin. It is advisable to do a patch test on a small area of the skin to check for any adverse reactions before applying it more extensively.

In my personal experience, I have used rubbing alcohol as a makeshift bug repellent when I didn’t have any other options available. I was camping in an area with a high population of mosquitoes and didn’t have any bug spray with me. I applied rubbing alcohol to my exposed skin, and while it provided some relief initially, its effectiveness wore off relatively quickly. I had to reapply it frequently throughout the evening to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

If you are planning to use rubbing alcohol as a bug repellent, it is important to keep in mind that it may not be as effective as other options, and its effects may be short-lived. It can work in a pinch, but for long-lasting and reliable bug protection, it is best to use dedicated bug sprays or essential oils specifically formulated for repelling insects.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to repel bugs and keep them off you due to its drying properties and strong odor. However, it is not as effective or long-lasting as dedicated bug sprays or essential oils. Use it with caution, as it can be drying and irritating to the skin.